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Title: Memoir of Mary L. Ware, Wife of Henry Ware, Jr.
Author: Hall, Edward B.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoir of Mary L. Ware, Wife of Henry Ware, Jr." ***

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                     MEMOIR OF MARY L. WARE,

                     WIFE OF HENRY WARE, JR.

                        BY EDWARD B. HALL.

    Seventh Thousand.


    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
    in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of






     Parentage.--Character of the Mother.--First Training of Mary
     Pickard.--Early Visit to England.--Friends there.--Voyage
     Home.--Extracts from Letters.--Residence in Boston.--Pearl
     Street.--First Friendships.--Nature and Education.--A Friend's
     Description of Mary.


     School at Hingham.--A Teacher's Reminiscence.--Sickness and
     Death of Mrs. Pickard.--Mary's Position.--Her Father's
     Circumstances.--Dr. Park's School.--Earliest Letters.--Thoughts
     and Themes.--Chosen Friend.--Peculiar Confidence.--Return to
     Hingham.--Teacher's Account.--Moral Decision and
     Declaration.--Letters.--Joining the Church.--Henry Ware.


     Mr. Pickard's Embarrassments.--His Correspondence with
     Mary.--Her Sympathy and Faith.--Her Teacher's Testimony to her
     Piety.--She leaves Hingham.--Her Grandfather's Death.--Devotion
     to her Grandmother.--Visit to Northampton.--Her
     Self-distrust.--Interest in Dr. Churning.--Letters on his
     Preaching, and Interview with him.--Correspondence with Miss
     Cushing.--Death of her Grandmother.


     Leaving Pearl Street.--Fears for the Future.--Pecuniary
     Means.--Business and Travel.--New York and Baltimore.--Mr.
     Pickard's Displeasure.--Return to Boston.--Letters on
     Providence and Bereavement.--Death of J. E. Abbot.--Living in
     Dorchester.--Morbid Feelings.--Marriage of her Friend.--Her own
     Trials.--Influence upon others.--Interesting Case.--Dr.
     Channing's Absence and Return.--Death of her Father.


     Loneliness.--Invitation to go Abroad.--Letters relating to
     it.--A Friend's Admiration.--Arrival in England.--Mrs.
     Freme.--Letters from London and Broadwater.--Isle of
     Wight.--Paris.--Her Friends' Return to America.--She remains
     with Relatives in England.--Chatham.--Burcombe House.--Many
     Letters.--Arrival of E. P. F. from America.--Letters from
     Sydenham.--Tour to Scotland.--Description of the Country.


     The Poor Aunt.--Osmotherly.--Sickness and Sorrow among
     Kindred.--Mary the Chief Nurse and Devoted Laborer.--Details in
     Successive Letters.--She goes to Penrith.--Recalled to
     Osmotherly.--Further Changes.--Her own Sickness.--Anxiety of
     Friends in England and America.--Joy at her Escape.


     Return from England.--Welcome Home.--Labors of Love.--Henry
     Ware's Preaching.--Interest and Engagement.--Their Letters to
     Friends.--Views of the Relation of Stepmother.--Parish
     Relations and Duties.--Sense of Responsibility.--Desire of
     Usefulness.--Visit to Northampton.--Disappointments.--Husband's
     Illness at Ware.--She goes to him.--Thence to Worcester.--Birth
     of her First Child.--Husband's Journey for Health.--Poetical
     Epistle to his Wife.--Newton.--Return to Sheafe
     Street.--Attachment and Removal.--Brookline.--Plan for
     Cambridge.--Thoughts of Europe.--End of Parish Life.


     Sailing for England with her Husband.--Her Feelings at leaving
     the Children.--Difference between this and her former
     Visit.--Her Husband's Sickness and Depression.--The Great
     Trial.--Their Route.--England and Scotland.--The
     Continent.--Geneva and Letters.--The Treatise on Christian
     Character.--Italy.--Naples and Rome.--Annual to Mrs.
     Paine.--Birth of a Daughter.--Mr. Ware's Discouragement.--Mrs.
     Ware's Anxiety.--Her Account of Sufferings and
     Exertions.--Their Return to France and England.--His Excursion
     alone.--Her Provision for her Aunt.--Letter to her
     Children.--Passage Home.--Husband's Illness.--Arduous
     Offices.--Her View of her own Constitution.


     Final Leave of the Parish in Boston.--Removal to Cambridge--New
     Position.--Chief Anxieties.--Pecuniary Straits.--Mrs. Ware's
     Sickness, long and serious.--Husband's Feelings.--Emma's
     Visit.--Letters to Mrs. Paine and Emma.--Mrs. Ware's Recovery
     and Summons to Concord.--Mr. Ware's Illness there, and
     Apprehensions.--Her Use of the Warning, and Habit of
     Preparation.--Death of her Son Robert.--Her Account.--Devotion
     to her Children.--Letters to John.--Cases of
     Hospitality.--Crowded, but never worried.--Journal to
     John.--Letters at the End of 1832 and 1833.--Dangerous Illness
     of a Child.


     Prudence in Sickness.--Mrs. Ware's View of it, and
     Experience.--Her Principle and Practice in Regard to
     Dress.--Exemption from Sickness.--Social and Private Efforts
     for Others.--Moral Cases.--General Intercourse.--Sympathy with
     Children.--Hatred of Gossip.--Husband's Severe Illness in
     1836.--The Aid she rendered him.--Her Interest in the
     Theological Students.--Their Testimony to her Kindness and
     Influence.--Pecuniary Embarrassment--Death of a Sister.--View
     of Events and Circumstances.--Continued Mercies.--Pleasant
     Letters.--A Change approaching.--Various Records.--Her Husband
     goes to New York.--His Sickness there, and her Joining
     him.--Return, and Resignation of Office.--Dark
     Prospects.--Strong Faith and Hope.--Leaving Cambridge.


     Pain of Removal.--New Residence.--Generosity of
     Friends.--Extracts from Letters.--Faithful Domestic.--Views of
     Service.--Larger Extracts.--Death of Dr Channing.--Kindness of
     Neighbors.--Mr. Ware's Illness in Boston.--Her
     Feelings.--Return to Framingham.--His Jaunts and final
     Sickness.--His Death.--First Sabbath.--Burial at
     Cambridge.--Letters to Children and Friends.--Isolation and
     Suffering.--Labor, Mental and Manual.--Preparation of a
     Memoir.--Communion with her Husband and the Departed
     Ones.--Letters to her Son.--Looking for a new
     Residence.--Decision for Milton.--Last Record of Framingham.


     Mrs. Ware's Fears of Loss of Power.--First Letter from Milton,
     describing her Condition.--Progress of Mind seen in her
     Letters.--Views of Education.--Reliance upon her
     Children.--Various Records.--The New Cottage.--Love of
     Nature.--Beginning of Disease.--Continued Work.--School.--Views
     of separating Children.--Trust for Things Temporal and
     Spiritual.--Annuals for 1845 and 1846.--Letters of
     Sympathy.--Letters to her Children.--Son at Exeter.--Her Visit
     there.--Views of Preaching and Preachers.--Tribute of a
     Pastor.--Family Religion.--Important Letters.--Equanimity in
     Sickness.--Death of Emma.--Visit to Cambridge.--End of the
     Year.--The Time yet remaining.


     Last Days natural, not wonderful.--Quietness and
     Enjoyment.--Relative Duties.--Decline of Strength.--Disclosure
     of her Disease.--Private Paper.--Visit to her Son.--Once more a
     Nurse and Helper.--Sinking and Rallying.--Accounts of her by
     Friends.--Her own Account.--Influence upon Others.--Her Pain at
     being praised.--Letter from England.--Her last
     Letter.--Conversation on the Future.--Her Pastor's
     Visit.--Closing Expressions.--Her Husband's Words.--Death and




The life of an unpretending Christian woman is never lost. Written or
unwritten, it is and ever will be an active power among the elements
that form and advance society. Yet the written life will speak to the
larger number, will be wholly new to many, and to all may carry a
healthy impulse. There are none who are not strengthened and blessed by
the knowledge of a meek, firm, consistent character, formed by religious
influences, and devoted to the highest ends. And where this character
has belonged to a daughter, wife, and mother, who has been seen only in
the retired domestic sphere, there may be the more reason that it be
transferred to the printed page and an enduring form, because of the
very modesty which adorned it, and which would never proclaim itself.

Such are our feelings in regard to the subject of the following Memoir,
and such our reasons for offering it to the public. It has not been
without scruple, and after an interval of years, that the family and
nearest friends of Mrs. Ware have consented to the publication of facts
and thoughts so private and sacred as many which must appear in a
faithful transcript of her life. Perhaps this reluctance always exists,
particularly in regard to a woman and a mother. In this instance it has
been very strong, and it is but just that it be made known. Never was
there a woman, we may believe, more retiring or peculiarly domestic than
she of whom we are to speak. Never, we are sure, were the materials of a
life more entirely private, and in one sense confidential, than those
which we are to use; for letters are all the materials we have, and
letters written in the unrestrained freedom of personal friendship, in
the midst of pressing cares, and with a rapidity and unstudied
naturalness, which will appear in all the extracts, but are still more
manifest in the entire originals. Her correspondence was voluminous, to
an extent unsurpassed perhaps in a life so quiet, with no pretence to
literary character, and nothing ever written except for the eye of the
receiver. How would the writer have felt, had she supposed these letters
were ever to be opened to the public eye? It is a question which many
ask,--some with pain, some with decided disapproval. It is a question
which we have asked ourselves, and we prefer to answer it before we
enter upon the work.

To answer it unfavorably, to yield to this natural reluctance to publish
any thing designed to be private, and in its nature personal, would
deprive us of the best biographies that are written. It would restrict
to single families, and to a brief period, the knowledge of facts and
features, of all most reliable, most valuable. Indeed, it is this very
fact of humility and reserve, of freedom and naturalness, indulged in
confidential communion and the quiet of home, that reveals most the
reality of virtue, force of character, disinterested nobleness, and the
power of religion. Who is willing that the knowledge of such examples
should be withheld from the many who crave it, and whom it would
stimulate and bless? Shall we make no sacrifice of our own feelings,
supposing it to require one, shall we hoard exclusively for our own use
the richest of God's gifts, when those by whom the gifts have come to us
spent their lives in service and sacrifice for us? To these obvious
considerations, we will add our firm faith in the knowledge which
departed friends have of the motives from which we are acting, and of
the influence which their own modest virtues and lowly efforts on earth
may exert upon those remaining here; thus continuing, in a higher and
surer way, the very work for which the loved and the pure always live,
and are willing to die.

It is in point, not only for our immediate purpose, but for the
exhibition in part of the character we would delineate, to say that
these were the feelings of Mrs. Ware herself, in regard to a memoir of
her husband. Public as a large portion of his life was, she shrunk from
the exposure of that which was private, and which seemed to be sacredly
committed to her own keeping. She remembered, too, his peculiar
sensitiveness in this connection, and the injunctions he gave when under
the influence of disease and depression. But another voice came to her
from his present higher abode and larger vision; and thus she wrote to a
friend, of the conflict and the decision, in language applicable now to
her own case:--"I cannot tell you the agony it has given me at times, to
realize that that sacred inner life, which I had felt was my own
peculiar trust, was no longer mine, but was to be shared by the whole
world. But this was sinful, selfish, earthly; and I have gradually left
it all far behind, and can now only be glad that such a life is shown
for the aid and encouragement of others."

It is our desire to give to this Memoir as much as possible of the
character of an autobiography. We have few facts except those found in
the letters, with the advantage of an intimate intercourse for more than
twenty years. In the several hundred letters and notes that have been
put into our hands, there is nothing that might not appear, so far as
any one else is concerned. This fact is well worthy of note, as
belonging to the character, and revealing a remarkable elevation and
purity of thought,--that in such a mass of free epistolary writing, from
different countries and to persons of every age, not a single severe
stricture, not one unkind allusion or offensive personality, much less
any approach to petty gossip, can be found. We feel the greater freedom
in making copious extracts; and shall attempt little more than so to
arrange and connect them as to give a fair view of the whole life, or
rather of the mind and character that appear in every part of the life.
That a life so private contained such a variety of incident, and a
measure of unavoidable publicity, was the ordering of Providence; and
may serve to show that the sphere of woman, even the most domestic and
silent, is broad enough for the most active intellect and the largest



Mary Lovell Pickard was an only child, her parents having but one other,
who died an infant before the birth of Mary. She was born in Atkinson
Street, Boston, on the 2d of October, 1798. Mark Pickard, her father,
was an English merchant, who came to this country on business, and
remained here. Her mother was Mary Lovell, daughter of James Lovell, and
granddaughter of "Master Lovell," so long known as a classical teacher
in Boston. James Lovell, the grandfather of the subject of this Memoir,
was a man of mind and influence. He had been active in the Revolutionary
war, and was once made prisoner at Halifax, sharing there, it is said,
the prison of Ethan Allen. Subsequently he was a prominent member of the
Continental Congress, and at the adoption of the Constitution received
the appointment of Naval Officer in the Boston custom-house, a place
which he retained until his death. A man of free and bold thought,
associating much at one time with French officers, Mr. Lovell adopted
some infidel principles, became familiar and fond of Paine's arguments,
and, as we are led to infer, treated religion with little respect in his
family; the family in which Mary Pickard, as well as her mother, passed
her childhood and youth. James Lovell had nine children, but only one
daughter, Mary, who grew up the idol of the family. At the age of
twenty-five she married Mark Pickard, who was seventeen years her
senior, but not her equal in intellect or energy, we infer, yet always
kind and most tenderly attached to her. She was a woman of rare
excellence, in whose character, as drawn by those still living who knew
her well, we can see, as usual, much that accounts for the character of
the daughter.

Mrs. Pickard had been educated in Boston, and well educated, having a
naturally vigorous mind and strong common sense. She was a woman of
self-culture, loving books and choosing the best, conversing with marked
propriety as well as ease, and exhibiting decided energy and generosity
of character. In person, she is described as remarkable; of so
commanding figure, benignant countenance, and dignified demeanor, as to
draw general observation in public, and suggest the thought once
expressed by a gentleman of intelligence,--"She seems to me as if she
were born for an empress." Yet her empire was only the home, and her
life peculiarly domestic; with enough of discipline and change to prove
her fortitude, but never to damp her cheerfulness. She was a Christian.
In early life, perhaps from causes already referred to, her mind had
been disturbed, and apparently doubts raised, though never fixed, by
sceptical writers and so-called philosophical reasoners,--more common in
good society then than now, and more bold and insidious, notwithstanding
our complaints of present degeneracy. A gentleman to whom Mrs. Pickard
had once communicated her difficulties, and who was less a believer than
she, spoke of her the day after her death, in reference to that
conflict, as "one of strong mind, who took nothing upon trust" even at
that early age when she approached him with "obstinate questionings."
Whatever the effect upon his faith, her own was strengthened by all
inquiry and experience. She was a member of the Episcopal Church, though
apparently less a devotee to its ritual than Mr. Pickard. Not sect, but
piety, was the source of her power and peace. "In religion," says one
most intimate, "she was unostentatious and charitable, but decided and
sincere; and her whole life was an exhibition of the ascendancy of
principle over mere taste and feeling."

Such was the mother, who was the constant companion and instructor of an
only daughter, through the whole of childhood; for Mary never attended
school, that we can find, until she was nearly thirteen years old. But
in that best of schools for the very young, an intelligent and quiet
home, she was well instructed in the common branches, in habits of
order, refinement, and frugality, in principles of undeviating truth and
integrity, and in that most essential of all accomplishments for a girl,
whether in ordinary or exalted station, the use of the needle. Her
mother also taught her to sing, being herself passionately fond of
music, with one of the sweetest voices, and, though not a great
performer, enough so to impart a love of it to her child which always
continued, associated with holy recollections. "Often," says one, "at
early evening, just before going to rest, have I seen the little girl
upon her mother's lap, and have heard her singing her evening hymn:--

    'Teach me to live, that I may dread
    The grave as little as my bed'; &c."

In January, 1802, Mr. Pickard was called to England on business, and
took with him his wife and the little Mary, then but three years old.
They remained there a year and a half, visiting both his and her
relatives, in different parts of the kingdom; Mrs. Pickard being
connected, on her mother's side, with Alexander Middleton, a Scotch
farmer, in whose family Ferguson, the astronomer, lived as a shepherd
boy, and of whom, with his wife and three children, there are still
existing likenesses drawn in pencil by that lad, so celebrated as a man.
Among such friends, and in such new scenes, we can believe a deep
impression would be taken by an observing, thoughtful child, though at
an age when it is considered of little consequence what a child sees or
hears. Mary never forgot the enjoyment or the instruction of that visit.
When she was again in England, twenty years later, she wrote her friends
here that she was surprised to find herself recognizing her old home in
Guildford Street, London, and other objects with which she was then
familiar. And years afterwards, when her own children came round her
with the never-satisfied request, "Mother, do tell us about when you
were a little girl," the standing favorites were incidents which
occurred either in England or on the voyage home, and particularly the
following. During the voyage, her fifth birthday came round, and the
captain promised her baked potatoes for her dinner, but, as the cook
burnt them, threatened to give him the "cat-o'nine-tails"; when poor
little Mary, not taking the joke, burst into tears, and begged him "not
to hurt the kind, good sailor, who didn't mean to burn the potatoes."

A lady who came as passenger in the same vessel, has told us of the
peculiar sweetness of little Mary, and the universal interest and love
inspired by her in the ship's company. And this from no outward
attractions, or efforts to commend herself, but by the simple power of
goodness, and her ever-prompt obedience. If inclined to go anywhere, or
do any thing, not approved by her mother, it was always enough to
say,--"It will make me unhappy, my child, if you do that."

A few extracts which we are permitted to make from letters that passed,
during this absence abroad, between Mrs. Pickard and her parents, will
help to show the respect and affection which the daughter inspired, as
well as the interest felt in the little granddaughter.

Under date of January 10, 1802, James Lovell writes from Boston to his
daughter in England:--

     "I constantly recur to the joyful consideration, that you,
     though absent, are still left to me, an amiable object, within
     the reach of hope, and a source of expected comfort for my last
     days. I think of you, at this moment, as safely arrived with
     your most worthy husband, and my _None-such_, in health, and
     happy among your friends. My engagements in office, especially
     since General Lincoln has been confined by sickness at
     Hingham, have occupied me very much. Though it is evening,
     little Dickey is bristling up and attempting to sing, that I
     may not forget to tell my dear little _Molly Pitty_ how
     constantly he looks for her in the morning, at the rattling of
     the tongs and fender. Kiss the dear child for me.

     "JAMES LOVELL,--need I add,
     your affectionate father?"

In February, 1803, Mrs. Pickard writes home to her mother:--

     "Your pickles and berries came in good order, and were very
     acceptable, particularly to my darling Mary. She often thanks
     you for them, and is now writing to you, and interrupts me
     every minute to hear her read her letter. My father must not
     laugh, and say I call my goose a swan; every one allows she is
     a charming child. You will not be able to deny her a large
     portion of your love, though you have so many lovely ones with
     you. She has been an inexhaustible source of comfort to me
     since I left you; and, as if she knew it would please us all,
     most of her conversation is of home and the friends she left
     there. She has a sad cold, but she says she is always happy.
     Farewell, dear mother. God bless you all."

March, 1803. From the same:--

     "We are still in Guildford Street, but think of going into the
     country, where Mary may have more field for exercise. She is
     pretty well, but wants a little country air. I wish you knew
     all her little chat about you, so pleasing to hear, but so
     foolish to write. She is very tall and lively.... Mr. P. is
     even more anxious than I to go home. Mary is the only contented
     one. She is happy all the time. She has a very sweet
     disposition, and I hope will one day be as great a comfort to
     you as she is to me. She is telling me a thousand little
     affectionate things to say to you."

In the fall of this year the family returned to Boston, and lived with
Mrs. Lovell in Pearl Street; and there, with parents and grandparents,
Mary found a home, whose blessing filled her heart, and never left her
to the day of her death. The home of her childhood,--how reverently and
tenderly did she revert to it, through all the scenes of a changing and
eventful life! Often has she said, that she was continually carried
back, not only in her waking, but her sleeping hours, "to the old Pearl
Street house and garden; assembling the various friends of all the
different periods of her life, in dream-like incongruity, in the little
parlor, with its black-oak wainscoting." There also were formed some of
those first friendships, which do not cease with childhood, but affect
the happiness of a lifetime. The other half of the block in which they
lived was occupied by Colonel T. H. Perkins, and with his children, of
whom some were near her own age, she grew up in terms of daily intimacy.
In the partition between the two houses there were doors which were
entirely closed, except their keyholes; and through these, Mary and her
favorite companion used to sing to each other "all the songs we could
muster," and exchange notes and experiences, the pleasure enhanced, no
doubt, by the excitement of the little mystery occasioned by so peculiar
a mode of communication.

So far as our scanty materials of this period enable us to judge, we
infer that in the training of this favorite child there was a singularly
wise union of control and indulgence. Mrs. Pickard seems not to have
been one of the parents who think control and indulgence incompatible;
nor does it appear that Mary was inclined to refuse the one, or abuse
the other. The true training, we suppose,--if there be any rule for
all,--is that which allows to children all the freedom and enjoyment
consistent with deference to authority, refined manners, and fixed
principles of truth, gentleness, and unselfishness. That these
principles may be inculcated without sternness or perpetual restraint,
indeed with a large allowance for the necessary activity and often
irrepressible exuberance of childhood's spirit, few can doubt, though so
many deny or forget it in practice. From the views which Mrs. Ware
herself always expressed on this subject, and the reverence and
gratitude with which she adverted to her own childhood, we are confirmed
in the impression, that such was her uniform experience at home, and
with the happiest effect. "It has been said," writes a friend of her
mother, "that she was much indulged; and I believe it may be said so
with truth. But she was not indulged in idleness, selfishness, and
rudeness; she was indulged in healthful sports, in abundance of
playthings, in pleasant excursions, and in companionship with other
children, as much as might be convenient. I never knew her to be teasing
and importunate, obstinate or contradictory." Nor is this to be
ascribed, as many will be ready to ascribe it, to natural temperament
and a peculiar exemption from ordinary temptations and trials. Of few
persons, perhaps, would this be more generally inferred or confidently
asserted, from a knowledge merely of her subsequent character. It is on
this account that we refer to it particularly, and for this not least
that we value the example. For we know it was _not_ a case of peculiar
exemption and easy control, but rather a remarkable instance of early
conflict, the power of principle, and perpetual self-discipline. This we
gather from occasional hints in conversation, and from letters to her
own children, some of which will appear in their proper place. At
present, we only adduce, for the right understanding both of this and
later periods of her life, one or two short passages, like the
following, from a letter to a daughter. "The tendency to self-indulgence
was also one of my trials, in early life, when I grew rapidly and had
poor health." "My trials of temper were different from yours, but they
were very great." "What a comfort it is, that, although those who see
only the outside can never compute _what is resisted_, all our struggles
are known and appreciated by Him who looketh on the heart as it is; and
that He who alone can give us strength is thus enabled to know when and
how it is needed."

To this brief sketch of her childhood we venture to add an extract from
a letter just written us, by a gentleman than whom no one living,
probably, was more intimate with Mary and her home, at that early
period. After a warm tribute to the character of the mother, confirming
all we have said of her, he speaks thus of the daughter:--

     "When I first remember her, it is as a gentle, loving, active
     child, always doing some little useful thing, and the darling
     of her parents' hearts. When her character first shone on me
     in its higher attributes, I do not know. But I seem to myself
     to remember, that there never was a time when I could have
     supposed it possible that she would do any thing that was not
     exactly right; when I had not perfect confidence in her tact
     and judgment to discern duty, and the prompt and unhesitating
     determination to do it, as _the only thing to be done_."



Remaining in Boston, with little change, until she was thirteen years of
age, Mary Pickard was then taken by her parents to Hingham,
Massachusetts, to be under the care of the Misses Cushing, whose school
for girls enjoyed at that time, and as long as it continued, a very high
reputation. Her instructors there, who still live, seem to have regarded
her as a friend and companion, rather than a child and pupil; and the
fresh recollections and tender love with which they always speak of her,
and delight to dwell upon her early and mature character, give us an
impression of more than common excellence. This will best be shown by an
extract from a letter written since her death to one of her children.

     "Your dear mother came to us first in June, 1811; a sweet,
     interesting girl, thirteen years old, tall for that age, and
     with the same sweet expression of countenance she ever
     retained; remarkable even then for her disinterestedness and
     forgetfulness of self, and her power of gaining the love of all
     around her. She went home in November of the same year, and
     returned to us again in 1814.... She was with us but little
     more than one year in the whole, and in that short period
     endeared herself to us in a remarkable manner. For with the
     love which we could not but feel for her was mingled a respect
     and admiration for her high principles, and the piety which
     shone through all her conduct, in a degree very uncommon for a
     girl of her age. As a scholar she was exceedingly bright, and
     quick to comprehend, and would, I always thought, have made an
     excellent mathematical scholar, had she pursued the study of
     that branch. Her capacity for accomplishing a great deal in a
     short time was always remarkable, and I believe she never
     undertook any thing that she thought worth her attention, that
     she did not go through to the satisfaction of others, if not of
     herself. Her chief object, even when a young girl, seemed to be
     to do good, in some way or other, to her fellow-beings, and she
     considered nothing too difficult for her to undertake, if it
     could benefit another person either in a temporal or moral
     view. You have had sufficient evidence of this, since you have
     been old enough to judge for yourself, and I can only tell you
     that it seemed to be, at an early period of her life, a living
     principle with her. Yet, with all this devotedness to the
     highest objects and purposes of our existence, she was one of
     the most lively and playful girls among her companions, and a
     very great favorite with them all."

Mary had been but five or six months in the school at Hingham, when she
was called back to Boston by the threatening illness of her mother, who
continued feeble through the winter, and died in the month of May
following. That winter must have been one of peculiar experience to
Mary. It was her first great trial. She loved her mother, not only as
every true child must, but with a reverence and affection heightened by
the unusual circumstance of having been always the pupil of that mother
alone, regarded as a companion also, and called now to the tender
offices of a nurse, at an age when most children can ill bear
confinement and devotion to the sick. Mary was never happier than when
thus occupied, as her whole life has shown. To her it was no task, but a
grateful privilege, to spend all her time at the side of a revered and
departing mother. For six months was she allowed to give herself to this
blessed ministry; and when it closed, she was left, a girl of thirteen,
the sole comfort and chief companion of her father, now past the prime
of life, broken in spirits and in fortune, clinging to this only child
with doating and dependent affection. She now became an important member
of the family in Pearl Street, with her desolate father, and her
venerable grandparents, who were still living, depending themselves more
upon her for their comfort than upon the only son that remained with
them, a young man whose fine talents and affectionate disposition were
perverted and ruined by sad habits. These were circumstances to call out
all her energy, and make full proof of her judgment and gentleness. Mr.
Pickard had for some time been embarrassed in business, and, from a
state of easy competence, was then and afterwards reduced to the
necessity of the strictest economy. Of his daughter's essential service
to him in this respect, we have frequent intimations in his own letters;
and not only by her prudent management, but also by her generous and
active aid, as will be seen still more a few years later. For her father
survived her mother eleven years, and during the whole of that period,
though not always together, Mary was his efficient helper, and his
devoted nurse in sickness, of which he had a large share.

For two years after her mother's death, she remained wholly in Boston,
enjoying part of the time a new privilege, which she greatly
prized,--admission to the best school for young ladies then in New
England, or the country,--Dr. Park's. That she would improve such an
opportunity to the best of her ability, we need not say. Of her
proficiency as a scholar, there are no particular proofs. She was never
a prodigy, but she never slighted opportunity or duty. She appeared
always well, distinguished at least for faithful preparation and uniform
accuracy. And especially was she distinguished for moral excellence. She
was the friend and favorite of all. If petty difficulties occurred, Mary
Pickard was the peacemaker. Her impartiality, amiableness, kindness to
all, and perfect truthfulness, endeared her to the teacher and all the
pupils; from several of whom we have had the testimony, that no one ever
exerted a better influence upon any school.

The earliest letters we have from Mary were written in 1813, the year
after her mother's death, and about the time of her first going to
school in Boston. They are the letters of a school-girl, but not of a
child. While there is in them no indication of remarkable powers, to
which she did not pretend, nor her friends for her, they show a habit of
reflection and power of discrimination, with a choice of topics not
usual at that age. A few passages may be given, very simple and
juvenile, but indicative of character.

     "_Boston, February 27, 1813._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "I am determined another day shall not pass before I answer
     your letter. I think it is the best way, when we receive a
     letter, to sit down immediately and answer it; at least I find
     it so, though I do not always practise it.... We talk so much
     when we meet, that there is little left to write, and I am now
     at a loss what to say. The folly of the fashionable world is an
     old story, and if not, is too _vast_ a subject for our limited
     views of it. Of our school plan we have said much, but we can
     say more. I had no idea that such insignificant beings as we
     are, in comparison, could ever afford matter for so much
     conversation as there has been on this subject. Although
     opinions could not alter the case, yet it is certainly very
     satisfactory to know that our doings are approved by those
     whose good opinion we value. I look forward with much pleasure
     to the day on which we shall commence our studies. We shall
     feel very awkward at first, but it will soon be over, and then
     we must endeavor to keep ourselves exempt from the condemnation
     that falls on the whole school for the faults of two or

     "I am reading 'Temper,' and like it much better than I expected
     to, having heard nothing in its favor, and, besides that, being
     _prejudiced_ against it. I have condemned prejudice in others,
     but never felt the effects of it before; I dislike it now more
     than ever,--it is certainly a most unreasonable thing. I like
     some of the characters very much, and it is not as yet very
     tedious, but contains many good lessons. I find many that I can
     apply to myself, and (as usual) some to other people. It
     cannot, however, be compared to 'The Absentee' or 'Vivian.'
     Novels are generally said to be improper books for young
     people, as they take up the time which ought to be employed in
     more useful pursuits; which is certainly very true; but as a
     recreation to the mind, such books as these cannot possibly do
     any hurt, as they are good moral lessons. Indeed, I think there
     is scarcely any book from which some good may not be derived;
     though it cannot be expected that any young person has judgment
     enough to leave all the bad and take only the good, when there
     is a great proportion of the former. I know we are too young to
     hold up an opinion of our own, independent of the superior
     judgment of those older, and this I would not do. I have
     collected mine from observation, and, if it is not right, would
     thank any one to correct it; nor would I offer it at all to any
     one but you, or those of my own age."

That last sentiment will seem _very_ juvenile to many young people of
the present day, but it is none the worse for that. Nor by this writer
was the expression of such sentiments restricted to that age; for
modesty and deference, combined with self-respect and decision, were
marked features and peculiar graces of the character we are presenting.
They are features and graces of a strong mind. Superciliousness, in
youth or maturity, is a sign of weakness. And it says little for the
improvement or the promise of the present, if it be true that respect
for experience, reverence for age, and meekness of expression, are rare
qualities in the young. Mary was still young, when she wrote to her
father,--"I am no advocate for destroying that delicacy which forms, or
ought to form, so great a part of the female character. But such a
degree of it as is not compatible with sufficient firmness to command
one's self in danger, appears to me to be false modesty, or 'sickly
sensibility of soul,'--beneath the dignity of beings endowed with power
for higher feelings." Here is that union of humility and courage which
marked her whole course.

In all her early letters there is an entire absence of that trivial talk
about dress, parties, and the gossip of the day, so common at her age.
Instead of it, we find remarks either upon moral and religious themes,
or upon her reading and studies. In the very earliest letter we have,
written in a child's hand, she speaks of her interest in the "Life of
Washington, in five large octavo volumes," and expresses the opinion,
that "the history of one's country ought to be the first historical
lesson of a child." About the same time, we find her deeply engaged in
an argument upon the moral influence of the study of astronomy; and her
mind rises to the highest and the largest views.

     "The hand of Almighty God certainly should raise in our souls
     such unbounded adoration and love, that our only object would
     be, to be worthy to appear before the presence of such
     excellent goodness, and partake of the joys of heaven. It seems
     unaccountable, that any one could for a moment raise his eyes
     to the sky and not be convinced of the being of some superior
     power, who rules and directs the paths of the planets and the
     ways of the children of men. If we for a moment transport
     ourselves to another part of the universe, and behold our
     little insignificant Earth in comparison with the rest, or with
     any other planet, and consider how highly favored it has been
     with the presence of the Son of its Creator, are we to think
     that we alone are thus honored, and that superior worlds are
     not endowed in the same manner with a knowledge of heavenly
     things? But I find myself getting into an argument, on which,
     though the subject may be interesting, the style of the writer
     must be tedious."

These extracts are from letters written to a friend near her own age,
with whom there began at this time the longest and most confiding
intimacy of her life, out of the circle of immediate connections, if
indeed any exception need be made. To this friend are addressed some of
the first and last letters that Mary ever wrote, and by far the larger
number of all which we use for this sketch. It is an evidence of the
faithfulness of her friendships, that from the date of the earliest
letter we have, through nearly forty years, she wrote to that same
friend, beside other occasional letters, "a New Year's epistle," every
year, to the last in her life. And to her were confided her first and
deepest trials, disclosed to no one else, and beginning while at school.
There is something both ingenuous and magnanimous in such sentiments as
the following, from a girl of fifteen, whom the death of a mother had
placed in circumstances of peculiar responsibility, and often painful

     "I expose to you my weaknesses, my faults, my passions. There
     is but one thing of which I have the slightest apprehension.
     You may sometimes hear me blamed for deeds which you know are
     right. You will hear my lot in life envied, as apparently all
     that the reasonable wishes of any being could desire. And
     sometimes, too, busy Scandal, which honors even the most
     insignificant with her notice, will glance at me. Your
     generous, affectionate heart will prompt, I well know, on
     those occasions, some defence of your friend. But never give
     way to it; never whisper to the winds that she has any trials.
     It will necessarily involve the question, What are they? You
     are the only person to whom I ever communicated them, and my
     conscience almost reproaches me for it. I try to think my
     peculiar loneliness sanctions it, but my very uneasiness proves
     it was not strictly right, and I would not for worlds sin
     farther. You will bear with me. All this is foolish, but I must
     say it. I defy any one to tell from my appearance that I have
     not every thing to make me happy. I have much, and I am happy.
     My little trials are essential to my happiness. They teach me
     to value the only true sources of enjoyment this life can
     afford,--the affection of the good, the cultivation of the
     better feelings of the soul in the service of their Creator,
     and the joyful hope of a better, purer state of existence.
     Blessings and peace go with you, and pure, unalloyed felicity
     be your portion for ever.


In the latter part of the year 1814, Mary left Boston for Hingham, to be
again in the family and under the tuition of the Misses Cushing. Of her
character then, and the renewed impression made upon her instructors, a
letter which we have recently received from one of them will give the
best idea; though, from regard to the writer's wishes, we quote but a
small part.

     "I can hardly give you an idea of my feelings towards her,
     during the whole of her residence with us, without seeming to
     speak extravagantly. Every day's experience confirmed our first
     impressions of her, and showed in some form the sweetness of
     her disposition, her self-sacrificing spirit, and untiring
     devotion to the claims of those about her. She possessed such
     purity of heart, and elevation of principle, as were certainly
     uncommon at such an early period of life, and which, it seemed
     to me then, could only arise from a constant sense of the
     Divine presence, and an habitual communion with the Source of
     all good. Love was always, with her, the predominant feeling in
     her thought of God, and I have heard her say she never
     remembered the time when she did not feel that she loved God.
     This was said, you may be sure, not boastingly, but from
     surprise at hearing some one speak of the difficulty of giving
     the heart to God."

And now came a crisis in that inner life, which was always greater to
Mary Pickard than the outward. Always thoughtful as well as cheerful,
her interest in religion, and her wish to be wholly a follower of
Christ, led her to an act, too rare with the young, and requiring, in
school and college particularly, courage as well as principle. She
desired to connect herself publicly with the Church. And the convictions
by which she was brought to this purpose, with the views she entertained
of the nature and importance of the act, we make no apology for giving,
as fully as we find them expressed in her own letters; for there are
older minds that might be instructed, and doubters who might be
admonished and aided, even by so youthful a believer. Mary had received
baptism in Trinity Church, Boston, but it is evident that in her moral
training more heed had been given to the cultivation of piety than to
adherence to forms and special doctrines. The preaching that she usually
heard, in the church of her parents, did not edify or satisfy her; a
fact which we give, without comment, as part of a faithful record, and
as we find it in her own account to a son, in one of the last years of
her life. The language in which she there describes her early religious
wants is unusually strong for her, and might seem extravagant. We give
only the result of her dissatisfaction with what she heard from the
pulpit. "The final effect upon me was, by throwing me more upon myself,
to open a new source of religious instruction to my mind; and I can now
remember with great pleasure, and a longing desire for the same vivid
enjoyment, the hours I passed in 'my little room,' in striving, by
reading, meditation, and prayer, to find that knowledge and stimulus to
virtue which I failed to find in the ministrations of the Sabbath." And
then most earnestly does she exhort her son not to let these things, or
any thing, tempt him "to treat sacred things with levity and

Few minds have kept themselves, through life, more free both from levity
and bigotry. At the time of which we speak, she seems to have thought
only of her own unworthiness, her need of religion, and the greatness of
the privilege offered her. A long note which she wrote to one of the
teachers with whom she was living, and to whom she confided all her
feelings, will explain the whole. It bears no date, but must have been
written in the autumn of 1814, when she was about sixteen.

    "_Saturday Morning._

     "Will you, my dear Miss C., pardon my addressing you in this
     way, when under the same roof; but as I could not speak on the
     subject I have now most at heart, in the presence of any one, I
     did not think it right to engross exclusively so much of your
     valuable time as would be necessary to say all I wish to. I
     could not feel satisfied with my own conclusions, until I had
     appealed to you, and I hope this will excuse the liberty I
     take. Though still young, I have tasted the bitter cup of
     affliction and disappointment, and have found thus early that
     all worldly enjoyments are incapable of promoting happiness, or
     even of securing present gratifications; and in every
     deprivation have felt the healing balm of religion to be the
     only source of consolation to the wounded spirit and afflicted
     mind. But I may, indeed, say with sincerity, 'It is good for me
     that I have been afflicted,' for it led me to reflect on the
     end for which I was created, to examine my own heart, and, by
     comparing it with the Christian standard, to prove its weakness
     and awake to a sense of my danger. A very little reflection
     convinced me I had been leading a very different life from that
     which was requisite to form the character of a true Christian,
     and that I must exercise my utmost powers to redeem the time
     which I had lost, and which could never be recalled. Though I
     cannot think the observance of any religious ceremonies
     sufficient to secure future happiness, unless the motive for
     their performance is founded on faith in the word of God, as
     revealed to us by his Son, yet they seem to me necessary, not
     only in a moral, but religious point of view, to the attainment
     of that degree of perfection which we are taught it is in the
     power of every one to attain.

     "Ever since I have thought at all on the subject, it has been
     my earnest wish to be admitted a member of the Church of
     Christ. It is a duty which I cannot but think is of the highest
     importance, both as it is fulfilling the last request of one to
     whom we owe all we enjoy here or hope for hereafter, and as it
     continually reminds us of our obligations to obey his
     precepts, tends to make us better, and more worthy our high
     calling. If we assume the name of Christians, and obey not
     those positive commands of our Saviour which are in the power
     of every one who is sincere, how can we expect to receive a
     continuance of his favors? Fearing I was too young fully to
     comprehend the use and importance of so solemn a rite, I have
     delayed saying or doing any thing about it. I have thought much
     on it, and summed up all the reasons which appeared to me to
     prove it absolutely necessary to our happiness and well-being,
     and all the objections that arose in my mind against the
     propriety of young persons joining in it. I then read every
     book on the subject I could meet with, and found in none of
     them half as many objections as I had raised, and very few
     arguments in its favor which I had not thought of. Do not think
     it has made me think better of myself than I deserve,--far from
     it; it made me feel more sensibly my own unworthiness, when
     compared with what I continually saw I ought to be. Still, as I
     could not give up all thoughts of it, I determined to appeal to
     you. Tell me, my dear Miss C., if you should consider it a
     violation of the sacredness of the institution, to think I
     might with impunity be a member? I am well aware of the
     condemnation denounced on those who partake unworthily, and I
     tremble to think how liable I shall be to fall into error and
     sin, and how much greater will be my responsibility. These
     reflections have hitherto prevented my proposing it to my
     father or any one, and now almost make me fear I am doing wrong
     in writing to you. I am afraid I am presumptuous, and, did I
     not view it rather as a means of religion than the end, I
     should hardly suppose there were many who could say they were
     worthy of it. I cannot think there is any _mystery_ connected
     with it, as some are so eager to prove, and its very simplicity
     renders it the more interesting and useful, and increases the
     obligation to perform it.

     "Forgive me, my dear Miss C., if I have said any thing wrong,
     and correct me if you see any seeds of vice in me. Recollect I
     have been the guardian of myself too long not to have erred
     very much in my ideas of every thing; pity, and make me better,
     if the task is not too discouraging; and be assured, the purest
     love and gratitude of which I am capable will be the sincere
     offering of your affectionate young friend,


The self-scrutiny and humility evinced in this note prevented any hasty
action. Mary seems still to have deliberated, and sought all the light
and direction she could obtain. A long letter, of which we give a
portion, to her true friend, N. C. S., in Boston, shows her state of
inquiry and progress.

     "_Hingham, January 13th, 1815._

     "You could not possibly have received more pleasure from
     hearing Mr. Thacher's sermon, than I did from reading your
     abstract of it. Nothing could be more satisfactory to me, who
     still doubted whether it would not be a violation of the
     sacredness of the institution, for any one so thoughtless and
     liable to fall into sin and folly to join in such a holy
     offering, with the good and faithful of the earth. But that was
     enough to convince any one who believed the obligation in any
     degree to be great, that it extended to young as well as old,
     and would be an effectual means of turning them from error to a
     knowledge of truth, would make them happy here, and be almost a
     security of it hereafter. And though the punishment of those
     who outwardly profess themselves disciples of Christ, and yet
     devote their time and thoughts to the world, is inevitable, I
     cannot but think it will be in a much greater degree inflicted
     on those who wholly neglect it, particularly when once
     convinced of its importance. We have both felt the power which
     only the sight of others performing this duty has had on our
     minds; what then will it be, when we join in it ourselves, and
     feel the direct influence of those heavenly rays, which
     enlighten the Christian at the altar of his God, and guide him
     in his dreary progress through the world to heaven! Surely then
     we should not hesitate; now, while it is in our power, it would
     be absolute wickedness to neglect the performance of such a
     reasonable and delightful act of duty.


But one doubt now remained in her mind; that caused by the many
differences among believers, and the numerous branches of the Christian
Church. But this she soon answered for herself, with her usual
simplicity and largeness of view. "I have considered the Church of
Christ to be one body diffused through the whole world, and that sects,
form, and opinion made in truth no essential difference;--that all the
various denominations of Christians on the earth were united in one
spirit and one mind, in all the important doctrines of religion." Not
long after, she received from her confiding friend an account of similar
feelings in herself, together with an excellent note from the Rev. John
E. Abbot, encouraging their serious purpose. Mary's reply follows.

     "_Hingham, April 1st, 1815._

     "I do, indeed, my dear friend, rejoice with you in the
     unexpected and happy event your last letter informed me of. I
     had felt all your doubts and fears as though they were my own,
     and, I do assure you, participated in your joy with the same
     sincerity. How much reason have we to be grateful for this
     instance of the overruling Providence! Does it not sufficiently
     prove, that, if with sincerity and pureness of heart we
     undertake to perform any duty, we may rely on the assistance of
     the Holy Spirit to guide our steps, and to cause all things to
     concur to render it easy and delightful?

     "I cannot tell you how much it increased my own happiness to
     know that you, too, felt happy; for there is in the sympathy of
     friends something that increases all our pleasures and
     alleviates all our pains. It is to this I owe half that I enjoy
     in this life, and without it wretched must be existence, even
     in prosperity, and all other earthly blessings.

     "I believe I have mentioned often to you the desire I had of
     becoming one of the church here, if I could be sure of
     remaining here this summer. When I found there was no doubt of
     that, I had only to overcome the fears which a consciousness of
     weakness and liability to relapse into former coldness still
     kept alive in my mind. Now all have subsided, and I am
     convinced that it is dangerous to delay so important a service.
     From the moment I had decided what to do, not a feeling arose
     which I could wish to suppress; conscious of pure motives, all
     within was calm, and I wondered how I could for a moment
     hesitate. They were feelings I never before experienced, and
     for once I _realized_ that it is only when we are at peace with
     ourselves that we can enjoy true happiness.

     "... I think, all things considered, I was never more happy in
     my life. It was a bright, clear night, and the moon which rose
     just as I went to bed, shining full on me, seemed to reflect
     the tranquillity of my soul, and appeared to me an emblem of
     the mild light that was just dawning on my soul. I could not
     sleep, and actually laid awake all night out of pure happiness.

     "I will not trouble you with any more of my feelings at
     present. On Sunday we were proposed, and the next Sabbath will
     see the completion of all my hopes and wishes relating to
     myself for two years past.

     "I cannot at present write more, but will finish this next


The church with which Mary connected herself was the Third Church in
Hingham, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Henry Coleman, with whom
she speaks of delightful interviews, receiving from him the best
instruction and counsel at that important period. She shows at the same
time her habit of thinking for herself, as well as her liberal and
humble spirit, in the casual remark, "Though I could not agree exactly
with him in every thing he said, as they were not essential points I
thought nothing of it, and received his advice with as much pleasure and
satisfaction as could possibly be." The same month she records the
completion of her wishes and her happiness.

     "Last Sunday witnessed the accomplishment of my highest
     desires; for I joined for the first time with those who compose
     the church here, in commemorating the death of our blessed
     Saviour. The feelings it excited are not easily described, and
     as you will so soon experience them, you will thus be able more
     fully to conceive of them than by any thing I could say. I know
     you will derive much, very much satisfaction and happiness from
     it; and I sincerely pray that it may be to us both a means of
     becoming more like its heavenly Founder, and finding acceptance
     with God through his intercession. I wish you could have heard
     our dear Mr. C----. He was particularly interesting and
     affecting; his prayers, too, are better than any I ever heard
     (always excepting Mr. Channing); they breathe more of the true
     spirit of Christian humility than is commonly to be found in
     these days of pride.


About this time we find mention of an incident which appeared then of
little importance, but to which subsequent events, though quite remote,
have given so peculiar an interest, that it seems not right to omit it.
Mary Pickard, still a school-girl, saw for the first time the individual
with whom, twelve years after, her fortunes were to be connected for
life, but with whom, during that interval, she had no intercourse. HENRY
WARE, then a theological student at Cambridge, was on a visit to
Hingham, his native town, and passed an evening at Miss Cushing's. Mary
does not appear to have had any conversation with him, but simply saw
and heard him, and wrote to her friend in Boston a frank account of the
opinion she formed of him.

     "_Hingham, April 9th, 1815._

     "Again, my dear N----, I resume the delightful task of writing
     to you, which, I assure you, gives me a degree of pleasure next
     to that of talking with you, however you may judge from my
     writing so seldom. Since Saturday I have experienced a pleasure
     I never expected, the desire of which I have often expressed to
     you. I have seen, heard, and consequently admired, your Exeter
     friend, _H. Ware_;[1] and though his errand took something from
     the delight his presence would otherwise have completed, it was
     sufficiently great for the safety of so large an assembly of
     young ladies. He was as agreeable as he could possibly be, and
     fully satisfied all the expectations you had raised in my mind.
     He spent Sunday evening here, and as he is very fond of music,
     and it is usual for us to spend a part of this evening in
     singing, we sung psalms from dusk until eight, when he was
     obliged to leave us. He joined in all, and added very much to
     the harmony and melody of our little choir. On Monday evening,
     too, he was here, and much increased the good opinion that had
     been formed of him. I thought his face indicated the greatest
     purity and goodness; I never saw a more benign, delightful
     expression on any face before, and much less any thing like it
     in a gentleman. I will not, however, judge any one by their
     face, particularly as I have not proved myself a good
     physiognomist. Yet I cannot help being in some measure
     influenced by it. How can I look at such a countenance as his,
     and not be confident that there is a mind within correspondent
     to it? There is, though, a want of energy in it, which I hope
     is not in his character; but it is sometimes the case, that a
     love of poetry, and habit of writing it, effeminate the mind of
     man, while they only render more attractive and interesting
     that of woman.

     "He came for his sister Harriet, who has left us, very much to
     my sorrow as well as that of all the family. She has an
     uncommon mind, and possesses much original genius: it is very
     seldom you see such proofs of it in one so young, as to put it
     beyond doubt, that, under any circumstances, love of literature
     would have been predominant. She is a great loss to us, and to
     myself particularly so, as I can never hope to have it in my
     power to cultivate her acquaintance as I should wish. But I
     must be content, and if I can only have the power of
     appreciating as they deserve those friends I now have, I think
     it will be my own fault if I am not happy.

     "With love to all friends, I must conclude by assuring you of
     the firm affection of your friend,

     "M. PICKARD."

[Footnote 1: He spent two years at Exeter, as teacher in the Academy.]

This was written the same month, and within a few days of the date of
that remarkable religious paper, which Henry Ware wrote for his own
sacred use,--"To be opened and read for improvement, once a
month,"[2]--seen by no other eye, probably, until Mary herself opened
it, as his widow! From this time they did not meet, as personal
acquaintance, until the year of their marriage.

[Footnote 2: Memoir of Henry Ware, p. 83.]



With all her deep happiness and cheerful aspect, Mary had many anxieties
and trials at this time. These were caused by her father's loss of
property and depression of spirits. Mr. Pickard seems never to have had
a large property, but was connected with one of the best firms in
Boston, and enjoyed a good reputation as a merchant and a man. In what
way reverses came upon him, we are not informed; but the period of which
we speak, just at the close of the war with Great Britain, may be a
sufficient explanation. Either from his own letters, or through others,
his daughter heard of his losses, and had written him a letter which we
do not find, but of which the following reply indicates the character.

     "_Boston, April 17, 1815._

     "I have just opened your letter. You are every thing that is
     amiable and good; it is not possible to have a better child.
     But you cannot enter into my feelings, because you know not my
     situation. I will not trouble you with any more complaints, if
     I can help it; I will only tell you that I have done nothing
     that should make you ashamed of your father. If I have not
     enough to pay every one their just dues, it is owing to
     misfortune and events that I could not control. No one,
     however, except the estate, is likely to suffer by me, and you
     of course will be a joint loser; the whole, I hope, will not be
     much. My anxiety is, how I shall get a living,--what I shall
     subsist on. Without any capital, I can do no business. I long
     for the time to come when I shall see you here.... I am about
     making inquiry amongst my acquaintance for employment. If I
     succeed, my mind will be easier; if not, what shall I do? I
     know not. I had a long talk alone with cousin N---- last
     evening. She tried to encourage me with the hope of being able
     to support myself, as we calculated you would, after some time,
     have enough to support yourself without mental or bodily
     exertion. Yet I know, my dear child, that you would exert both
     for me; but how much more satisfactory would it be to me to
     support myself while I am able. It is not the change of
     circumstances, but the dread of want, that depresses me. I did
     hope, too, that you would have been in a better situation; but
     you have a mind and spirits, I hope, to keep your heart at
     ease; for you will be esteemed for your virtues. You see I
     cannot help writing what is uppermost in my thoughts.

     "Your very affectionate father,
     "M. P."

We have not many of Mr. Pickard's letters, but all we have, even those
in which he writes in rather an unreasonable mood, as if expecting too
much of this endeared and devoted daughter, yet contain incidental
expressions which show his exalted opinion and almost respectful regard
for her, as well as a tender and grateful affection. He speaks of having
shown one of her letters to a friend, who was "highly gratified with the
seriousness and piety of your disposition; but she did not need that
proof of it; and in the troubles and vexations of this world, it is a
great consolation to me to have so good a child, whom I look forward to
as the comfort of my declining years; you know how much your letters
please me, and console me for your absence." This we can understand when
we read the letter which follows, probably in reply to that which we
have given above.

     "_Hingham, April 22, 1815._

     "I did not receive your letter, my dear father, until Thursday
     afternoon, and cannot delay for a moment answering it. I should
     be sorry to think you considered me so weak as to bend under a
     change of fortune to which all are liable, and which does not
     affect the interest of my friends or myself, while a
     self-approving conscience is their support. I trust nothing
     which can befall them with respect to the world will wholly
     overcome their fortitude and confidence in the protection and
     care of a Supreme Being. I can, I think, enter in some measure
     into your feelings, and believe I can feel as you do with
     regard to being dependent on others. I am prepared for almost
     any trial; if my ability is equal to my desire of being of
     service to you in misfortune, I do not fear but that I shall be
     able to support myself, and at least not be a burden to you. I
     am sorry you think so much of my situation. I shall never
     regret the loss of indulgences which I have never been taught
     to consider as essential to my happiness, and which do not in
     any great degree conduce to it. I shall be content in any
     circumstances, while I know you have not brought on yourself
     calamity. I am not so proud that I should feel the least
     repugnance to gaining a living in any useful employment
     whatever; I feel that kind of pride which assures me that local
     situation will not disturb my peace within, and with that I
     could combat almost any thing. I can only regret the loss of
     property, when it makes me an encumbrance to my friends, and
     limits my power of communicating good. As to the former, I
     think, while I can possibly do it, I had better remain here,
     rather than burden any of my friends with my company, and I
     will retrench other expenses for the sake of being independent;
     for I do not think that any service I could do would compensate
     for the trouble I should give; and with regard to the latter,
     the _will_ will be present with me, and though the money means
     were denied me, I do not despair of doing good in some way or
     other. I shall do very well; my only anxiety is for you, lest
     you give up hope of better times, and thus put a stop to the
     mainspring of human action. I cannot but regret that what
     belongs to the estate should be lost, for the obligations we
     are under already to the family are more than can ever be
     repaid, and obligations are to some people oppressive. I shall
     see you soon, and will then make some arrangements. Till then,
     I know not what to propose. I hope to hear from you soon. And
     do write in better spirits; it will do no good to be
     discouraged. With love to all, I remain your affectionate


Those only who have experienced reverses, or have seen parents suffer
from them undeservedly, know how hard it is to sustain, beneath their
pressure, a cheerful and buoyant spirit. We can moralize upon the
comparative worthlessness of this world's goods, and call poverty and
pain light evils. It is a false view. Poverty and pain are positive and
great evils. Sin only is greater, and sin, it may be, is as often
engendered by these as by the opposite state of health and affluence. In
setting forth the dangers of prosperity, we are not to forget the
temptations and conflicts of adversity. Honor to the man or woman, who
maintains integrity and serenity in the hour of misfortune!

We mean not to intimate that the pecuniary perplexities of Mr. Pickard
and his daughter were extreme. But we believe them to have been enough
to test the power of character, and to throw a delicate and difficult
duty upon a daughter, so young, and so connected with friends who were
able and willing to help, but on whom she was not willing to lean. She
preferred to lean upon herself, though not in unaided strength. Seldom
do we find such evidence of early and entire reliance on a higher Power.
She had made her election. With the deliberation and firmness of mature
conviction, she had given herself to God, and was at peace. How
complete, though quiet, was that surrender, and how full and permanent
the peace, every subsequent year of her life bore witness. And there
were those who saw this in the beginning, and predicted its future
power. We are struck with the confidence expressed by judicious friends
in Mary's "piety,"--a word of deeper and larger import than belongs to
many beginners in the school of religion and life. It is an incomparable
blessing, when a faithful and experienced teacher can write to a pupil

     "Could I in any way serve you, how gladly would I do it! But
     when I take my pen to write you, and my heart would dictate
     something, which, to most of your age (particularly when so
     early deprived of a mother's care), might be useful, I am
     deterred by the thought of your maturity of mind, your
     well-regulated affections, and correct and dignified
     deportment. This is not flattery; you know me too well, I hope,
     to believe me capable of that, where my heart is interested. It
     is an opinion founded on a long, and for some time close
     observation. May you feel in your own bosom the reward you so
     richly deserve, and be sensible of those joys with which 'a
     stranger intermeddleth not.' So early disciplined in the school
     of affliction, your heart has felt the need of consolation
     which the world has not to bestow; and at a period of life when
     the follies and vanities of the world most commonly engross us,
     you have been led to an attention to those things which are
     unseen and eternal. God grant that you may be induced to
     persevere in the path of _piety_, to reach forward continually
     to higher attainments, nor ever rest satisfied till you have
     attained the glorious prize which is reserved for the followers
     of the blessed Jesus.... I should not, to many of your age,
     write so much on so serious a subject; but I believe you have a
     feeling persuasion of its reality and importance, and therefore
     will not deem me intrusive."

In the summer of 1815, Mary left Hingham, and returned to her home in
Pearl Street, Boston, where another change had just occurred in the
death of her grandfather, James Lovell. This left her grandmother very
lonely, and for the remaining two years of her life Mary devoted herself
to her care, and ministered to her wants, with the same assiduity and
affection that marked her devotion in her mother's sickness. Not that
she was wholly confined to the sick-room, or the house. Mrs. Lovell's
health varied, and allowed occasional visits to friends in and near
Boston, for several weeks together. One of these visits took Mary as far
as Northampton; and in a pleasant letter to her father she gives a full
account of her journey thither, a very different matter then from what
it now is. Going from the presence of sickness and sorrow into that
beautiful region, her heart expanded with joy and gratitude,--gratitude
to God, and to those generous friends whose guest she was, and whose
hospitality she describes in a way that would leave no doubt to what
family she refers, even if there were not a direct mention of one whom
so many love to recall. "Mr. Lyman is, without exception, the most
agreeable man I ever met with; and if I could only overcome feelings of
restraint which his infinite superiority makes me have before him, I
might be able to enjoy his conversation more. I may overcome it, but as
yet I cannot, and therefore fear I appear stupid." This diffidence she
never did wholly overcome, and we can conceive of its having been very
great, at that age. Yet it seems never to have prevented her from going
forward to the performance of any duty, or appearing with propriety and
dignity in any position. She had a keen relish for all the beauties of
nature, and no less for the refinements and pleasures of society. But
her highest enjoyment, even at that age, was evidently sought and found
in the company of the devout, and the joys of religion. Her father
gently reproves her, in one of his letters, for indulging too much in
"sombre" thoughts, and talking of "trials presenting themselves
everywhere." But it is evident that it was to his own trials that she
referred, and his depression may have extended sometimes, though very
seldom, to her. He himself says of this state of feeling, "I was not
without fear that I had imparted it to you, which would grieve me much."

During the long period of her grandmother's sickness, Mary formed a new
attachment, opening to her a fountain of the purest enjoyment. She was a
constant attendant on the preaching of Dr. Channing. When a child, she
loved to go to his church with that relative and devoted friend of the
family, who, though of the same age as her mother, still lives to mourn
the loss of all of them. Led by that hand, which was to her as the hand
of a mother to the very end of life, (may we not so far depart from our
rule, in regard to the living, as to give the venerable name of Ann
Bent?) Mary listened very early and intently to the man who has moved
multitudes of every age. As she grew up, her evident and strong
preference for his preaching over all other is said to have been the
subject of "a little affectionate bantering on her mother's part," while
to her more rigid father it was so little agreeable as to cause at times
some trial of feeling and a conflict of duty. But where duty pertained
to God and the whole existence, she never doubted long. Her decision was
taken deliberately, with respect and gentleness, but with a force and
faith that never wavered, and never failed to supply strength and
consolation in her varied trials. Indeed, it was amid trials, as we have
seen, that she first consecrated herself to Christ, soon after her
mother's death. And now that she was daily watching the decline of
another life very dear to her, at the bedside of her aged grandmother,
her letters are chiefly filled with accounts of her vivid interest in
the _preaching_ she hears, and the effect it has upon her character. Two
of these letters we give together, as relating to the same subject,
though written several months apart.

     "_Boston, Sunday Evening, Sept 15, 1816._

     "How frequently have I heard it said, that we never feel the
     true happiness of having a friend more than when, overwhelmed
     with feelings it cannot control, the heart seeks relief in the
     sympathizing bosom of that Being who alone can comprehend them;
     and never, my dear N----, did I feel this truth more than at
     the present moment, never did I feel more eager to open to your
     view my whole heart, to _show_ you the emotions excited in it,
     for I feel sensible that I cannot describe them. It will not
     surprise you that Mr. Channing's sermons are the cause; but no
     account that I can give could convey any idea of them. You have
     heard some of the same class; they so entirely absorb the
     feelings as to render the mind incapable of action, and
     consequently leave on the memory at times no distinct
     impression. That in the morning from this text, 'He that
     forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple,' was
     calculated more than any thing I had _then_ heard, to exalt the
     Christian character; but that this afternoon was as if an angel
     spoke,--'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,
     and I will give you rest. Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly
     of heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.' Happiness, or,
     as it is here expressed, 'rest to the soul,' does not, it is
     evident, depend on our situation, as may be proved by a slight
     view of the condition of mankind in general. We see them
     constantly aspiring to something beyond what they possess, but
     which, when attained, adds not to their peace, but rather
     increases their discontent....

     "I doubt whether I have succeeded in giving you any idea of
     what Mr. Channing's sermon really contained, as I cannot
     remember any thing of it but the impression it made on my
     feelings, and I have, I find, given you rather a transcript of
     them than any of his original ideas, as you will readily
     perceive. The object of it, however, was to prove that the only
     real happiness to be enjoyed in the world was to be found in
     that peace of mind which a true and lively faith in the wisdom
     and mercy of God necessarily inspires in the Christian, and
     without which all the pleasures this world can give will fail
     to convey to the heart even one transient gleam of real
     enjoyment. Could you only have been here, you would, I know,
     have been much benefited by it; but you could not feel it as I
     did, for you do not so much require it. My reason and
     conscience have always told me that it was not right to let any
     of the trials I have met, and still meet with, destroy for a
     moment my peace; and though they have sometimes conquered my
     weaker feelings, yet there are times when I find my own
     strength so insufficient that I am almost tempted to doubt
     whether it be in my power to attain. This morning, I felt more
     than ever my weakness, from having had a long and unsuccessful
     struggle the whole of yesterday with myself. That the precious
     privileges this day has afforded me are not lost upon me, I
     hope to prove in the day of future trial. Forgive my egotism,
     but I know to whom I write.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "You said to me, as we were returning from meeting to-day, in
     answer to my observation that 'I had been depending on this day
     during the whole week, and had unexpectedly realized all the
     feelings I anticipated,' that you, too, had expected much,
     thinking that Mr. Channing would give us the sermon he did. I
     have often thought that the very great pleasure we take in
     hearing him preach has given us other feelings and motives in
     our attendance on church than ought to be allowed by the devout
     Christian. The good which is to be obtained from one of _his_
     sermons particularly is indeed a great object, and sufficient
     to induce us to attend the hearing of them whenever there is an
     opportunity; but in our eagerness to hear the sermon, to admire
     it, and endeavor to improve by it, the original intention of
     public worship, I fear, is in a manner lost on us. Do we, when
     we go to the house of God, feel that we are as it were entering
     his more immediate presence? He is, it is true, present with us
     in all places, and at all times; but in the world it is not
     required, neither is it practicable, that our whole thoughts
     should be devoted to any one subject; but when we go to the
     house of worship, is it not that we may, by shutting out of our
     minds the world and all that it contains, give to the Lord of
     the Sabbath every thought? Was it not for this end he gave us
     the day, and renews our strength every week? We are called
     together to worship, not merely with our lips, but to unite
     every thought and feeling in adoration. It is a privilege thus
     to be enabled to call our minds entirely from the cares and
     troubles of life; it gives to those who are oppressed by them
     some idea of heaven, when all the trials which now torture them
     will be for ever forgotten; and to all it should be esteemed a
     high and holy privilege, setting aside the delightful
     instruction we receive, thus to hold communion with Heaven, for
     I can compare it to nothing else. It seems often to me, while
     in the hour of prayer I give myself up to the thought of
     heaven, as though I had in reality left the world, and was
     enjoying that which is promised to the Christian. I fear,
     however, these feelings are too often delusive; we substitute
     the love of holiness for the actual possession, and often
     deceive ourselves. But if we can keep our reason unclouded, we
     have nothing to fear from feeling too much. I would not be
     understood to mean, that the delightful, improving preaching we
     are in the habit of hearing is not a good motive for carrying
     us to meeting; but it is not enough, if it be the only one; if
     the happiness of an unreserved devotion of thought to God is
     not sufficiently great to induce us to seek every opportunity
     of enjoying it, I fear the true, vital piety, which is the only
     support of religion, is imperfectly gained by us.

     "I have not time to write more. I doubt if I have explained
     myself intelligibly, but more of this at some future period. I
     presume there is an appearance of vanity in one paragraph,
     which I will some time explain.


This fervid religious interest and enjoyment seems to have filled her
heart, and absorbed her thoughts, more and more, until, in the following
summer, it led to a personal interview with Dr. Channing, of the most
interesting kind, to be described only in her own words.

     "_Boston, July 10, 1817._

     "There is a certain state of feeling, or I may now say passion,
     in which the heart must either find relief in utterance, or
     burst; when all the powers of mind and body are suspended, and
     thought, feeling, sensation, are all centred in one sole
     object. It is at such moments as these that we feel the true
     value of a friend who will submit patiently to our detail, and
     sympathize in all. I have just had a long--(I do not know what
     to call it)--with our dear minister. You know how long I have
     wished, yet dreaded it. That I should ever have _dreaded_ it
     appears now a most astonishing fact, except that I knew it
     would humble me to the dust. And why should I not be so

     "It chanced that grandma was too unwell to see him; and I,
     though not in the most composed state of mind that can be
     imagined, was to sit down alone with him, fully determined to
     improve the opportunity and say all that I had so long wished.
     I put on as collected an appearance as could possibly be
     required, and, trembling at the very centre of my heart, met
     him with a smile of joy. Indifferent subjects soon entirely
     subdued all kind of internal embarrassment, (external, I did
     not permit,) when, to my great annoyance, C---- walked in! O
     that I could have rendered him invisible,--deaf, dumb,--any
     thing, for the time being! But patience triumphed; I contrived
     at last to let him understand that I wished him far away. He
     took the hint, but when he rose to go, Mr. Channing did so
     also! I could not but detain him. How I did it, or what
     followed on my part, I know not; I heard all he said, I laid
     every word carefully aside in my mind to be enjoyed at some
     future period, but how foolish, how weak, how every thing
     irrational _I_ was, I cannot, dare not, think. I told him as
     well as I could, with what views and feelings I presumed to
     deviate from the path in which I had been led by my parents,
     what he had done for me, and what I hoped to do for myself. I
     could not have been intelligible, but I will not regret that I
     attempted, though I could not succeed. I am relieved by what he
     said of many unpleasant, oppressive feelings. I felt that I was
     detaining him, or I might have been rather more collected. What
     a state has he left me in! O, could I for ever preserve the
     remembrance of what now fills my heart, could I ever feel as I
     now do, that I am one of the least of all beings, capable of
     being better but shamefully neglecting my best interests,
     awfully responsible for the inestimable privileges I enjoy, but
     wholly unmindful of them.

     "Dearest N----, I am wrong to impose on your patience, but I
     am too selfish to resist. Forgive this sentence. I do not doubt
     your interest, but I may talk too long. This is not the fervor
     of sudden enthusiasm; no, I have long felt my sinfulness, but
     the excitement of talking to Mr. Channing has made me now utter
     it. Give me your prayers, give me your advice, assist me in
     elevating my heart to higher objects, purer joys, than this
     world can give. I love it too well; I want the severing hand of
     trial to rend asunder the thousand evil passions which connect
     me with it.

     "I have scribbled this at your desk; this quiet retreat has
     calmed me. It is, perhaps, fortunate that you were not at home,
     except that you would have been saved this fine specimen of
     what an egotist can write. O dear, how weak I am! excitement is
     so new to me, that it almost deprives me of the use of my
     understanding, or I should not thus betray myself. I know not
     what I am coming to; I was very foolish yesterday; I have been
     worse to-day. Do come and see me to-morrow and lend me a little
     sense, or if you cannot spare it, exercise it yourself over the
     mind of your senseless friend,


During this season of peculiar experience, Mary sought the confidence,
and enjoyed the sympathy, not only of the one friend to whom the last
letters were written, but also of her late instructors in Hingham. The
correspondence between them is of the most confiding character, and
shows a mutual respect and sense of obligation in pupil and teacher.
"Talk not of gratitude, my dear Mary," the latter writes; "has not every
kindness we have ever had it in our power to show you been more than
cancelled by your unremitting assiduities to serve and please us? The
uniform disposition you have ever shown to promote the ease and
happiness of all around you, will long remain a sweet remembrance of one
whose image is connected in my mind with every softer virtue,
accompanied by that strength of mind which would enable you, if called
upon, to sustain uncommon trials. No, I shall not, I cannot, be
disappointed in you, my dear young friend; you will be all that your
opening character now promises, because you have built on a sure
foundation. If my life is spared, I anticipate much pleasure from the
continuation of a friendship thus commenced. May it be increased and
strengthened while we sojourn together on earth, and may we have the
happiness of exciting each other to a higher standard of excellence than
is generally adopted by the world, and thus be prepared for the society
of those pure and holy beings we hope hereafter to join." These
expressions of confidence and encouragement were probably induced by the
trying circumstances in which Mary was then placed, partly from her
father's misfortunes and feeble health, and partly from the weight of
her responsibilities in a household where there was not only sickness,
but other and sorer trials. She went very little into society, and was
thrown entirely upon her own resources, in the midst of arduous and
delicate duties. Some of her struggles, and the sources of her peace,
are intimated in the following letters to Miss Cushing.

     "_Boston, June 19, 1817._

     "As I can neither see you nor hear from you, my dear Miss
     Cushing, I must write you, if it be only to say how much I
     think of and desire to see you. I know too well that I do not
     deserve any indulgence from you, but there is something so
     solitary, and at times almost overpowering, in the idea that
     those whom we have best loved, with whom we have passed happy
     hours of intercourse and sympathy, are, though still dear,
     divided from us, not perhaps by distance, but by circumstances
     which we cannot control, that I am almost tempted to repine
     that such must be our situation. You will, I know, be ready to
     ask why I have so neglected the only means in my power of
     continuing that intercourse? I would not complain of it, but I
     have little time, and so many occupations which the call of
     duty bids me not neglect, that I seldom write to any one, and
     always in so much haste that I should be ashamed to send such
     epistles to you. Beside all this, I have so little intercourse
     with the world, or those in it in whom I think you would be
     interested, that I must, from a dearth of ideas in this poor
     brain, write almost wholly of self, the most odious and
     wearisome of all topics. But this very isolation makes me
     depend so much on every little iota of external excitement,
     that I should be satisfied, or rather content, with any thing
     in the form of a letter you would find time to give me....

     "I have felt, and I believe have expressed to you, or Miss
     P----, a kind of discontent sometimes operating on my mind at
     the want of opportunity to become what I have vainly thought I
     might be. But this is all over, and I am satisfied that I must
     be content with a very low degree in the scale of knowledge.
     But I trust I may be good, though never great, and am confident
     that the peculiar situation in which I am placed is one more
     calculated for me than any I could choose for myself. Trial is
     necessary to me, and I am happy in it, except when I am
     conscious it is not improved as it should be. It is not for us,
     who have so many blessings, to murmur if our faith is sometimes
     put to the test; did we view things aright, what now seems
     judgment is in truth mercy. What should we be, were we not
     sometimes reminded of our sins and the weakness of our minds?
     Surely, then, whatever may be the trials which bring us to a
     true sense of our accountability to our Father in heaven, they
     are the kindest expressions of his goodness. I never could have
     any gloomy views of religion, and the more experience I have of
     its cheering influences in the hearts of its votaries, the more
     I am convinced that it is the only sure guide to happiness even
     in this world; how much more in another!

     "You will forgive me for writing you just what happened to
     occupy my mind. It is an indulgence that I cannot resist, to be
     able to communicate a few of my feelings and thoughts. I fear
     you will think I impose too much on your goodness.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, August 20, 1817._


     "There are, I believe, moments in the lives of all human
     beings, when, from some cause or other, the heart is saddened
     by a feeling of peculiar loneliness, which, though perhaps
     rather a disease of the imagination than the effect of real
     circumstances, is nevertheless irresistible. I have felt this
     in the gayest period of my life, and it is not strange that I
     should now often experience it. Leading a perfectly monotonous
     existence, my resources of animal spirits are not entirely
     sufficient to supply the call of duty and the hour of solitude
     too. And when evening closes, and my beloved charge is laid
     peacefully to rest, excitement ceases, and I am thrown on
     myself for pleasure. Then it is that I long to be with friends,
     whom I can only visit in imagination; then I long to annihilate
     distance, and talk with you. It is, I know, imposing on your
     goodness to attempt to write you under the influence of such
     feelings, but it is an indulgence I can hardly resist,
     convinced as I am that, when you are assured it is a relief to
     a poor solitary, your benevolent heart will pardon me. I would
     not convey that I am unhappy in this situation. O, no!--there
     is such a thing as being 'pleased, and yet sad'; and though

     'The heart will feel, the tear will steal,
      For auld lang syne sae dear,'

     yet I rejoice with joy unspeakable that the present is still
     filled with many privileges and pleasures, and that I can with
     perfect trust refer the future to Him who appointeth all things
     in mercy. I wish most sincerely I could communicate something
     interesting to you, to redeem my miserable letters from the
     charge of perfect egotism, but I live so wholly out of the
     sphere of the interesting part of the world, that I am as
     ignorant of all that passes within it as those who know not
     that it exists. It is this reason which has often withheld me
     from writing you when indeed I wished for my own sake to
     indulge in it, and I think you will be fully convinced of the
     wisdom of my forbearance after the perusal of this.


And now another trial impended, to be followed by other and important
changes in her condition of life. In the autumn of this year her
grandmother died. For the event itself, so long expected and not to be
lamented, she was prepared. But some of its circumstances were unusually
trying, and she well knew that its consequences might be still more sad.
Yet how little these considerations affected her, in comparison with the
moral aspects and spiritual lessons of the change, may be seen in her
own account of the last sickness, to N. C. S.

     "_Boston, Sunday Night, October 12, 1817._

     "You have so long indulged my selfish propensity of
     communicating to you every feeling that chances to be excited
     in my heart, that I find it difficult, when under the influence
     of any peculiar emotion, to resist the ever-present desire to
     impart all to you. But this would be the height of folly and
     weakness, and I therefore contend against it with all my
     powers. There are, however, certain kinds of feeling of such a
     doubtful nature, that the agency of some external power is
     absolutely necessary for the proper management of them. Of this
     nature, I am persuaded, are those by which I am now
     overpowered; and lest I should be too much led away by them, I
     must beg your assistance in ascertaining their origin and
     tendency. This may seem too systematic for any one who feels
     _much_, but the violence of the tempest has passed, and that
     deadly calm which always succeeds the raging of the elements
     naturally inclines the mind to thought and reflection.

     "I have lived for the last few months in the hourly
     contemplation of a most striking picture of the end of human
     life, the termination of all its joys and sorrows, the
     annihilation of its hopes and wishes. This could not fail to
     impress with sadness a mind in full possession of its powers of
     enjoyment, and for a time to give it almost a disgust of all
     those pleasures and pursuits which must so soon fail before the
     dim eye and feeble energies of approaching age. It had, in a
     great degree, this effect on me; for the moments have been when
     I would willingly have surrendered life rather than live in the
     expectation of such an end,--to outlive the ability to engage
     in its duties. I now tremble at the thought of ever having
     suffered such feelings for a moment, to possess my mind.
     Continued and deep reflection on the object of all this, the
     comparative nothingness of every thing in this world, the hopes
     and prospects of another and better, meditation on the
     spiritual life, and occasional experience of the real happiness
     of that elevation of soul above earthly things which religion
     alone can impart, have overcome this melancholy, and sometimes
     produced almost a feeling of triumph. I have this evening been
     almost overwhelmed with a variety of emotions, of which this
     was the most prominent. Grandma has thought herself dying, and
     has been conversing with me on her approaching change with that
     most heavenly calmness which those only who rely on the mercy
     of God, through the merits of his Son, can experience at this
     trying hour. This, together with joining in prayer with her
     that we might all welcome this hour as she did, and her final
     parting with all in the house, has elevated my mind so much
     above this transitory scene, that I can scarcely believe I
     shall ever be so weak as again to be engrossed by it. I cannot
     describe the state of my mind. I never _felt_ so before, though
     I have often imagined that others have. It is almost a kind of
     transport at the thought that this mortal shall put on
     immortality, that there is within us an ethereal spark which
     can never be extinguished or grow dim, capable of rising
     superior to the pains and weakness which bend these frail
     bodies to the ground. O, it is a joy unspeakable! Viewed
     through this medium, death loses its sting, and the idea of a
     glorious immortality alone presents itself with the view of its

     "But alas! I can place no dependence on the continuance of my
     feelings beyond the moment that excites them. My life is a mere
     vision; the world in which I act has no connection with that in
     which I think. My pleasure, my happiness, is so far independent
     of the objects around me, that I can hardly associate them
     together. Having little else to do than meditate, I exist
     almost in imagination, and communicate so little with others on
     the subject of my thoughts, that it seems like living two
     beings; the greater part of my time is passed in this ideal
     world, and I am consequently unfitted to mix in the real one in
     which I am placed. This is a misfortune and a fault. Which has
     the greatest share of blame? It is most unfavorable to true
     Christian humility; for, as Mr. Channing says of the effects of
     a diseased imagination, 'We feel superiority to the world in
     ascending the airy height, and pride ourselves in this
     refinement of the mind. After arraying ourselves in the robes
     of glory, we cannot take the lowly seat which Christianity
     assigns us.' Thus, then, although this elevation above the
     objects of this vain world may be a right spirit when it rises
     from the pure flow of real piety, if it be only the enthusiasm
     of the moment, which rises for a time and then vanishes away,
     an abstract theory which would not be practised upon in the
     hour of temptation, it had better never have been. When we have
     once been imposed on, we know not what to trust. All my
     purposes of goodness and high resolves are as yet but theories,
     which I fear I should never put in practice should temptation
     assail me. O, I dare not be thus happy!




The first change consequent upon the death of old Mrs. Lovell, was the
leaving of the house in Pearl Street. This, to Mary, was not a small
matter. It was not the mere moving of furniture, nor the living in one
street rather than another, of the same town. It was the loss of the
earliest and only HOME that she had ever known; and none are to be
envied who cannot enter into the feelings which such an event must
awaken in a heart like hers. With little of the romantic in her nature,
and as great independence of the merely local and external as is often
seen, her love of family and early friends, her memory of childhood and
all its associations, the very changes and sufferings which had made so
large a part of her life, were all identified with "that house" as the
place of their birth, and bound her to it by the strongest chords.
Within a month of the day of her grandmother's death, she wrote her last
letter there, which, with the first that was written out of the house,
will show what she felt, and why.

     "_Boston, November, 1817._

     "It is with many new and peculiar feelings that I attempt to
     write you for the last time from this blessed spot, rendered
     doubly sacred to me from having been the scene of that intimacy
     which ever has been, and I trust ever will be, one of the
     purest sources of happiness which it has pleased my Heavenly
     Father to bestow on me.... It has been _one_ of the happy
     effects of the trials which, during the last few years, have
     fallen to my lot, to produce a more unreserved acquaintance
     between us than under any other circumstances could have been
     effected. I bless them in all their influences, but
     particularly in this, that they have brought me the knowledge
     and affection of such a friend. I should blush at the
     recollection of the numberless follies, weaknesses, and sins
     which this frail heart has discovered to you, but I wish you to
     know me entirely; the candid confession of faults is the
     greatest proof of confidence I could give. But that delightful
     intercourse which has so much conduced to this must for a time
     be broken off, perhaps never again to be renewed in this
     changing world. Change of situation will necessarily preclude
     the possibility of that continued intercourse of thought and
     feeling, which has been the joy of the past. I cannot admit the
     idea that this will weaken the bonds that unite us, much less
     can I think it will break them. But I have been the creature of
     situation; my character (if any thing I possess can be entitled
     to the name) has been moulded by circumstances peculiar in
     their nature, and which will soon cease to exist. What I shall
     be in the wide world into which I am going to enter, I know
     not. I hope, yet fear to change. Without a guide to lead me in
     the right path, I fear my inexperienced steps will stray into
     some of the many fascinating, delusive snares which are found
     in every direction. My course has hitherto been over an old and
     beaten track, secure by its remoteness from all temptation.
     What, then, shall I do, when the whole host of the world's
     allurements are presented at once to my weakness?

     "I wish I could describe to you the feelings which the very
     prospect of leaving this house excites in this poor, weak
     heart,--so weak that it cannot subdue or control its emotions.
     It would seem romantic and visionary to any one who had been
     accustomed to change; but this house supplied in a great
     measure the relation of instructor, parent, and friend. And it
     is true, that in every part are recorded by association the
     admonitions of those friends I have known in it, or lessons
     which the experience of repeated trials has impressed in
     indelible characters on these scenes. Here, when temptation
     assailed, and this frail heart was on the point of surrendering
     to it, would the remembrance of former good resolutions,
     presented by the very walls around me, recall my wandering
     virtue, and strengthen me to new exertions. And to that sacred
     retreat, that sanctuary of all my joys and sorrows, I owe, if
     not the creation, at least the preservation of the best
     feelings I possess. There I find the history of the most
     important moments of my life, for in that spot did the first
     sincere and heartfelt aspirations of my soul to its Creator
     find utterance; and there, too, have I always found support
     under trial, in prayer. It were an endless work to recount all
     the associations which attach me to this only home I have ever
     known; it would be to give you a minute account of every
     transaction which has taken place since I lived here.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, December, 1817._

     "For the first time since I left that loved spot in Pearl
     Street have I seated myself at my _desk_; and, although my
     object in now doing so was a very different one, I cannot
     resist the impulse which the sight of it gives, to renew the
     employment, so wont to be pursued at it, of pouring forth a few
     of my feelings to my friend. It is so long since I have had an
     opportunity to do so, and so various have been the
     occurrences, and still more various the feelings which it has
     been my lot to experience in the course of the last two months,
     that, though my mind is full of what I wish to communicate, I
     am as much at a loss what to write as if all was vacancy. This
     poor little, unconscious desk has carried me back, against my
     will, to scenes which it were wise seldom to think of. The last
     time I wrote at it was the last evening I spent in the I 'oaken
     parlor,' when all was sad and solitary. But I cannot dwell on
     it. I find in the record of that evening prophecies which are
     hourly fulfilling. I felt deeply impressed with a sense of
     insufficiency to meet with, and bear aright, the temptations
     which a life of indulgence would present. I felt that I was not
     fit for society, and I feel so still, but more sensibly, more
     truly, for it is now the lesson of experience, sad indeed. But
     a truce with such feelings;--it is not of them I wish to write.
     This wicked desk has conjured up the old complaining spirit
     which so used to haunt me whenever I attempted scribbling to
     you. I am happy, contented with any change that has or may take
     place. I only ask a less selfish, more disinterested frame of
     mind,--to be more independent of the opinion of others, when a
     consciousness of sincere endeavor to do right acquits me of
     actual transgression. Selfish are all my regrets, all my
     trials, and wherefore, then, trouble another with a detail of
     what self alone can sympathize in, or ameliorate, or cure? I
     will not;--for once, I will follow reason rather than

     "The more I know of the world, the more I see of the beings who
     constitute what is so called, the more the hopes and wishes
     which excite and keep alive their energies sink into
     insignificance, and the more my own restlessness and anxiety
     about the cares and pursuits of life excite my astonishment and
     contempt. We surely were not placed in this world solely to be
     occupied by its allurements, or, without reference to the
     design of our Creator in placing us here, to pursue that which
     seems to us the most easy and pleasant path. And with our
     reasons convinced, how can we so unweariedly pursue that
     phantom happiness which has here no fixed abode? We acknowledge
     that nothing here can satisfy us, and yet vainly delude
     ourselves with the hope of soon attaining some ideal joy which,
     like the philosopher's stone, will convert all into solid
     happiness. One would think I had been disappointed in some fond
     hope, or found too late _my_ fancied joy a dream. But no, I am
     not disappointed, for I have never anticipated; and if aught I
     have said savors of this temper of mind, I would recall it.

     "Mr. Colman advised me never to write in the evening, lest I
     should deceive myself and my friend with an exaggerated account
     of what in the light of day would prove false. I am half
     asleep, and therefore will take his advice, and I already find
     myself on the verge of the gulf,--self-deception.

     "M. L. P."

To some it will seem strange, that one of such faith and principle, with
no proneness or taste for the follies of the world, should express fear
of "fascinating, delusive snares," or think for a moment of the "whole
host of the world's allurements." But this will be understood by those
who remember that strength does not lie in a sense of security, nor
wisdom in assurance. It seems to have been ever a part of Mary Pickard's
wisdom, to own her weakness. And more than this, the evil that she
feared was not that coarse, palpable thing usually called "vice," but
the invisible, subtle evil, so serious to the sensitive and pure mind,
though by the many lightly regarded. "I fear not actual vice," she said
at this very time, "but to become thoughtless, forgetful of duty,
unmindful of my highest interests, is to my mind a more deadly sin than
many which are accounted by the world _crimes_. It is this I most dread.
My conscience, or, should that fail, my friends, would save me from the
first, but who can control the thoughts of my heart?" Thus fearing, thus
armed, she went out into the world, beginning at this point her life of
self-guidance. Of her means of support we know little. She was not
dependent. From her grandparents, to whom she had been so true a child,
she received enough to enable her to assist her father in his
depression, though it is evident that he took no more than was
absolutely necessary, and that she retained enough for her wants, more
than she used to the time of her marriage. This could have been
accomplished, however, only by a uniform and strict economy, whose
necessity she never regretted, except as it curtailed her charities.

And now began a life of business and of motion. Since her return from
England, at the age of five, Mary had been from home very little, and
only for her schooling. Hereafter she is to become a traveller, to a
greater degree than was then common for a lady, and greater than she
desired. Her journeyings, we infer, were always more for others than
herself; either for the gratification of friends, or in aid of her
father. For she seems to have become, in various ways, his active as
well as domestic helper, and was intrusted by him, we should judge from
their letters, with important business. For some purpose of this kind,
in the year following our last date, she went, for the first time, to
New York. And the account she gives of the preparations and the journey,
while it shows what changes there have been since, shows also how much
there was on her mind and her hands. She speaks of getting but four
hours for sleep from having "so great a variety of occupation,--so much
for my poor, weak head to think of." And then, half playfully, half in
earnest, she writes of being "at last equipped for a journey probably of
two months." But we must give a part of the letter itself; showing, as
it does, how near to her, even in her busiest moments and most fatiguing
labors, were the higher cares of the mind and the soul.

     "I am glad of having a great deal to do; any thing that will
     call my little powers into exercise gives me a transient
     feeling of consequence, which, as it is highly flattering to
     vanity, produces rather pleasant sensations. I will not enter
     on the subject of leaving home, and setting out on an
     expedition fraught with untried temptations, and presenting
     even in the most favorable view a scene of life little
     calculated to satisfy my taste or warm my heart. But I believe
     there may be instruction found in every situation, and I hope
     that seeing eyes and an understanding heart will be given me,
     to discern and improve it. I cannot tell you how much more I
     feel than I ever did before, at leaving home;--I cannot; it is
     in vain to attempt so vast a subject at such a time. I have
     been highly favored the last two Sundays in hearing two of Mr.
     Channing's most delightful sermons, which I hope will not be
     soon forgotten. Last Sunday was the anniversary of many
     eventful days to me. The first Sabbath in September has for
     many years been a memorable day to me, and this last, I think,
     exceeds them all. It is three months since I have been at home
     on Communion-day, and the coldness which I had felt creeping
     through my very soul gave me a feeling of hope that I should
     find something to excite and elevate my affections. I never
     felt more entirely humbled to the dust, or more sensible of the
     immense privilege we enjoy, in having such a man to guide us on
     our way. But I am so excessively weary that I cannot write
     more,--scarcely to assure you of the warm affection of your

     "M. L. P."

The journey to New York, by way of Providence and Norwich, was "a week's
work," though it seems to have been all used in travelling, but with
many "adventures" and delays incident to the beginning of
steamboats,--against which, notwithstanding the discomforts and perils,
Mary expresses herself "not so prejudiced that I should be unwilling to
step on board one again." The letters she writes from the great city, so
new and strange, are almost exclusively business letters to her father,
and his replies show that he had given her important commissions, to be
discharged in person, and in her own discretion. Directions are given
for the sale or purchase, not only of muslins and moreens, but also of
skins, saltpetre, and the like. And at the end of several weeks, in
which she seems not to have indulged herself in much recreation, she
speaks of returning as soon as she "has seen the city."

But instead of returning, she was induced by a tempting opportunity to
go still farther from home, and with no time to get her father's
permission,--a liberty evidently new on her part, and receiving at first
severe reproof from him. The incident is not important, except as
showing their relation to each other, and the manner in which she
incurred and endured (being now a woman) the only harsh language that we
find addressed to her by her father,--though it is clear that he always
inclined to be exacting. The trouble in this case was, that he first
heard from another of her being seen on her way to Baltimore, when he
thought her safe with friends in New York, if not on her way home. The
fact was easily explained. A gentleman with whom she was intimate
invited her to accompany him to Baltimore, where she had long wished to
visit a cousin newly married and settled there; and, with the approval
of those with whom she was staying, she accepted the invitation as
suddenly as she received it, "and in two hours was in the stage for
Baltimore," to ride night and day till she arrived there. As soon as
possible after her arrival, she wrote to her father all the
circumstances, giving her reasons in a way that should and did avert his
displeasure entirely. But unfortunately he had already heard of the
runaway by accident, and one is forced to smile at the manner in which
it affected him. Not waiting to hear from Mary, he instantly wrote to
the lady in New York with whom she had staid,--"I am exceedingly vexed
and mortified that she should do any thing so foolish, and cannot
conceive how she will be able to justify herself; had I had any idea she
would have been so indiscreet, I would not have consented to her
leaving Boston. I have been expecting daily to hear what was likely to
be done with some muslins she had the charge of; but instead of
attending to that, she is flying like a wild goose about the country.
These girls in their teens [Mary was just twenty] should not be let out
of their leading-strings; nor would her's have been let loose, but from
confidence in her discretion." Yet in company with this letter he sent a
note for his daughter, which begins with saying he can hardly call her
"dear," but ends in a very different tone; and the first letter he
receives sets all right. His only anxiety now is to have her with him,
coupled, however, with a fear as to her companion home, and again making
us smile by a prediction which has been singularly reversed in the
fulfilment. "If you are well, pray come by the first _good_ opportunity.
I am afraid you will wait till the end of the month for the parson; your
being so fond of parsons is rather ominous, and you had better almost be
any man's wife than a parson's." The parson referred to was Mr. Colman
of Hingham, now returning from a visit to Baltimore. It is a pleasant
conclusion of this little episode, and offers a hint to children as well
as parents, that, when Mary found how much her father had felt, without
blaming herself for doing what seemed right and a duty, she expressed
such sorrow for the pain she had given him, in terms so respectful and
filial, as to turn all his severity against himself, and increase his
admiration and love for her. The next time he refers to her fondness for
the "clergy," it is in a vein of pleasantry which seldom relieves his
merchant-like letters. "Could you not, my dear, enliven your letters by
writing of persons and things which you have seen? I think your letters
are too much tinctured with what may be called moral philosophy, for so
young a person. You are so fond of the clergy, you will get into a habit
of writing like one of them, and if you were to turn Quaker, I have no
doubt but you would preach yourself. Tell us something of Baltimore, how
it is situated, &c.; and, as Mrs. Slipslop says, something of the
'contagious country.' Pray take care of your own health, and get the
family well soon."

The last words refer to the actual cause of Mary's protracted absence.
On returning to New York, intending to go home by the first opportunity,
she found her good friend, Mrs. Harman, whom she was visiting before,
dangerously ill, the husband absent, and the family in great confusion
and trouble. At once she became the director and nurse,--offices which
she seemed destined to fill wherever she went, as her subsequent life
will show. All thought now of herself and her plans yielded to the
present duty. And not an easy duty could it have been, as she describes
the severity of the mother's sickness, the care of difficult children,
and her responsibility in another's house and a strange city. As soon as
they were in a condition to be left, she returned to Boston, though Mr.
Pickard even urged her to stay longer, for rest and her own

For a year or more Mary and her father remained together in Boston, with
no change or incident to be noticed. They were living at board, so far
as we find, though they may have taken a house, as he seemed very
anxious before her return to be alone with her, having an aversion to
company, and preferring her society and care to all other.

In her correspondence at this time, the prevailing theme and object, as
usual, were religion and its influences, for herself and others. We
cannot but observe the preponderance of this theme, and yet its
perfectly natural and healthy tone. With nothing dark or melancholy in
her religious views, with an habitual horror of ostentation and cant,
she lost no opportunity to cherish and diffuse an all-comprehending
faith. The letters which follow, addressed to her constant friend,
declare their own occasion and design.

     "_Boston, August 12, 1819._

     "There was something in the strain of your last letter to me
     which has given me some feelings of anxiety. You refer to the
     course of medical discipline which has been pursued with
     Mr. ---- with expressions of regret, which, though natural, must
     add greatly to every other painful feeling that his present
     situation, and perhaps loss, must inevitably excite. I cannot
     reprehend you for what I know but too well is the natural
     impulse under such circumstances; but I would, if it were
     possible, point to a healing balm for that worst of all
     wounds,--fruitless regret.

     "I am no fatalist, but the continual influence of an unerring
     Providence is a truth which was early impressed on my heart,
     and which daily observation has confirmed and strengthened. The
     simple order of nature speaks it with a powerful voice; the
     sacred pages of God's own book proclaim it in terms which
     cannot be misconstrued; and would we impartially review our
     own lives, should we not see in them incontrovertible proofs of
     an unseen power, that guided and directed many things for our
     happiness which our blindness would have wished otherwise? And
     are we to assent to this truth only when our minds can clearly
     see its reality? Are we to withhold our confidence in Him whom
     we have always found mighty to save, because we cannot in a
     single instance see its practicability? O, no! far be it from
     us, who profess to acknowledge the being and attributes of a
     merciful God, to shrink when he puts our faith to the test. Are
     his so often repeated expressions of love towards his creatures
     mere empty sounds to deceive the credulous, or assist the
     imagination in forming a perfect model of moral sublimity, but
     to wither into airy nothing when we dwell on them for support?
     This we would not, most certainly, admit in our actions, and
     why should we even in our thoughts? Surely, believing, as we
     do, that his promises are sure and steadfast, we may in the
     darkest hours of adversity find consolation in the thought,
     that, however mysterious may be his decrees, there _must_ be
     some good result, some benevolent design, concealed beneath the
     most doubtful appearances.

     "Cowper has beautifully versified this idea in his hymn,

     'God moves in a mysterious way,
      His wonders to perform';

     you will find it in Belknap. Read it for the sake of one whom
     in all trials it has animated and consoled. Forgive me for
     dwelling so long on this subject. Do not infer that I think it
     new to you, but it is one in which I have felt most deeply, on
     which, too, I have had the most severe contentions with the
     spirit that warreth within, and one which, of all others, it is
     necessary for our happiness and goodness to establish in our
     hearts, that it may effectually influence our lives.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Brush Hill, September 22, 1819._

     "It is now a month since the date of your last letter, during
     which time I think I have at least once written you; but our
     intercourse is now so different from what I would desire at
     this peculiarly eventful period, that it seems as if I did
     nothing, if I do not tell you every day how much depends on its
     events. I have been with you in a happy vision, and awake to
     the sad disappointment that it is but a dream, and to the
     consciousness that for a long time my unfruitful pen will be my
     only means of communication. It would be weak to repine at what
     is inevitable; I will not give way to it. How often have you
     told me that you were almost tempted to pray for trial, that
     you might know the true state of your religious life, that you
     might have your faith put to the test, and the veil of
     self-deception taken from your eyes! Often have I prayed that,
     whenever it should please the Disposer of all things to send to
     you sorrow and affliction, you might find strength and support
     where least expected, not from your own resources, but in that
     arm which is mighty to save to the uttermost all who seek. It
     is not, however, simply in the belief that whatever He appoints
     is right, that you are to receive his dispensations; difficult
     as is the task, we must not rest satisfied with ourselves until
     we have learned to receive with cheerful acquiescence what the
     world calls trials; until we have learned to view all events as
     tending to the same great end, and be thankful for what is
     denied, as well as what is received; knowing that there is but
     one great object in each. This may at first seem too high an
     aim, even above human powers to attain. But it calls not on us
     to give up natural feeling, only to guide it aright, and the
     higher our standard of excellence is fixed, the greater will be
     our efforts to attain it, and our success unquestionably
     proportioned to it.

     "But why talk to you of what you have already more knowledge?
     Forgive me; I lost, in the interest I felt in your present
     happiness, the remembrance that you were not in want of counsel
     on a subject on which you have already experienced enough to
     feel its importance. But do not, my dear friend, look only on
     the dark side of the picture; do not suffer your mind to lose
     its activity, because confined at present to one subject. It is
     not to contract our feelings, but to expand and teach them to
     enter into the feelings of others, that we are made thus to
     experience what it is to suffer. Should it not quicken our
     efforts to alleviate, to our utmost endeavor, those who are
     tried also, and by a cheerful example lighten the hearts of
     fellow-sufferers? I have felt, and _know_ therefore too well,
     the tendency of severe trial to enervate the mind, and lead us
     insensibly to give up our ambition to act on any other subject;
     but our general duties are not the less imposing, because a
     particular one requires more attention, nor are we to give way
     for a moment to the impulse of self-indulgence, because we feel
     any peculiar right to it.... All this is unnecessary, but you
     can conceive how deeply I feel interested in the result of this
     great trial of your Christian faith. I know its difficulties,
     therefore can appreciate its triumphs.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, 1819._

     "I leave the dismal beginning of a letter, intended to excite
     your compassion for my suffering under the confinement of a
     cold, and it would be rather _mal apropos_, after what has
     passed, to proceed in due form to give an account of myself
     during the long period since I last saw you. But in order to
     preserve the unity of time and place, I must first revert to
     the accident which brought us together so opportunely. I will
     not pretend to defend the prudence of the action, but
     acknowledge it was rather the impulse of strong desire to give
     some one a little pleasure, than the sober dictate of reason,
     and I felt that, in M----'s solitary state, she would be glad
     to see any one. I know it was wrong in one point of view, but
     right in another. I was rewarded for a severe sickness, as far
     as regarded my own sufferings, should one have ensued. I had a
     very pleasant ride, and became more acquainted with J---- than
     I could in any other way. I was agreeably surprised to find in
     his conversation so much depth of thought and knowledge of
     mankind. I am glad of any opportunity to extend my acquaintance
     with character, in its infinite variety. There is no human
     knowledge, I am persuaded, which has so great an influence on
     our happiness. We learn to estimate ourselves more justly, and
     in the formation of our own characters we are enabled to
     discriminate between right and wrong more accurately; for in
     nothing are we more liable to confound them, than as respects
     our own feelings and motives. Is it not wilful blindness that
     leads us so often to ridicule in others what we unconsciously
     practise ourselves? Why are we not as cautious to ascertain the
     motives of the conduct of others as of our own? We console
     ourselves, when we have done any thing which to the eyes of the
     world appears weak and foolish, with the thought that our
     motives are good, and with a consciousness of having done what
     was right. All else is of little importance; but did we believe
     that our friends were as much influenced by appearances, in
     their judgment of us, as we are in ours of them, I doubt if the
     approving smile of conscience would always compensate for the
     loss of the good opinion of those we love. Let us not, then,
     judge solely by the conduct of any what are their real
     characters; peculiar circumstances may prevent even our most
     intimate friends from disclosing to us their particular reasons
     for every action; but in that case, if it be a tried friend,
     it were surely a proof of friendship to believe that it is at
     least felt by him to be right. And with regard to people in
     general, let charity have its perfect work, and let us think
     all are free from deliberate faults, till we have good reason
     to suppose otherwise. This is, perhaps, if understood
     literally, rather too liberal a plan for this world of sin and
     wickedness; but as far as is consistent with reason, and our
     previous knowledge of men and manners, is it not just to judge
     of all as we would be judged? I have _felt_ the want of this
     spirit of impartial justice, and speak from experience in some
     respects; in one, I hope never to be tried. I have been what
     you call mysterious; could you understand me, you would, I am
     sure, approve. Believe me, I am not governed by caprice in my
     treatment of friends; if any thing may have appeared so, there
     has always been a motive, and I feel that I may confidently
     rely on your friendship for all charitable construction....

     "I am in a sad state. I long to see you, in hopes of procuring
     some remedy in your better regulated mind. I am so much under
     the dominion of certain sickly feelings of late, that I begin
     to think my mind will never recover its healthy tone again;
     active employment for the good of others is the only preventive
     for such disorders. I have not at present any prospect of such
     a means towards my own recovery, but trust the vital energy of
     my being is not quite extinct, and that ere long it will rise
     and subdue the weaker powers.... I have just thought that it is
     the spring-like feeling of the day that has such a weakening
     effect on my mind. Why do we indulge so much in idealism,
     instead of the real pleasure of our existence? I have no
     opinion of this giving way to imagination in our estimate of


In the month of October a death occurred which awakened all her
sympathy, and the sympathy and sorrow of a large community. The Rev.
John E. Abbot, whose life and character Henry Ware has made familiar to
us all, died in October, at his father's in Exeter, where Mary's friend
was staying as a relative. To both of them he had been a Christian
helper when they most needed Christian counsel and encouragement. His
short life was, indeed, a blessing to all who knew him, and his death
full of "joy and peace in believing." Again was the pen taken, and
solace offered.

     "_Boston, October 15, 1819._

     "I attempted, my dear friend, to write you on Tuesday, for I
     felt then that, all being over, I could calmly write of what
     had passed, and direct your feelings and my own to the future.
     But I knew from experience that a few days' delay would find
     you more in want of a letter; as the necessary exertion which
     attends a scene like that you have passed through occupies the
     whole mind while it is necessary to support it, but leaves,
     when it is passed, a vacuity which needs some external power to
     fill it. Perhaps I too easily found in this an excuse for
     leaving my letter unfinished, and now that I review it, I blush
     at my own weakness. I sought to relieve my own heart, instead
     of strengthening yours. I have been with you every moment since
     I last wrote you, and too fully realized all that you have
     suffered. At the moment I was writing you, that pure spirit was
     taking its flight. I felt it as by intuition, and needed not
     further confirmation. But it was a relief to know that his
     blessed spirit was for ever beyond the reach of pain and
     anguish; that it was exalted to its native home, there to
     realize all that his brightest hopes could anticipate of a
     glorious immortality.

     "I feel an almost total inability to write you on this subject.
     Could I talk to you, there would be time to enlarge on all the
     thoughts which it suggests. But they are so various, so
     interesting, so overpowering, that I know not on which to
     dwell. His virtues are too deeply imprinted on our hearts to
     receive any additional weight by enumeration. We can only go
     forward with them to that world where they shall meet a reward
     proportionate to their value. The remembrance of his character,
     while it awakens every emotion of affection which he excited
     while on earth, sheds on the heart a light which unfolds to the
     eye of faith its glorious perfection in heaven. Nothing in him
     can have escaped the mind of one so closely connected with him;
     friends need not to be reminded of what is imprinted in
     indelible characters on their hearts. But the thought that what
     we so loved and cherished is gone for ever from us, that the
     form by which we have held communion with the spirit is hid for
     ever from our view, the chilling realities of death and decay,
     as they appeal to our purest earthly feelings, are the most
     difficult to contend with. Our brightest visions of the future
     have a most powerful drawback in the horror with which nature
     shrinks from the sad appendages of death.

     "It is this, I think, which more than any thing else makes us
     look forward to our own dissolution with instinctive dread, and
     leads us to avoid, if possible, every thing that reminds us of
     it. But when we view it as it really is, but a step in the
     ceaseless progression which is to carry us on to eternity, as a
     mere change of the external habitation of our spirits, a
     removal of the greatest impediments in our progress towards
     perfection, then, indeed, it loses all its terror, and we think
     of our friends who have passed through it as absent only in
     body, but present in spirit. Our own souls, though still
     connected with an earthly load, form by their derivation from
     heaven a part of the spiritual world, and in proportion as they
     become purified from the corruption of the world, they approach
     the state of those beatified beings who have finished their
     course. And therefore, though separated from them in this
     world, we are allied to them more closely than earthly ties
     could bind us, and must patiently wait for the fulfilment of
     our Father's plans for our joyful removal to them. This is,
     indeed, a new incentive to exertion, to prepare ourselves for
     this change. I have feared it might supersede a still higher
     motive; but how far it may be permitted to influence us, I dare
     not determine. That our earthly affections _may_ be a means of
     leading us to the Creator of them and of all our powers of
     thinking and feeling, I believe must be true, or they would not
     have been given us as sources of such pure enjoyment here. But
     their tendency to make us forget all other considerations, to
     absorb those thoughts which should be directed to higher
     objects, is the trial which always attends every means of
     worldly enjoyment we possess, and as such should be combated
     with our utmost powers....

     "Yours, most truly,
     "M. L. P."

In the summer of 1821 Mary went with her father to live in Dorchester.
And the change from town to country, and from a life of business and
care to the free and still enjoyment of nature, seems to have had both a
favorable and unfavorable effect upon her mind. Unfavorable in part, if
we may trust her own account of herself. In this account, however, there
is a nearer approach to morbidness than we have before seen, and a kind
of self-disparagement, which must have been sincere at the time, but
was not, we think, a part of her essential character. Humble she was
always; truly, deeply humble; yet no one knew better than she, or acted
more upon the truth, that genuine humility says very little about
itself. And the expressions of it which appear in the letters that
follow were made, we are to remember, to a confiding friend, to whom she
declared all that she felt, though it were but the feeling of the
moment, and the next moment recalled. She says herself, in this
connection,--"I believe I have given an extravagant detail of my danger;
and I may be under the influence of one of those fits of distempered
mind, to which I have always been prone." If this were so, it shows the
more what efforts she made, and how completely she brought every such
disposition under the sway of principle, so that few who knew her ever
suspected, we imagine, that any effort was necessary.

But we are ourselves overstating, it may be, the disposition to which we
refer. Wherever it appears, as here, it is connected with such just and
exalted sentiments, that it seems incidental and unimportant.

     "_Dorchester, June 18, 1821._

     "The first line which I date from this place is to you, my
     friend, to whom my first feelings, on all occasions of
     self-interest, turn for sympathy. Your friendly curiosity is
     awake to know what effect a new kind of life is to have on a
     character which I know you feel of some importance to yourself.
     I would not imply that this selfish reason is the only motive
     of your interest, but I seek rather to find in it some pretence
     for indulging myself in the egotism which is creeping over me;
     and which led me to this desk for relief. How much will one
     short week of quiet reflection teach of our own hearts! How
     deceived are we, if we imagine we know ourselves thoroughly,
     when we have been but partially exposed to that change of
     circumstances and situation which alone can develop character
     even to one's self! I have found, indeed, just what I
     anticipated, that the change from constant activity to perfect
     stillness and inaction would of course produce a vacuity which
     time and habit would alone overcome; but I knew not the whole
     weakness of my mind. In the bustle of a busy life (idly busy,
     perhaps, but not the less exciting) I had almost lost sight of
     my natural propensities. Accustomed to find objects to occupy
     my powers wherever I turned, I mistook the simple love of being
     employed for real energy of mind, and therefore did not even
     apprehend the want of power to direct these energies to
     whatever I pleased. But it is not as I thought. My natural turn
     of mind (if I may so call what is perhaps more a weakness of
     heart) is for that calm, saddened view of things, which seeks
     enjoyment from the contemplative in character, and lives rather
     on the food of imagination than reality. I never found in words
     a more accurate description of the prevailing mood of my
     natural feelings than in that exquisite little poem, 'I'm
     pleased, and yet I'm sad,'--yet not of an uneasy, discontented
     temperament, but simply inclined to the purest refinement of
     melancholy. Trials which called for vigor of mind and
     cheerfulness of manner, a situation whose duties required the
     full employment of time which might otherwise have been wasted
     in cultivating this propensity, and perhaps a little pride lest
     those who could not understand it should discover it, and I
     hope a principle which taught me to wage war with what must
     interfere with higher duties,--all these combined to stifle the
     propensity, and I sometimes thought had almost extinguished it.
     But now, removed from those occupations which demanded thought
     as well as action, thrown entirely upon myself, with every
     thing around to inspire the enthusiastic indulgence of fancy,
     my imagination has suddenly taken the reins, and I find it will
     not be without a struggle that reason and principle will
     recover them.

     "I suppose I must set about some new study or dry book, if I
     cannot find some animate subject to interest and fix my mind.
     There is a little deaf and dumb girl just opposite us, and if I
     knew the process I would teach her to read. I must have
     something to do which will rouse my mind to exertion. I have
     employment enough, but it is not of my _mind_, and that is
     unfortunately one which will retrograde if it does not
     progress. I am delighted with our situation, and cannot
     describe to you the sensations of first realizing that I am
     living in the pure, unconfined atmosphere of nature. It has a
     power, which I hope familiarity will never efface, of elevating
     the heart to Him whose 'hand I see, wrought in each flower,
     inscribed on every tree.' It is a privilege which I hope I
     shall fully estimate, to be thus reminded at every glance of
     the love and power of our Father in heaven. I am grateful for
     that goodness which has appointed me so much of the purest
     enjoyment of life, and I would testify it by devoting all my
     powers to his best service. I was not made for solitude of
     heart, and I would find all that my heart requires in the love
     of divine perfection. I think Foster will do me good,--'On the
     Epithet Romantic.'

     "I have just been taking a delightful walk, as the sun was
     setting gloriously, and I think if you were only with me I
     should enjoy it tenfold. I wish you could arrange matters to
     come out with father one night before you go, and we will go to


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Dorchester, July 25, 1821._

     "I wrote you last rather a monotonous round of sedentary
     employments, occasionally interrupted by a visit to the city,
     or a ride about the country. On the whole I enjoy life highly,
     although my present mode is so novel a one, that I am sometimes
     at a loss to decide whether it is actual enjoyment or negative
     indulgence of ease. But country life is a privilege I estimate
     most highly; that I can at all times, when I raise my eyes,
     find my thoughts so forcibly directed, by all I behold, to that
     'still communion which transcends the imperfect offices of
     prayer and praise'! I am persuaded that it is far easier to
     cultivate a devotional spirit here than in the confusion of
     life, and to have a deeper sense of the presence of God in the
     heart. Feeling is little, to be sure, unless it fortifies for
     action; but in the hour of trial, we find great assistance in
     recalling past exercises, and in spiritual as well as temporal
     concerns habit is a powerful coadjutor. That high-wrought state
     of feeling which some of the splendid appearances of nature
     often produce on a heart which has once felt the power of
     piety, is ridiculed as enthusiasm of the most dangerous kind;
     and I do not myself think it is any test of religious
     character; but as far as the enjoyment of the present moment is
     of any importance, what can exceed it? We are, indeed, too apt
     to feel that we have been on the mount, when it was but a
     vision which we saw; but where it does not so deceive us,
     nothing but a good effect can result from its indulgence. I
     recollect part of a description of this state of mind in
     Wordsworth's Excursion, which from its accuracy has remained in
     my mind, though I forget the scene which suggested it:--

                    'Sound needed none,
     Nor any form of words; his spirit drank
     The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form
     All melted in him; they swallowed up
     His animal being; in them did he live,
     And by them did he live; they were his life.
     In such access of mind, in such high hour
     Of visitation from the living God,
     Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired.
     No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request.
     Rapt into still communion that transcends
     The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
     His mind was a thanksgiving to the Power
     That made him; it was blessedness and love.'

     "I have got Samor to read, because you recommend it, and am
     shocked to find how unfit my mind has become for every kind of
     application in the way of reading. I know you think I am
     greatly deficient in that kind of literary taste which fits one
     for an agreeable companion,--and I feel most sensibly that it
     is true. But I am fully persuaded that if the _sentimental_
     requisites of an interesting character are only to be derived
     from books, I must go through life the plain matter-of-fact
     lady I now am; it is too late for me to work a reform.


Not long afterward, an event occurred of no little interest and
importance to Mary,--the marriage of her true friend, now Mrs. Paine,
who went to reside in Worcester. In a letter dated May, 1822, we find a
full expression of the thoughts and wishes caused by this event, but of
too personal and private a character to be used. The letter closes with
an allusion to herself, showing that she had trials and experiences of
her own, not to be disclosed to the public eye. She speaks of the
previous winter, as "a remarkable era, never to be forgotten. Its
perplexities have passed away, but its blessings have increased and
become consummated. We have all found it an important period, and to
some of us the most so of life. How far it has improved us, He who
searcheth the heart alone knows; but for myself, I feel that it has been
a scene of more mental suffering than I ever before knew. You have seen
it, and will not misunderstand me when I say that, had I been more
indifferent, I should have escaped much torture. But it has been a good
lesson for me."

       *       *       *       *       *

There are few greater demands upon the exercise of a sound discretion
and practical wisdom, than the giving counsel and exerting a right
influence on _sceptical_ minds. Nor is it often that such minds are
willing to open themselves, and confide their doubts or indifference to
a Christian friend. Unfortunately, Christians are apt to be either too
careless in their conduct, or too morose in their manners and severe of
judgment, to make a favorable impression on the sceptical, and win their
confidence in the assurance of a generous sympathy. We dare not
conjecture how much of the infidelity of the world, and the unhappiness
of the unbelieving, is owing to this cause. We are sometimes driven to
the fear, that Christians themselves may have as much to answer for as
those whom they exclude for their unbelief, and whom they fail to
impress with the power of their own faith, or the beauty of their
holiness. We have many intimations that this was felt peculiarly by her
of whom we write. And it is one indication of character, and of the
aspect and influence of her faith, that many came to her freely with
their doubts and difficulties. Some of the particular cases cannot be

But where no names are used in her account of them, nor a hint given of
the persons intended, there can be no impropriety in offering the facts
as related. The reflections with which she accompanies them may be
profitable to both classes of minds, the believing and the doubting.

Under date of August, 1822, Mary writes to her former instructors in
Hingham, giving with other incidents the following case of hard
indifference, if not infidelity.

     "This leads me to a subject upon which I want assistance. I
     have lately met with a person of my own age, who, though living
     in a Christian land, under the public dispensations of the
     Word, from the more powerful influence of those with whom she
     has lived and the want of education, is as it were wholly
     ignorant of what religion is, in any form, except as it is in
     some way connected with going to church, but without the least
     _feeling_ of what that connection is. She is not deficient in
     strength of mind, or capacity to receive instruction on the
     subject, but without any idea of the necessity of any other
     principle of action than she already possesses; that is, a
     firmness of purpose proceeding from natural decision, and a
     patience under trial, because experience has taught the
     weakness and uselessness of irritation. Now this seems to me an
     opportunity of doing some real good. I have almost unlimited
     influence over her from the strong affection she feels, and, as
     my opportunities are few, I cannot neglect this one without
     reproach. But that dreadful consciousness of incapacity will
     place its iron hand on my wishes. I am aware that much might
     and ought to be done, but that much, if not every thing,
     depends on the first impression. She must be made to feel the
     _necessity_, in order to be excited to the pursuit of piety;
     and how this is to be done I know not. Never did I feel so
     forcibly the imperfection of the characters of Christians, as
     on this occasion. To be able to point to one example of the
     power of religion in producing that uniform loveliness of
     character and happiness of life of which it is capable, would
     do more than volumes of argument to such a mind and heart. It
     has made me shrink at my own unworthiness of the name I bear.
     Could you find a moment to assist me in this undertaking, you
     would confer an unspeakable kindness.

     "M. L. P."

Another more decided and serious case came to her knowledge about the
same time,--a case of avowed atheism, confided to her for relief, and
most kindly and wisely met by her; so that, while she supposed no effect
had been produced, the work was going on, and an intelligent, troubled
spirit came out of darkness into marvellous light. This success, which
seems to have surprised her, was apparently owing to the beauty of her
own religion, and the harmony and happiness of her life, which the
doubter could not fail to see, which indeed first induced the
confession, and was more effectual than any formal arguments; another
evidence of the power and responsibility of the Christian course and
character. "What a responsibility did this trust impose on me!" Mary
writes; "for I knew that no human being but myself was aware of it. It
was too much to bear alone; I was unequal to it, I dared not attempt it
for a time, I knew that so much depended on the very first step in such

The counsellor to whom she would gladly have gone for aid, her beloved
pastor, was then absent, travelling in Europe for his health. He
returned the following summer; and the account she gives of that happy
event, familiar as the facts may be to the readers of the Memoir of
Channing, will be interesting to many, as the impression of one who saw
and heard for herself.

     "_Dorchester, August 25, 1823._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "I have just returned from passing the day with E----, and
     although it is late, and I am very tired, I cannot resist the
     strong desire I have to send you a few lines by her to-morrow,
     that I may give you some faint idea, at least, of what you
     would have felt, had you heard Mr. Channing yesterday. But to
     begin at the right end of the tale, I passed Thursday in town,
     and learned that Mr. Channing would possibly come in a vessel
     which was expected daily. On Friday I was at Nahant, and saw a
     ship enter the harbor which might be that. Saturday I went to
     Newton, and on my return was told that he had actually arrived,
     and was to preach the next morning. I could scarcely credit it,
     and it was not until my arrival at home, when I received a note
     from George requesting me to come in to hear him, and pass the
     day in Pearl Street, that I could be convinced it was actually
     true. I went in on Sunday morning, and with what sensations I
     saw the church filling, and every one looking round in anxious
     expectation, you may perhaps imagine; it was a feeling more of
     dread than pleasure, lest the first glance at his face should
     destroy all our hopes. He wisely waited until all had entered,
     and when his quick step was heard (for you might have heard a
     leaf fall), the whole body of people rose, as it were with one
     impulse, to welcome him. He was much affected by this, and it
     was some seconds before he could raise his head; but when he
     did, it made the eyes that gazed on him rejoice to see him,
     seated in his accustomed corner, looking round on his people
     with the most animated expression of joy glowing on his face,
     and with the evidences of improved health stamped on every
     feature. His skin was much burned, to be sure, which may have
     given him an appearance of health that did not belong to him,
     but the increase of his flesh and the animation of his
     countenance promised much.

     "Mr. Dewey commenced the services as he used to do, but when,
     after the prayer, Mr. Channing rose and read his favorite

     'My soul, repeat His praise,
      Whose mercies are so great,'

     I could hardly realize that he had been absent, his voice and
     manner and action were so exactly like himself in his very best
     days. He stood through the whole psalm, and seemed to join in
     and enjoy every note of the music. He could not control a smile
     of joy. But of what followed I can tell you little. You have
     heard him when he felt obliged, as then, to dismiss the
     restraints of form, and speak freely the thoughts that filled
     his mind, and have perhaps often thought with others that he
     went too far, was too particular, too personal; but yesterday,
     I believe the most uninterested person present could not find
     fault. I thought it was the most deeply affecting address I
     ever heard; it was also deeply and decidedly practical. There
     are few occasions which will authorize a minister to excite the
     feelings of his audience in a very great degree, and none which
     can make it allowable for him to rest in mere excitement. But
     when their minds, from any peculiar circumstance, are
     particularly susceptible, I know no reason why it should not be
     permitted that they be addressed familiarly and affectionately
     on the subject of it. But you need not that I should defend Mr.
     Channing from the charge of egotism. You understand his motives
     too well to require it.

     "His text was from the hundred and sixteenth Psalm: 'What shall
     I render unto God for all his mercies? I will offer the
     sacrifice of thanksgiving, I will call on the name of the Lord,
     I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of his
     people.' Returning, as he said, under such peculiar
     circumstances of mercy to his home and his people, he trusted
     no apology was necessary for waiving the common forms of the
     pulpit, that he might speak to his people as to his friends,
     that he might in the fulness of his heart utter its emotions to
     those who, he trusted, could understand and sympathize with
     them. As he slightly reviewed the views with which he left us,
     the mercies that had followed him, and the blessings which were
     showered on his return, he seemed almost overpowered with the
     fulness of his feelings, and I feared he would not be able to
     go on. But his voice rose as he said, 'And now what shall I
     render for all these benefits? I will first pay my vows unto
     Him, whose mighty arm hath been stretched out to save, whose
     never failing love hath everywhere attended me.' The ascription
     of praise which followed was more truly sublime than any thing
     I ever heard or read. His solemn dedication of his renewed life
     to the service of Him who had borne him in safety over the
     great deep, who had sustained him in sickness, comforted him in
     affliction, and crowned all his gifts by giving him strength to
     return to his duties, was almost too much to bear. It was a
     testimony to the power of religion, which spoke more loudly
     than all the books that ever were written to prove it. But he
     meant not to speak of his past experiences merely to relieve
     his own heart; he had but one great object in view, the good of
     his people, and he would not lose sight of that even when the
     fulness of his own feelings might almost be allowed to engage
     his whole mind. He could not be expected to enumerate all that
     he had learned during his absence, but one thing he could
     assure us; that at every step, under all circumstances, in
     every country, and with every variety of character, he had
     become more and more convinced of the value and necessity of
     the Christian revelation."

The last of that succession of bereavements which Mary was so early
called to meet, and by which she was left as alone in the world, was now
at hand. Since the death of her mother, in 1812, when there devolved
mainly upon her, at the age of fourteen, the care of a dispirited and
feeble father, and two aged grandparents, with other members of the
family in a most trying condition, she had lived either in the
sick-room, or in a press of domestic cares and business avocations. That
these often made a severer demand upon her strength and patience, as
well as affection, than any one knew at the time, or indeed ever knew,
appears from various intimations in her letters and life. And all this
was now to be brought to a crisis by the death of her _father_, leaving
her without one near relative, or proper home. They had been boarding
for some time in Dorchester, in the family of Mr. Barnard; where she
received, as she says, "the greatest kindness and affection,"--and she
felt the need of it. But let her give the circumstances in her own

     "_Boston, November 1, 1823._


     "I have been wishing this whole week to find time to write you,
     but it has been wholly impracticable. I have been in a
     perpetual agitation from sundry unexpected occurrences and
     continual interruptions from visitors. In fact, at no moment
     of my whole existence have I more wanted your counsel and
     sympathy. You know it is my lot to be assailed in more than one
     direction if in any, and it has been more remarkably the case
     now than ever.... I thank you most sincerely for your two good
     letters; it was more than I dared expect, and it was a cordial
     to me to receive the kind expression of your sympathy, though I
     should not have doubted its existence without it. You say you
     'have heard but little of me,' and it was scarcely possible
     that you should hear of the immediate circumstances that
     attended my trial. It was so sudden that I was, as it were,
     alone, and I have feared that, in indulging myself in writing
     to you of it, I should give way too far, and distress and weary
     you. I have realized more than I ever did in any of the various
     changes I have met with, that 'the wind is tempered to the
     shorn lamb,' and even in the very extremity of trial we can be
     strengthened to support all with calmness.

     "For the first three days of my father's sickness he seemed to
     have only a severe cold and slightly disordered stomach, and
     though I had called Dr. Thaxter, it was more to satisfy him
     that the medicine I gave was necessary for him, than from any
     doubt that I could do all that was needed; for he had often
     appeared more sick, and I had administered to him without any
     advice. On the morning of the fourth he appeared to be a little
     wandering, but remained quiet until night, when he was very
     violent for two or three hours; and the following day I was
     told by the physician that nothing but a miracle could preserve
     his life until the next morning. I heard it calmly, I believe
     because I could not realize it. He did not seem to be conscious
     that he was sick; he did all that I asked him to, but did not
     seem to know me. I soon found that the doctor's prediction was
     but too true, for symptoms of decay increased very rapidly,
     and at three the next morning he breathed his last, as a child
     would go to sleep. Not a struggle indicated the approach of the
     destroyer. I held his hand, and gazed at him until I was taken
     from him senseless. No one was with me but Mr. B----, and Mr.
     E----, his son-in-law. I recovered myself in a few moments and
     found Mr. E---- fainting; this obliged me instantly to rouse
     myself to action, which was all mercifully disposed, and I sat
     down quietly with them for the remainder of the night, giving
     directions when any thing passed my mind, or remaining silent,
     knowing all would be done just as I wished.

     "It would have seemed dreadful to me had I anticipated passing
     through such a scene with only two gentlemen, who a few months
     before were perfect strangers to me; but it never passed my
     mind that I was not with my nearest friends. I could not in
     volumes tell you of all their kindness. It was one of the
     striking testimonies of God's merciful care of me, that He
     placed me with them. Indeed, His goodness towards me has been
     most wonderful, and above all, that He has enabled me to feel
     it continually; even in the awful stillness of that night I
     never lost sight of it. I could feel as it were His arm beneath
     me; and I can truly say I never experienced that fulness of
     heavenly peace which results from undeviating confidence in
     Him, which I then did. It was an hour of peculiar elevation
     which I can never forget, and which I trust will ever be a
     source of unfailing support, as it must be of gratitude. What
     beside could have sustained me amidst its horrors? All that I
     could call my own was departing from me, and I was standing as
     it were alone in the universe; but I felt that I was the object
     of His care who was all-sufficient, and I found in that
     consciousness a calmness which nothing could move. I stood firm
     and erect, though the storms of life seemed to have
     concentrated their power to overthrow me, and I felt that the
     Power which enabled me to do this would never forsake me, for
     it was not my own. We may talk of the resolution and fortitude
     which some possess, but what would it all be at such an hour?
     Nothing,--less than nothing. I gave up all reliance upon
     myself, or I should have utterly failed. Every thing was
     directed with the utmost mercy. Even his unconsciousness, which
     I thought at first I could not bear, was a mercy to him, for
     how much was he spared by it; he could not have left me alone
     without a severe struggle.

     "I am now fixed for the winter, and shall soon feel, I doubt
     not, as much at home as it is possible for me to feel; and if
     the greatest kindness and affection that ever were shown to any
     human being can make me happy, I shall be so, for I have it.

     "With love, I am yours,
     "M. L. P."



Mary Pickard was now alone. Every member of her own family had gone, and
she had witnessed and smoothed the passage of every one. She had only
entered mature life, but her twenty-five years of experience and change
had been equal to double that period of common life. Already had she
learned the great truth, which to many comes late, if at all,--

    "We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial."

Heretofore she had always had an object to live for,--some one dependent
upon her affection and exertions, to whom it was happiness enough to
minister. Now there was no one; and we wonder not that she said, "I seem
to hang so loosely on the world, that it is of little importance where I
am." It was indeed a singular providence which at this moment opened to
her an entirely new field, yet one wholly congenial with her tastes and

Her only relatives on the father's side were in England, connections
whom she had seen only as a child twenty years before, but had always
hoped to see again. And not for her own gratification only, but that she
might be of service, if possible, to those who were in depressed and
obscure condition, as some of them were. This consideration, which would
have offered least inducement to most young minds, perhaps have kept
them away, was an incentive to Mary, and gave her a right to find in the
opportunity a duty as well as a pleasure; especially as the occasion
given her was itself an opportunity to serve an invalid friend. The
circumstances will appear in the following letters to Miss Cushing and
Mrs. Paine.

     "_Boston, March 8, 1824._


     "If sorrow for sin is any ground for forgiveness, I trust you
     will grant it to me, for my shameful neglect of you. Do not
     think that forgetfulness or want of interest has led to this;
     you know me, I trust, better than to believe that, and you know
     my faults too well not to be able to account for it, from my
     too deeply rooted habit of procrastinating. Often during the
     past winter have I thought, if I could only see you, I should
     be sure to find the guidance and sympathy which I have longed
     for; but when I thought of writing to you, I felt the
     selfishness of troubling you with my own perplexities, knowing
     that, as my mind was so much occupied by them, I could not
     compensate you for it by any other communications I could make.
     The last six months have indeed brought to me a constant
     struggle of feeling. Left as I was to choose my own path on the
     wide ocean of life, with health, strength, and some means of
     influence, the responsibility which it imposed to use to the
     best possible advantage the powers that God had given me, to
     promote the end for which I knew they were given, was almost
     overpowering,--and at times I would have given myself up
     willingly to the control of any one who would relieve me from
     the burden. I have experienced in so many striking ways the
     great goodness of God in giving me light to guide, and strength
     to sustain me in hours of trial, that it is, I know, but
     practical infidelity to doubt for one moment that his
     protecting influence will still be extended towards me, if I
     try my utmost to attain a knowledge of duty, and persevere to
     my best ability in the path which conscience dictates. But the
     difficulty is, that, though in great events where we see at
     once that no human power can aid us we cannot but acknowledge
     that He is sufficient for all things, we are too apt to lose
     sight of this truth in cases in which human agency must be
     exerted, forgetting that God is as surely the operating cause
     in one case as the other. When it appears that our fate may be
     determined by a single word which we feel the power of
     uttering, we can scarcely help thinking that upon our own heads
     must be all the consequences which may follow; and thinking
     thus, we must realize our weakness and insufficiency.

     "All this has been preying upon my mind, and its effects have
     been deplorably contracting to my thoughts. I have, indeed,
     been outwardly much occupied by various pursuits, trying to do
     something for others, but my thinking has been nearly all for
     myself. This is my only excuse for not writing you more, and I
     think with this specimen you will be satisfied that I have not
     before attempted it. I believe that all the events that befall
     us are exactly such as are best adapted to improve us; and I
     find, in a perfect confidence in the wisdom and love which I
     know directs them, a source of peace which no other thing can
     give; and in the difficulty I find in acting upon this belief I
     see a weakness of nature, which those very trials are designed
     to assist us in overcoming, and which trial alone can conquer.
     Whatever is in store for me, I trust that I shall not forget
     that the first and only important object of existence is to
     promote, as far as my powers may extend, the cause of holiness.
     That every one, however humble their station and limited their
     capacity, has some power to do this, I doubt not, as I find in
     every line of God's word a command to do so; and I pray that my
     feeble efforts may be fully devoted to this end.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_March 15._ What changes a few days may produce in one's
     prospects! Little could I think, a week ago, that the
     conclusion of this letter was to tell you, that in less than
     another week I should be floating on the vast ocean, on my way
     to England. But so it is, and I hope that the suddenness of the
     determination to go has not shut from my eyes any very
     important consideration against it. It seems to me like a
     dream, for it is only in my dreams that I have ever thought of
     it as a possibility. I have wished to see my relations there,
     having always kept up a constant correspondence with them, and
     felt very much interested in them; but since my father's death,
     I have viewed the accomplishment of this wish as an
     impossibility. But now that so good an opportunity has offered,
     I cannot hesitate to accept it. I seem to hang so loosely on
     the world, that it is of little importance where I am, as it
     regards duties, and it is an advantage to enlarge one's ideas,
     which I feel ought to be improved. To tell you all that I feel
     at leaving home would be impossible; it is a most solemn
     undertaking, and when I glance at the possibilities connected
     with such a step, it almost overwhelms me.

     "I wish I could see every one of you once more. My heart is
     indeed too full to tell you half that I wish.

     "Yours most affectionately,
     "M. L. P"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, March 13, 1824._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "I have been sitting many minutes with my pen in my hand and
     paper before me, trying to bring to myself sufficient
     resolution to tell you the new and surprising turn which has
     taken place in my wayward destiny. I have been so long the
     creature of circumstances that you must be prepared for changes
     of all kinds in my lot; but I know not how it will strike you
     when you learn for truth, that in one week from to-morrow I
     sail for England. I thought that I was entirely willing to go,
     but as I find myself telling you of it, and think that it is
     utterly impossible for me to see you again, my heart sinks
     within me, and I almost shrink from it. In fact, this is the
     first moment I have realized it. I knew nothing of it until the
     day before yesterday, when Edward Robbins sent to me, to say
     that his physicians and friends advised his taking a voyage,
     and that, if I could go with him, it would decide him to take
     their advice. I had thought of the subject so much, that I was
     prepared at once to answer. It is a very desirable thing for me
     to visit the few relations which I have there, and I could
     never give up the expectation and endeavor to accomplish it. My
     dependent state was the only barrier, as I could never go
     unless under the protection of one of the few male friends from
     whom I should be willing to receive such an obligation, and it
     was so unlikely that either of those few would ever think of
     going, that I had but little hope I should ever realize my
     wishes. But this proposition at once removed all difficulties.
     Our families have been so long connected, and Edward himself
     has been so particularly kind to me through life, and more than
     ever since I have been without a parent's protection, and is in
     every respect so exactly calculated to make one feel willing
     and happy to be under obligation, that I could not but feel
     that now was the time (if ever) for me to accomplish this
     great object. Doubts about the sufficiency of my means, and
     some scruples about my right to employ them in this way, made
     me hesitate a few hours; but in less than four I decided, with
     the advice of all whom it was necessary to consult, that it was
     right to improve the present, as all future opportunities were
     uncertain. That it cost me a deep inward struggle to make my
     feelings acquiesce, you will not doubt. The first day I felt
     like a child. I could not glance even at the reasons which
     favored my going without sad and overpowering retrospection,
     and the thought of the uncertainty of the result, the thousand
     possibilities involved in such a change, almost turned my
     brain; and yet every one was wondering how I could look so
     composed and keep so still. It is singular how much little
     things sometimes concur to aid us. It was Thursday, and I was
     just going to lecture, as Mr. Robbins came in with his
     proposal. I went still, and Mr. Walker gave us one of the most
     delightful, strengthening sermons upon the influence of the
     Spirit, and the all-sufficiency of trust in its guidance, that
     I ever heard in my life. I believe no other subject could have
     fixed my attention, and it did fix it most effectually.

     "I know it is utterly impossible that I should see you,
     therefore I will not dwell for a moment on the thought. I have,
     of course, a great deal to think about, although little
     personal preparation; but I must leave every thing in which I
     have the least concern just as I should wish if I was certain I
     should never return. God only knows what the future will bring
     to me, but I hope to find myself wholly willing to yield myself
     to the disposal of his providence. We think of these changes
     for others, and feel little doubt about their safety, but when
     the case becomes our own, it is another thing. To embark on the
     wide ocean in a little, frail vessel with perfect calmness,
     requires a firmness of faith of which no one can boast until
     they have stood the test. I have no fear of it now, and I trust
     I shall find that the ground of confidence in the all-powerful
     God, which the experience of my life has given me, will be
     sufficient to support me in all events. I am willing to be put
     to the test, for if all that I think I feel is but delusion, I
     had better discover the delusion before it is too late.

     "We have taken passage in the Emerald. If I feel alone here, I
     don't know what I shall do in a land of strangers. We go to
     Liverpool, and probably immediately to London from there. I go
     with very moderate hopes about seeing the wonders and beauties.
     I must be satisfied with seeing people, not things. I shall
     have no right to travel much, and shall have no advantages not
     common to the most insignificant; nevertheless, if I can attain
     my principal object, all the rest will be unexpected gain. It
     is most probable we shall be gone a year, but it is possible we
     may return in the fall.

     "What a variety for one poor soul in the last four months! It
     absolutely makes me giddy to think of it all. But what a source
     of comfort is it, that in all things I have sought guidance
     where I believe it is ever freely given; and I do believe,
     whatever is the event of all this, it must be the direction of
     Him who knows and governs all things I must not write more.

     "Yours most affectionately,
     "M. L. P."

A particular friend in Milton, one of the truest and noblest friends
that Mary or any one ever had, describes her as at this time "worn to
the bone" with care and trial; and then breaks forth in praise of her,
in unmeasured terms; adding, "Yet, with all this superiority, where is
the other being on whom any poor fool can repose with such trust and
confidence, as on her? My meanest thought is not checked in the
utterance, because her mind is so flexible it stoops to the lowest. I am
only afraid of adoring her, so I may as well hold my peace." This was
said in earnest, and is one of many expressions of admiration and
affection called out by her departure.

Of her progress and occupations abroad, our knowledge is drawn
exclusively from her own letters. These, therefore, we shall use freely,
leaving them to show their connection as far as they can, and make their
own impression; begging the reader to remember, however, that they were
all written in the haste of travelling or the fatigues of watching, and
that their literary merit or public appearance was the last thought to
occur to the mind of the writer. She wrote a great deal, and we confine
our selection chiefly to passages relating to personal experience,
rather than descriptions of places or works of art. For these last she
allowed herself little time, though keenly alive to the enjoyment of all
grandeur and beauty, and giving passing indications of her power of
appreciating and delineating.

Arriving in Liverpool in April, she was made to feel at home
immediately, by the kindness and sympathy of a kindred mind, in one to
whom Dr. Channing had given her a letter, and whose name and sad fate
are familiar to many,--Mrs. Freme, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Wells, who
settled in Brattleboro', Vermont, where she afterward perished by fire.
Mary's account of her interview with that excellent woman is
characteristic, as her first interest in a new country.

     "_London, April 19, 1824._

     "In Liverpool, I went with Mrs. Freme to visit the Female
     Penitentiary, and took a long walk with her. She had
     relinquished an engagement out of town to go with me, and I
     know not that I ever felt more grateful to a stranger in my
     life. She is an uncommonly sensible, kind woman, extremely
     interested in the encouragement of all good works, a warm
     Unitarian, and a truly liberal, benevolent Christian. I never
     enjoyed any thing in my life more than the conversation I had
     with her. I had begun to feel the want of that free intercourse
     upon those subjects upon which we can speak only to those who
     we are sure are equally interested in them; and in a strange
     land, to meet with one who not only entered fully into every
     thing I wished to say, but carried me on to higher, more
     improving and elevated thoughts, was indeed a privilege."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_London, May 6, 1824._

     "MY DEAR ANN:--

     "It was a great deprivation to me to be unable to write at sea.
     I hoped to have had a large packet for the many kind friends
     who aided and blessed my departure, expressing something of the
     gratitude which overpowered me. I have sometimes feared that
     you thought me insensible to it all, for I dared not try to
     utter even a word of what I felt lest I should lose my
     self-possession entirely, and trouble them more than my thanks
     would please them. God alone knows how fully I appreciated it
     all, and when I look back upon the period which elapsed after
     my father's death until I left you, I know not how to speak my
     astonishment that such a one as myself should have been so
     signally favored. For your Aunt Nancy I can only say her reward
     must be beyond this world; nothing that I or any one here can
     do, is adequate to it. Never was a human being so blessed with
     kind friends, and could I feel that I had been as grateful as I
     ought to have been, I should be happy. But the entire
     absorption of every thought in self, during the past winter, is
     now a subject of much reproach.

     "I had time to think of all this during the long days and
     wakeful nights on the voyage, and I do assure you I took a new
     view of every thing connected with it. Whether it was the
     absence of every thing else to interest my mind, or the natural
     increase of our attachment to all objects when we are going
     from them, I know not, but there were moments of acute agony,
     when I thought of the return I had made for the kindness
     manifested towards me. How often I longed to be for a little
     time on the little stool in the drawing-room, giving utterance
     to my spirit! There was so little in the monotony of sea-life
     to interrupt the train of one's thoughts, that I could not
     sometimes get rid of an idea which possessed me, and I often
     woke up, wearied with the continuation of one and the same
     dream, night after night. But I did enjoy a great deal at sea,
     there was so much to elevate the mind in the very situation;
     and the want of confidence which I felt from the first evening
     in the head of the concern tended most powerfully to raise my
     thoughts above all second causes, to the One Great Cause and
     Supporter of all things. Never did I so deeply feel our entire
     dependence upon the power of God, never did I so fully realize
     the impotence of human skill, as when I saw it contending with
     the winds; and yet there was something ennobling in the idea,
     that human skill had contrived and taught to guide such a
     vehicle as a ship upon the trackless waste of waters; and while
     we trace all this power to the original source of it, we cannot
     but feel that He has given to us a noble nature. Often when the
     sea was rising in immense waves on every side, and the ship
     tossed about as though it were but a little shell which the
     waters would soon overwhelm, have I felt as I never before did
     the immense value of that religion which was able to calm all
     fears, and raise the mind to a state even of enjoyment, under
     such terrific circumstances. What but a firm confidence that,
     whether we live or die, or whatever event befall us, it is in
     Infinite Wisdom that it is so, can give this composure? Shall
     we not then hold fast and cherish such a faith? shall we not
     seek to understand its nature, and endeavor with our whole
     hearts to ingraft its principles upon our characters?

     "Tell me as much about Mr. Channing and his sermons as you can.
     I went to chapel on Sunday with Mrs. Kinder, but heard very
     poor preaching, to very poor houses. But Mr. Channing told me
     just what to expect, therefore I was prepared for it. Poor as
     it was, however, the delight of finding myself once more in a
     place of public worship overbalanced all, and when I heard the
     same tunes sung to the same words which I had heard in Federal
     Street, it was a little more than I could bear firmly. I am
     charmed with the whole Kinder family; they are too literary to
     make me feel able to communicate the least pleasure, on account
     of my ignorance upon all literary subjects, but they are every
     thing that is kind, and very agreeable, and I find a good
     lesson for my humility when I am there.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_London, May 26, 1824._


     "For the first four weeks I resisted all the entreaties of my
     cousins to go to them, because Dr. R---- was so depressed and
     ill, and it was so bad for Mrs. R---- to be left alone. But the
     third week Dr. R---- improved very much in health, and somewhat
     in spirits. And though he offered me many great inducements to
     accompany them to Leamington, I could not think it quite right
     to do so, as my society would not be as necessary to them as
     it had been, and they were going to a fashionable
     watering-place. I had seen nothing of my own friends, and as
     Mrs. Bates and Mrs. Morton had asked me to stay with them when
     I first arrived, I took the liberty of accepting their
     invitation for a few days.

     "I believe I told you I had a kind letter from Uncle Ben, and
     have since had a visit from his son, who heard of our arrival,
     and came up the next day, in true Lovell style, to take me home
     with him to Waltham Abbey, near Enfield.

     "Through the kindness of Mr. Kinder's family I have had many
     privileges. By their intercession I have been admitted to
     Newgate, and though Mrs. Fry was not there, I was very much
     gratified. I met with a young Quakeress, who was rather
     handsome, was very intelligent and kind, and has been very
     attentive to me. Mrs. Fry is too much out of health to go
     often, but I am to be informed by my little friend when she
     next goes.

     "Walking to Newington with the Kinders, to return a call, they
     asked me if I would go with them to see Mrs. Barbauld. To be
     sure, it made my heart beat, but I could not say no. It was
     indeed a privilege, and I wish I could tell you all about it.
     She spoke with great feeling of those of our ministers whom she
     had seen,--Buckminster, Thacher, and Channing. Having never
     seen Mr. Thacher's sermons, I had the honor of sending them to
     her, and of writing her a note. A note to Mrs. Barbauld! What
     presumption! Yet I was asked afterward to dine with her. She is
     remarkably bright for her age, speaks of death with the firmest
     hope, and I really felt as if I were communing with a spiritual
     body. Though now eighty-two, she possesses all her faculties in
     full perfection. Her manner is peculiarly gentle, her voice
     low, and very sweet.

     "I went with the Kinders to see some rich Quakers, who are very
     active in the school concern, and also to a meeting of the
     British and Foreign School Society, where I saw the Duke of
     Sussex, and heard some fine speaking. They go upon the
     Lancaster and Bell system, and truly wonderful is their success
     and usefulness. I have heard Madame Catalani, and some of the
     finest singers, at a concert at the Opera House, and was as
     much amazed as it was possible to be, notwithstanding all I had
     heard. But some of those with less power pleased me more. No
     one can equal _her_, or be compared with her. Braham sung with
     her, with a full band, and her voice was heard above all; it is
     tremendous, for the house is immense, and she entirely filled
     it. At a meeting of the Sons of the Clergy at St. Paul's, I
     heard some very fine sacred music. About thirty little boys
     sang the high parts, and chanted the responses. The church was
     very full. The Duke of Clarence, Lord Mayor, and a goodly
     company of the dignitaries of the Church, filled the seats of
     honor. Nothing could be more solemn than the whole scene, and
     when at parts of the service the whole congregation joined in
     the chant, the dome rung with the sound, and one almost looked
     to see if the statues around were not roused.

     "Do you fear that my head is growing giddy, with all this
     variety? At present there is no danger. My thoughts turn too
     often homeward, to be very much engrossed by any thing here,
     and my heart will feel sad when I think of the time which must
     elapse ere I see it again."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Broadwater, Worthing, June 11, 1824._


     "On Saturday, the 29th, I received a letter from Dr. R----
     saying that Leamington did not agree with him, that Mrs. R----
     was quite unwell, and they begged, if possible, that I would
     come to them the next day, with some plan of proceeding for
     them, for he felt wholly unable to decide what to do. After
     some debate with Mrs. S---- I concluded that it was a duty to
     give up all my own views, and do what I could for him, as there
     was no one else who could assist them in this land of
     strangers. Accordingly I wrote him that I would join them on
     Tuesday, as it was not in my power to make such an entire
     change in my arrangements before. I had just prepared on Monday
     to start, when another letter arrived, saying they should be in
     London at night.

     "We propose going from here to the Isle of Wight, and round to
     the western part of England, Bristol, Bath, and Wales. I hope
     on the way to have a peep at Mrs. McAdam, who is now at
     Plymouth, for it is rather tantalizing for us to be kept so
     long separated. I would not have believed that any thing would
     have kept me so long from my friends after I had found myself
     in England. But it is well to be obliged to control our
     selfishness in England, as elsewhere. The little I have seen of
     my relations has only increased my desire to know them and be
     loved by them. My reception at Uncle Ben's was more like that
     which I hope to have at home, than any thing I could have
     expected in this strange land. He is a warm-hearted old man,
     with all the best of the Lovell feelings in full vigor. He was
     very much attached to my mother, and retains a stronger
     interest in his Transatlantic relations than I could have
     thought possible after an absence of fifty years. He was very
     much overcome at seeing me, and wept over me like a child. They
     demand three months, at least, from me, but I am afraid I shall
     not have half that time for them. You don't know how delightful
     it was to be among people who seemed so like my own home

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Broadwater, June 11, 1824._

     "MY DEAR ANN:--

     "You have been sorely afflicted indeed, doubtless for some good
     purpose. I am rejoiced to find by your letter that you are
     disposed to view it so, and improve by the chastisement. I hope
     it will lead the way to a more free communication with our good
     minister. It is a great privilege, and one which ought to be
     improved. I have learned since I have been here to estimate our
     advantages in this and all other religious affairs, as I could
     never have done at home. In London, it seems to me that there
     is no more connection between minister and people, in the
     Established Church, than if they had no influence whatever to
     exercise; and among the Dissenters I have met with, the case is
     not much better. They are so scattered, and wander about so
     much, that it is difficult to have much intercourse, or keep up
     much interest among them....

     "I have heard but one sermon since I have been in this country
     which made the least impression upon my mind, and that was from
     one from whom I expected nothing that would satisfy me. This
     was Mr. Irving, whom Mr. Channing mentioned as the popular
     favorite in London. He is a most singular-looking Scotchman, a
     pupil of Dr. Chalmers, and now so much the fashion, that
     tickets of admission are sold, to enable those who wish to hear
     him to go in before the hour when the doors are thrown open.
     Even in this way it is like the theatre of a Kean night, and
     for two hours before the service commences the crowd is
     immense. His manner is very like Kean's, most impassioned, and
     when he commenced I turned from him in disgust. But there was
     that in the subject and substance of the sermon which made me
     forget the manner in which it was delivered. It was, I
     understood, one of the least flowery of his productions. I
     shall never forget it, I think; but I would not be obliged to
     go to such a place for the best sermons that ever were written.
     It was just like the theatre or some great exhibition.

     "You cannot think how I long, when the Sabbath comes round, to
     have an ear in Federal Street. I find, as Mr. Channing warned
     me, that travelling is a sad enemy to the cultivation of
     religious knowledge and improvement; it does so derange the
     regularity of one's habits of thinking and acting. The day is
     too confused, and the nights too wearied. But there is much in
     the experience of every day to excite a strong sense of
     gratitude to that Providence whose care is extended over us in
     all places; in the consciousness which we must have, even when
     the idea of separation from those we love presses most heavily
     upon us, that there is One, ever present, whose love for us is
     infinite. Yet it is not of feelings that I ought to speak; I
     could fill volumes with the variety of thoughts which every day
     suggests, but I am learning to do without the communication of

From Broadwater the party of four went to the Isle of Wight, and made
the usual circuit, in their little open carriage, through that charming
region, "with nothing wanting but health, and with that deficiency all
was a blank." Dr. R---- was too unwell to enjoy any thing, and Mary
herself, for a wonder, speaks of suffering from a cough which she had
had a month. But it did not prevent her from making what she calls "a
break-neck excursion" up a precipice of about four hundred feet, at the
southern part of the island. Of the country she gives a glowing
description, for which we have not room. On leaving the island, Dr.
R---- found it necessary to return to Broadwater for medical advice,
and Mary, who had arranged to meet some of her relations at Plymouth at
this time, readily, though not without regret, gave up her own plans,
and went back with the family to Broadwater. The place had little
interest for her, and she writes of "useless idleness" as a new thing to
her, and uncomfortable. But others did not think her presence useless,
nor did she fail to find employment. From the wife of the clergyman, who
had lately established schools in the parish on a new plan, she learned
a good deal of the national system of education. After a short time, Dr.
R---- determined to go to Paris, and she accompanied him. But of Paris
itself she saw very little, being chiefly devoted to the care of her
friend. And except for him, she had no wish to be there. "It may seem
strange," she writes, "that I should not wish to see Paris, but the
pleasure of every thing depends upon the circumstances which immediately
surround us. Yet I am very glad I came, for, though I cannot be of much
use, any one is better than none."

Their stay in Paris was short. In view of all considerations, Dr. R----
found it best to return at once to America, and sailed that same month
from Havre, Mary remaining to make her visit to her friends in England.
Her next letters are from Chatham.

     "_Chatham, September 7, 1824._

     "MY DEAR ANN:--

     "You may easily suppose that my sensations at leaving Havre
     were not the most cheering. I knew that I could have been of
     but little comfort to our friends on the voyage, but I could
     not help wishing that it had been so ordered that I might have
     returned with them. There was something, too, so very lonely in
     the idea of being left in a strange land, with no chance of
     escape for a certain length of time, even if my friends should
     take it into their heads to dislike me; and worse than all,
     under my own sole direction, to govern myself and my actions
     only by my own judgment. Indeed, I did feel as though I should
     almost shrink from the effort it required; but this did not
     trouble me long. I thought of the mercies of my past life, the
     great goodness and preserving care which had hitherto upheld me
     in many times of danger and difficulty. The night was a most
     beautiful one, and the very motion of the little vessel
     recalled so much which had once given me support under similar
     circumstances, that my mind seemed to acquire a degree of
     calmness and firmness which was almost sublime. For this I have
     great cause of gratitude; it was the gift of a Power mightier
     than I, and prepared me for the coming danger. We were two
     nights and a day crossing to Southampton, about twice the usual
     length of the passage, the greater part of the time in a
     violent storm and most dangerous situation. I suffered more
     from sickness than in crossing the Atlantic, but met with very
     great attention from the ladies who were in the same
     state-room, and much entertainment beside; but I never was more
     rejoiced than when I found myself in a clean bed on _terra
     firma_, upon the second morning.

     "My first attempt at journeying alone was a very encouraging
     one. A good old clergyman was my companion, and after three
     weeks in France, I assure you, I enjoyed any thing like serious
     conversation; though he happened to be a Methodist, he was a
     rational and learned one, and I believe I learned much that was
     useful from him. I had apprised my good cousin of my intended
     descent upon her family, and was received with open arms and
     much kind greeting by all her flock. Here I am, then, at last,
     and I know you are impatient to know all about them, and the
     place in which they live. Mrs. S---- is in appearance but the
     shadow of what she was when her picture was taken. Trouble and
     age have made her thin and pale. But the perfect symmetry of
     her pretty little figure, and the brightness of her still
     beautiful eyes, enable one to see in her the remains of one of
     nature's fairest works. Her naturally good spirits are almost
     wholly subdued by the trials and perplexities which have
     followed her in constant succession for many years, and ill
     health and an anxious mind have created a disposition to
     despondency which even her piety cannot at all times overcome.
     This has unfitted her for great exertion, and, not possessing
     much natural force of character, it is impossible for her to
     make much effort even for herself. She is all gentleness, and
     full of affectionate feeling, and I often think, in looking at
     her in her happiest moments, that she would be a good
     personification of Shakspeare's Patience smiling at Grief. Her
     situation here is that of matron to the hospital, but it is
     almost a nominal office, a perfect sinecure, for she has
     scarcely any duty, and a comfortable income. She is now
     peculiarly tried, and seems to consider it an especial mercy
     that she has one to whom she can turn in her loneliness with
     something like a claim for sympathy.

     "... There is a small Unitarian chapel here, and cousin N----
     will say, 'Why do you not go to that?' Merely because I found
     out but yesterday that there was such an one; hearing a lady
     say, 'We ought to tolerate all denominations but those
     dangerous enemies to religion, the Unitarians,--I cannot pass
     their chapel without shuddering,'--next Sunday I shall endeavor
     to ascertain the grounds of this pious hatred. But in truth,
     if I had not learned liberality before, I have had experience
     enough to teach it to me since I have been in this country, I
     have met with so many good Christians, of such a variety of
     sects; and found that the bond of union created by a mutual
     desire to aid in the cause of benevolence was sufficient to
     excite interest, without any regard to different creeds or
     doctrinal points.

     "I am constantly hearing now from all my little circle of
     relations, who seem determined to prevent my feeling alone, if
     their attentions can prevent it. Do not suspect me of vanity in
     mentioning all these attentions; this is not the case, for the
     effect is rather humbling, and I fear when they know me better
     they will find a poor return for it all; but I do feel such
     gratitude for so many unlooked for, undeserved blessings, that
     I want you all to know it, that you too may unite with me in
     thanksgiving to God for his watchful care of me, a solitary
     orphan in a foreign land.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_September 14._ The day after I wrote the above, I received a
     letter from Mr. and Mrs. C----, then at Ramsgate, a town upon
     the eastern shore of Kent, saying that they were making a short
     tour, and had intended coming to Chatham to see me on their way
     home, but thinking I might like to see Dover and its castle,
     proposed that I should join them there, and pass a few days
     with them. So, without hesitation, I got into one of the many
     coaches which daily pass through Chatham, and in six hours was
     with them. The ride was delightful, through a richly wooded and
     highly cultivated country, the fine old city of Canterbury, and
     a number of pretty towns. My companions in the coach were very
     genteel, intelligent people, and I was quite pleased with
     finding that it was a very customary thing for a lady to travel
     inside a coach without escort; I wished it were equally so to
     travel outside, I do so much prefer to see all I can. This was
     on Thursday last, the 9th, and I remained with them until
     to-day, receiving every attention and kindness from them, and
     much satisfaction from seeing the place....

     "I returned here to-day. My cousin was to have met me at
     Canterbury, but was prevented by the weather. I rode the
     greater part of the way alone, inside, though the outside was
     full; and you may tell Mary that my thoughts were often turned
     to her; for a guideboard with the name of 'Milton' upon it
     reminded me of my shameful neglect of our sweet _tune_ of that
     name. I had not once sung it since I left her, and found full
     employment for some miles in trying to bring it to mind; and it
     was not until after recalling her looks and voice, and beating
     three strokes in a bar, over and over again, to try the power
     of association, that I could bring it to my recollection. But I
     sung it enough, when I did get it, to make up for all past
     deficiencies. It carried me back to last winter, and all your
     happy family, so fully, that my empty coach was soon peopled,
     and I had as pleasant a ride as need be.

     "I had the gratification of seeing the famous actress, Mrs.
     Siddons, at Dover,--a rare sight indeed; she is a wonderfully
     handsome woman for her age, living in elegant retirement, in
     handsome style.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Chatham, October 4, 1824._


     "I am delighted that Mr. Gannett pleases you all, and to hear
     such good accounts of Mr. Channing. The very idea of a letter
     from him was almost too much for my poor brain; the reality
     would overpower me, I believe. I greatly fear, unless the
     spring should bring me some kind American friend with whom I
     can travel, that I shall see little more of England. But I will
     be satisfied, at any rate, if I can but find the means of
     seeing my poor aunt S----.

     "The return of this season brings so forcibly to my mind the
     recollection of the trying events of which it is the
     anniversary, that I find it difficult to prevent myself from
     dwelling too much upon it. I would not lose the remembrance of
     it, for every hour of that time was filled with valuable
     experience of the goodness and loving-kindness of my Heavenly
     Father. I love to dwell upon it, and recall every act of the
     many friends who then surrounded me with renewed feelings of
     gratitude towards them. May I yet be enabled to prove in my
     actions what I cannot express in words.


Mary Pickard is now among her kindred, those relatives of her father
whom she had so long desired to know, and whom she hoped in some way to
benefit. For her idea of conferring benefits was never defined by the
thought of wealth, or excluded by the want of it. That she gave most
liberally, according to her means, at this very time, we learn from
others; her letters would never suggest it. In other and better ways, by
most unexpected opportunities, did she render service to many before she
left England, where her stay was greatly prolonged beyond the first
intention, for this very purpose. For ten weeks she remained in Chatham;
and though she does not say it, we infer from other intimations that
much of that time was occupied with the care of the sick, or in
relieving some kind of trouble. It is in reference to Chatham that she
says, "I am fated to find trouble wherever I go,"--which is true of all
who are willing to _take_ trouble, that they may relieve others.

From Chatham Mary went to Waltham Abbey, and passed three weeks with the
son of the only surviving brother of James Lovell. And in December,
unwilling to be detained longer from the cousin to whom she designed to
make one of her chief visits in England, and finding that sickness in
the family prevented any one from coming for her, she took the coach
alone, leaving London before daylight and riding to Salisbury, where
some of her friends met her, and conducted her to their home at
"Burcombe House," in that vicinity. And there she spent the next three
or four months, in a way that her letters will best tell. These letters
we give as we find them, without excluding the personal allusions and
occasional descriptions of character; since it is in just such
descriptions, natural and easy, that we best read the mind of the writer
and of those whom she portrays, as well as the features and ways of a
common English household. And should these letters chance to fall under
the eye of any to whom they allude, if any still survive, we trust they
will pardon a liberty which exposes nothing that is not to their honor.

     "_Burcombe House, December 8, 1824._

     "Congratulate me, my good friends, that I am at last under this
     roof, and have seen cousin Jane and all her dear family. I left
     London at five o'clock on Saturday, the 4th, and I found myself
     at Salisbury at three o'clock, not at all fatigued. Cousin Jane
     and her son came to meet me; but as their carriage was from
     home, they were in an open gig, and we thought it expedient to
     take a postchaise, as Burcombe is five miles from the town. But
     before I proceed to the events of my ride, I must tell you
     something of my cousin, as I know you are wishing to hear how
     she received me. Our meeting was just what you could easily
     imagine it would be, knowing her to be a person of ardent
     feelings, strongly attached to her dear uncle, and consequently
     determined to love his daughter, let her be what she might; and
     after the frequent disappointments we have had, with regard to
     meeting, we both had an almost superstitious fear that
     something might yet happen to separate us. But we were at last
     together, and, if it took us both some time to realize it, we
     were not the less rejoiced to find it true. She has suffered
     much, and it has subdued her mind and spirits, and softened her
     manners. She is certainly one of the most entertaining women I
     ever saw, and one of the most interesting. She has strong
     powers of mind, and of course strong passions, warm-hearted,
     enthusiastic, prone to extremes, almost without restraint in
     youth, and the sport of adverse circumstances through life,
     ignorant of the only sure Guide to direct and guard the soul
     under the temptations to which such trials subject it. Imagine,
     then, what such a mind must be when brought by suffering to a
     deep sense of religious obligation, turning all its energies to
     the accomplishment of good to others and the subjection of
     self, not content with feeling until every feeling leads to
     active exertion,--and you have my dear cousin before you. You
     will not be surprised that I should already dearly love her,
     and feel that it was worth coming so far to know and give her
     pleasure. Her mind is just in that state which requires free
     discussion upon subjects of faith and practice, and shut out as
     she is here from society, and almost wholly without ministerial
     instruction, she suffers from the want of a companion who feels
     a like interest in the matter. How often do I wish for her the
     same privileges which I have had in Mr. Channing, or that you,
     my dear cousin, could step in and pour forth a little from
     your fund of knowledge.

     "But I have digressed vastly from my tale. To return to the inn
     at Salisbury. We soon seated ourselves in a chaise, trunks,
     boxes, and all, and were driving on at a furious rate towards
     Burcombe House, when, lo! in a quiet lane, a mile at least from
     any houses, the axle of the front wheels gave way; off went one
     wheel, and down went we, just at dark, and the rain falling in
     torrents. We soon found it was only a subject for laughter; we
     had but one resource, which was to send the postboy back to
     Salisbury for another coach, and to sit quietly in the broken
     one until he returned. We had not, however, sat long, before
     Lord Pembroke's carriage came to our relief; it had passed us
     full at the commencement of our disaster, and was sent back to
     take us home, or to Wilton House. As we did not like to take
     all the baggage with us, we left it in the care of a servant,
     and, glad to get out of the cold, we proceeded to my Lord's
     house. I could not but be amused, that my first introduction to
     this region should be to Wilton House, in an Earl's carriage. I
     was not sorry to have an opportunity of seeing a place of which
     I have heard so much, and should have been quite pleased to
     have seen the great folks themselves; but they chanced to be
     dressing for dinner, and as our chaise soon came up for us, I
     had but little time to survey the place. The house is filled
     with pictures, statues, and ancient armor. I hope to have an
     opportunity of seeing it more leisurely.

     "This whole family gave me a most hearty welcome, and I found
     that it would be my own fault if I was not loved by them, and
     happy with them. Jane has, indeed, a remarkably fine family, of
     steady principles and habits, and sufficiently accomplished to
     be agreeable and well fitted for society. This is a very
     retired spot, and except a call from Lord and Lady Pembroke
     when they are in the neighborhood, or a visit from some
     travelling acquaintance, scarcely any one enters the house
     except the family.

     "... The state of the poor in this country is so very different
     from any thing we see at home, that I can scarcely give you any
     idea of the striking difference everywhere observable in their
     manners and habits. The immense sum which is collected for
     their support, under the form of poor rates, must lessen their
     exertion for themselves, and the very dependence which is thus
     created makes them servile. Some great man owns the village and
     lands about it, his steward lets them to farmers, and of course
     it depends upon sundry contingencies whether they retain
     possession even during life; and how can they feel as much
     interest as if it were their own freehold, and they knew their
     children would reap the benefit of their improvements upon it?"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Burcombe House, December 31, 1824, Half past Eleven._


     "This hour has for so many years found me at my desk pouring
     forth to you, that, although in a new hemisphere and under new
     influences, I instinctively turn to the pen and ink, with a
     feeling that something remains to be done before the old year
     can be allowed to take its departure. I am not, as I was wont
     to be, seated quietly alone by my 'ain fireside,' cogitating
     upon the past, and, for the only time in the twelve months,
     daring to look forward and hope for the future. It is the
     custom here for all the family to sit out the old year, and I
     am in the parlor, surrounded by the whole tribe. On one side is
     my cousin's eldest daughter, playing 'God save the King' as if
     all possibility of ever doing it again was going with the year;
     on the other, an animated Miss C----, acting the old-maid aunt,
     giving her nephews and nieces sage advice upon the occasion,
     who are all laughing most heartily. In fact, the whole house is
     in a bustle; so you need not expect a very connected epistle,
     as I am obliged to turn to one or the other, every other word,
     to join in the merriment.

     "The changes which the past year has made in my life are so
     amazing, when I view them in a body, that I cannot but be
     astonished that we should ever attempt to look forward with any
     thing like calculation or plan. You can easily conceive that
     the contrast between this night and its past anniversary is
     enough to excite the few nerves I have; and you will not at all
     wonder, that, whatever attractions there may be around me,
     thought will wander back to home and its interests, and it
     requires some effort to restrain my impatience to be again
     restored to them, that I may make up, if possible, for my abuse
     of some of them. Yet do not imagine me discontented or
     homesick; I am not in the least, for every hour's experience
     makes me rejoice that I am here; and, if kindness and attention
     could make up for old acquaintance, I could be as contented to
     pass my life here as anywhere. I would not return without
     seeing and doing all that may be in my power; but that I do
     look forward with a feeling of desire, such as I never knew
     before, to the period when, all this being accomplished, I
     shall find myself again at home, it would be folly to deny. But
     this is just what I expected to feel, and of course was
     prepared for with some degree of firmness; and when thus
     prepared, it is astonishing how indifferently we go through
     with what, under any other circumstances, would destroy one's
     self-possession entirely. The greatest evil I find in this
     state of constant preparation for enduring is, that I am
     getting into a quiescent state of inaction; not being quite
     enough at ease to exert my own powers freely, I am losing that
     activity of mind which I rather hoped to increase. But I have
     long since learned that youthful habits are not easily
     displaced, and I am sure now that I never shall learn to be
     loquacious. You know how much I felt the inconvenience of my
     silent habits at home, and will readily believe that I must
     suffer still more among strangers, with whom agreeability is a
     necessary passport.

     "It is so long since I have written you, that I scarcely know
     where to take up the thread of my discourse. I was then, I
     believe, at Dover, and you probably have learned from my
     letters to Boston how much I found to please me in my cousin's
     family at Chatham. It was my good fortune to have it in my
     power to be of some service to them, and I assure you I was
     most thankful for any opportunity of redeeming my time from
     entire uselessness. I am fated to find trouble wherever I go,
     and ought to be truly grateful when it is such as I can
     relieve. I staid ten weeks at Chatham, and went then to Waltham
     Abbey, about sixteen miles from London, and spent three weeks
     with George Lovell and his most lovely wife. He is the son of
     the only remaining brother of my grandfather, with all the
     warmth and generosity which characterized the family in
     America. He unites good judgment and firm principles, an
     uncommon versatility of talent, and consequent power of

     "I came here upon the 4th of December; and if I have ever told
     you enough of cousin Jane and her concerns to give you any idea
     of the strong interest I have always felt in her, you will
     fully understand how intense was the excitement of my mind when
     I found myself at last approaching her mansion. She had been
     the greatest attraction to me on this side of the water, indeed
     the principal object of my visit; the constant impediments
     which had prevented our meeting during the past summer of
     course increased our interest and impatience about it, and I
     can scarcely tell whether pain or pleasure predominated when I
     felt that the crisis was near which would decide how far it
     was well that I had come.... She has had a life of trial, and
     being without that only comforter under suffering which can
     teach us to submit patiently to it, the effect has been
     unhappy. And now that she is just awaking from her dream of
     darkness, you can easily conceive that the effect of the bright
     sunshine which is breaking upon her mind should be most
     powerful, and apt to carry such a mind to the extreme of
     enthusiasm. She has but few connections, and almost idolized my
     father as the guardian of her youth, and therefore inclined to
     extend to his child all the strong affection she felt for him,
     so that her delight at seeing me was little short of mine to be
     with her. Here, then, I am enjoying much with her and her

     "The house itself is one of those ancient stone edifices which
     abound in all parts of the kingdom, in connection with the
     houses of the great; probably built for some younger and less
     affluent branches of the family. The grounds are laid out with
     taste, and the lawn behind it has not probably been disturbed
     since the house was built, and is covered with a turf which
     might rival velvet in beauty. The fir-trees, elms, and walnuts
     which surround it, and the yew hedge which divides the garden
     from it, all speak its antiquity and add to its loveliness. We
     have no neighbors; but the occasional visits of the different
     branches of the family give us some variety."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Burcombe House, January 1, 1825._

     "MY DEAR MARY:--

     "A happy new year to you, and all the good people at
     Marlborough House, South Street, Newton, and Canton! Although I
     cannot have the pleasure, as I had at this time last year, of
     waking you out of a sound sleep upon the occasion, I have taken
     the liberty of thinking of you almost all the night, and
     wishing you in my heart all possible blessings during the year
     upon which we have entered. I do not dare to look forward, but
     I cannot help hoping that it may witness my return to you, to
     find you in the enjoyment of all that is worth possessing in
     life. It is the custom here to sit out the old year, and as we
     were expecting Mr. McAdam and William home last night, we
     determined to sit up for them. They did not arrive until nearly
     five this morning, so that I had time enough to reflect upon
     the past and hope for the future; and every thought and action
     of the last anniversary were lived over again in full reality.
     I only wanted liberty to pour forth to some one, to be a most
     eloquent egotist; but as it was, I just thought on quietly to
     'my ain sel,' and enjoyed what was going on around me as well
     as I could.

     "Our only neighbor is the farmer's wife, a most excellent woman
     of sixty, one of the old primitive people of the country, of
     good sense and sound judgment, just such a body as cousin N----
     would delight in. Her husband is the church-warden, overseer of
     the poor, and indeed the principal man in all parish concerns;
     and their goodness to the cottagers makes them beloved by all.
     You may imagine Mrs. L---- as about dear aunty's size, of pale
     complexion like her, white hair, just parted under a neat white
     cap, always surmounted with a neat black-satin bonnet, stuff
     gown, made as grandma used to wear hers, with a plain double
     muslin neckerchief within and a black or calico shawl outside,
     and a full linen apron, as white as the snow itself. Her face
     is all benevolence, and her voice, even with the broad
     provincial pronunciation of the country, sweet and musical.
     They have a large family of sons and daughters; one of the
     former, a very interesting young man, is now going in a
     consumption. It is the best specimen of an English farmer's
     family that I have yet seen.

     "I went on Christmas day to the Cathedral at Salisbury. It is a
     very fine building, and the part appropriated to the services
     of the church is fitted up in a much better style than any
     thing I have seen, being of black oak, and in unison with the
     style of the building. The organ is a remarkably fine one, and
     I think I never felt music more powerful than the first
     symphony, played as the bishop and clergymen entered. It was at
     first so soft, that in that immense building it seemed rather
     as if it were the sound of the air itself than any earthly
     creation; and as the tones swelled, the very building trembled,
     and one involuntarily held the breath with awe."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Burcombe House, February 24, 1825._


     "The winter months have passed very quickly, and, as spring
     approaches, I begin to look forward with much anxiety to the
     period when, having completed all for which I came, I may
     prepare to return to my beloved home, and join again the many
     dear friends I may find there. I thank God that he has been
     pleased to spare so many of them for such a length of time, for
     it is remarkable that among so large a circle there should have
     been so few changes in ten long months. You cannot conceive of
     the gratitude which I feel whenever I hear from you, for you
     know not the anxiety which the consciousness of being at such a
     distance inevitably excites. I know not why it is, for were I
     ever so near, I could do nothing to save even one of the least
     of them all; but so it is, and it is a greater exercise of
     reliance and trust than I could have ever known, had I not left
     you. I try to look forward without fear, and I never doubt
     that, whatever trials may be in store for me, it will be in
     mercy that they will come, and I will be patient and

     "With regard to the probable time of my return, it is
     impossible for me to speak with any certainty. The first four
     months that I was in England were lost, so far as the
     accomplishment of the immediate object for which I came was
     concerned; and it retarded my progress more than that time, as
     it is impossible to do as much in winter as might be done in
     half the time in summer. I do not speak of this as regretting
     it, for I have no doubt that it was for some good object that I
     was so employed; and I saw much which I should not have
     otherwise seen at all. But it makes it necessary that I should
     prolong my stay here, in order to do even what I calculated
     upon when I named a year for the probable limit of my absence.
     In addition to this, many objects of interest have been
     presented to me of which I knew nothing, and peculiar
     circumstances have occurred since I have been here to make me
     desirous of remaining longer than I had anticipated. For I
     consider myself a sort of isolated, unconnected being, who,
     having no immediate duties in life, is bound to improve all
     opportunities of usefulness which may offer themselves."

In April Mary received the welcome intelligence that her very dear
friend, E. P. F., from America, had arrived in Liverpool. Being at this
time at Ash, Surrey, the residence of her father's uncle, she
immediately arranged to meet E---- in London, making, as she says, "a
desperate effort" to break away from her friends at Burcombe House, to
whom she had become so strongly attached as to make it no easy matter,
as we may believe there was some attachment on the other side also.
Again and again was she constrained to alter her plans and defer her
purpose of returning, by the entreaties of those whom she wished to
gratify, and who urged upon her, when other arguments failed, one that
was unanswerable; namely, that she had no _duty_ to call her home. With
sadness did she admit it, and nobly too. "I feel that I have many ties
which have to _me_ the force of duties, in drawing me back; but I cannot
forget that I am indeed without bond of any kind in life which can be
called peculiar duty."

The two friends met in London, and, after a few days of delightful
interview, Mary was called to Sydenham, where are dated two letters,
from which we take portions, referring to widely different subjects and

     "_Sydenham, June, 1825._

     "DEAR EMMA:--

     "It is so evident, from many circumstances of which you must be
     fully sensible, that this is an appointment by that Providence
     who guides even the sparrows in their course, that you have
     only to seek to fulfil its duties to the best of your powers,
     and humbly leave the event in His hands without whose blessing
     the best endeavors of the mightiest must be ineffectual. Do not
     be thinking how much more this or that one might have done; we
     should do what we can for the sake of obeying God, not for our
     pleasure; and acting from this motive, we may learn to be
     'willing even to be useless,' if it be His will. This may seem
     more than the Gospel requires, but I believe, if we knew
     ourselves thoroughly, we should ever be suspicious of all
     feelings which led to personal comparisons. We should, as you
     say, be thankful for the one talent, not dissatisfied that we
     have not the many, knowing that we may please God, and
     accomplish the end of our being in the one case as well as in
     the other. And as it regards the good we may do, do we not
     often see Him using feeble means to effect great ends? At all
     events, it is our duty to be satisfied with what He has thought
     sufficient for us. But you need no urging to induce you to do
     your utmost; the only difficulty is, to know in what manner it
     is to be done."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Sydenham, June 9, 1825._

     "MY DEAR MARY:--

     "I made a call with some friends one day upon the clergyman's
     lady, when our names were carried along by a row of livery
     servants, each one sounding it louder and louder, until it was
     announced by my lady's own servant at the door of the
     drawing-room, in a voice that made me start at the fellow's
     impudence in speaking so loud to his mistress; but I found that
     the poor lady was very deaf, yet a good, easy, old-fashioned
     body, as sociable and kind as need be. My risibles
     unfortunately took alarm at the similarity of this train of
     servants to a line at a fire handing buckets, and I had much
     ado to look indifferent and dignified, as if I were used to it;
     but I had my laugh out when I got into the room, for the
     good-natured body soon gave me a pretence for it by her
     whimsical stories.

     "I went to St. Paul's last week to see the annual gathering of
     the parochial schools and I could not have conceived any thing
     so striking as the sight was. That part of the church which is
     fitted up for service is not used, but temporary seats are
     erected for the children under the great dome, and the
     spectators sit in the body of the church, quite down to the
     western door. The children, about eight thousand, all clothed
     in the uniform of their several schools, are arranged one row
     above another to the number of sixteen, and to the height of at
     least fifty feet, within the pillars of the dome and on each
     side of the aisles. The appearance of the children was most
     deeply affecting; all between seven and fourteen, not half of
     what belonged to the schools, for want of room; all clothed and
     educated by charity; taken, for the most part, from the poorest
     classes, and perhaps saved from destruction; it was a
     delightful sight for a Christian, a striking testimony to the
     power of religion. They were directed by the motions of one man
     and it seemed as if one impulse moved the whole, so perfectly
     did they keep time together. And when at last all were
     assembled, and the solemn silence was suddenly broken by one
     swell of their united voices in a hymn of thanksgiving, I think
     the most insensible there must have been melted; the sound
     filled the whole of that vast building, and reverberated again
     and again along its aisles. The morning service was performed
     by the clergyman, choristers, and children; the minister's
     voice was almost powerless in that vast place, and the organ,
     and voices of the singers, sixteen in number, could scarcely be
     heard at the end of the aisle; the children only could fill the
     space, and as they occasionally burst out in different parts,
     the effect was wonderfully fine."

At this point, Mary received a cordial invitation from a party of
American friends, to go with them to Scotland. It was an opportunity
which she hardly expected, but most earnestly desired; not only for its
own sake, but as facilitating a cherished purpose of visiting her
father's only sister in the North of England,--a visit of which she
thought more than any other, and which was to prove more important than
any other, though in a way which she could little anticipate. The
journey thither, which was almost her only pure recreation, and was
shared with a friend of all others desirable, was a high enjoyment; and
her unstudied account of it, written from Chester and Gretna Green, we
give at length, as we have allowed but little room to this kind of
description. We claim for it no distinction, except that of naturalness
and ease.

     "_Chester, July 22, 1825._


     "From sundry letters from Emma and myself, which will, I trust,
     have reached you long before this does, you will be able to
     guess how I have found my way to this place; but I am very glad
     that I have time and opportunity to tell you, not only how, but
     why, I am here. I wrote to Ann the last of June, mentioning Mr.
     Perkins's kind proposition, that I should join his party and go
     with them to Scotland. I received your delightful letter the
     day after, and, I assure you, the encouragement you gave me to
     see and do all I could, with the promise of the approbation of
     those kind friends whose wishes it is my greatest desire to
     fulfil, did not a little in deciding me to use the means placed
     within my power of acquiring the information, which I probably
     should never again have an opportunity of getting. I try to be
     satisfied in having done what appeared best, by the thought
     that it is my duty to improve all the means of doing good which
     may fall in my way. But I do not like to think that any thing
     is to keep me from you much longer. I had made up my mind when
     I came, to go on bravely to the end, let it take what time it
     might, but my hope was that a year would be sufficient, and I
     still hope that it will; yet I know you would not think me
     right to leave my work half finished, for any childish
     weakness, or homesick feeling. Be assured that I am as
     industrious as I can be, for my stimulant to exertion is a most
     powerful one, that of being again united to the beloved
     friends which that blessed spot, home, contains. We have had a
     most delightful tour so far, and I daily feel that I am a
     highly favored mortal, to have such an opportunity of
     witnessing the wonders of this goodly world; and I cannot but
     be grieved that I can make so little use of such a privilege.

     "We left Bath upon the 9th, and have since passed through South
     and North Wales, and to-day took leave of the interesting
     scenery and people we found there, with much regret. At
     Chepstow we passed a day, seeing the ruins of its old castle,
     upon some sublime rocks on the banks of the river Wye, and
     walking through the grounds of Piercefield, a gentleman's seat
     in the neighborhood, finely situated upon the rocky, yet
     thickly wooded heights, which border the river for a long
     distance from its mouth. On our ride from Chepstow to Hereford,
     we stopped to see the ruins of Tintern Abbey and Ragland
     Castle, both very famous, and I should think as fine as it was
     possible any thing of the kind could be. Of the former, the
     walls and pillars of the church are nearly all that remain, but
     they are so perfect as to give one an exact idea of the beauty
     which it once possessed, built in the purest Gothic style, in
     the bottom of a quiet, beautiful valley, watered by the Wye,
     and protected on all sides by rocks and hills, which seem to
     defy any power that should dare to approach. But the hand of
     Time has worked silently and effectually, and what was once a
     most noble temple is now but a tumbling ruin, sublime, indeed,
     even in its decay, covered almost with ivy, and shaded from
     within by trees which have grown upon the very spots
     consecrated to the prayers and confessions of its former
     possessors. Its situation, and the peculiar lightness and
     beauty of its architecture, have made it very much talked of by
     travellers; but all my expectations were fully answered,
     although they were very great.

     "After riding all day over hill and dale, with only the sheep
     for our companions, we came at once upon one of the most
     romantic scenes imaginable; the singular pass called the
     Devil's Bridge, a stone structure thrown over a chasm in the
     rocks of one hundred and fifty feet depth, through the bottom
     of which runs a very rapid stream, dashing over rocks which at
     some seasons must make quite a grand cataract; but at this time
     the water is low. The banks are thickly wooded, even to the
     edge of the water, and altogether it is very attractive. At
     A---- we passed a night, and came through much glorious scenery
     to Dalgelly, where we performed the mighty feat of mounting
     Cader Idris, the highest mountain in Wales, except Snowdon, and
     two thousand eight hundred feet from the point we left in the
     plain below. Imagine me mounted on horse back, for the first
     time in my life, for such a perilous undertaking, fortunately
     without any fear, and much amused by the novelty of the
     situation. The day happened to be very hot, but the atmosphere
     was clear; and we should have been amply repaid for tenfold the
     fatigue we endured, by the grand scene we beheld from the
     summit. Never having before been on a great elevation, I knew
     not what to expect; and if the sensations were not just what I
     had supposed, they were sufficiently solemn to make me sensible
     that it was 'good to be there.' A birdseye view of a circuit of
     five hundred miles could not fail to fill one with an idea of
     the power and majesty of Him who formed these wondrous glories,
     such as no common scenes could ever have inspired. I think I
     shall never look back upon that hour without recalling emotions
     which should make one better for ever.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Gretna Green, July 30, 1825._

     "MY DEAR MARY:--

     "My last, I think, was from Lancaster, just as we were about
     commencing our journey among the beautiful lakes of Cumberland
     and Westmoreland. We crossed what are called the Ulverstone and
     Lancaster Sands to Ulverstone. The shore is very hard at this
     place, and when the tide is down the ride is perfectly safe and
     free from water, except in the centre, where a river passes
     through. At this place is always found a guide, who conducts
     the carriage through the ford. I confess I did not much like
     the sensation, for though there is no danger in a heavy
     carriage, the current of the river is so strong that it seems
     as if the carriage were swimming. It was an odd feeling, too,
     after having been so recently three thousand feet in the air,
     to find one's self walking on the very bed of the ocean. We had
     about twelve miles of this kind of travelling. The coast is
     very bold, and we were quite delighted with the variety.

     "The next day's ride, from Ambleside to Keswick, was a very
     interesting one; the scenery of the grandest, and at times most
     beautiful, character. At Rydal we stopped to see what would
     have been a beautiful cascade if there had been any water, but
     we have had such a long period of dry weather that the stream
     had almost disappeared. The scenery about it was fine, and the
     thing itself could not but interest us under any circumstances,
     for it borders upon Wordsworth's grounds, and has no doubt been
     a favorite resort of his, and the suggestion of much of his
     fine poetry. His house is just below, and we could not help
     stopping at the gate, to look at the abode of one whose
     writings we so much admired. He was not at home, but his sister
     came out and invited us to see the place, and take a view from
     the Mount which gives the name to his place. This we could not
     do, but it was some consolation for our disappointment to have
     spoken to her, although it was very tantalizing not to be able
     to avail ourselves of her polite invitation. The lakes of
     Rydal, Grasmere, Windermere, came in succession on our way, all
     beautiful, but Grasmere with its little island in the centre
     the most so, by far; the banks being much wooded and ornamented
     by gentlemen's seats. And Emma and I fancied that, after
     searching the greater part of England, we had at length found a
     spot in which we should be willing to take up our abode for
     life. The mighty Helvellyn tempted us mountain-climbers to
     ascend its rough sides, but with Skiddaw before us we were
     satisfied to pass it, in the hope of accomplishing the ascent
     of that. At Keswick we staid one night, riding to Bassenthwaite
     in the afternoon, and sailing upon the lake in the evening.
     Nothing could exceed the beauty and sublimity of the latter
     excursion. When we first went upon it, the sun was just setting
     behind the immense mountains which bound this lake on the west,
     throwing their shadows upon its smooth surface, and lighting
     those beyond with that purple, misty hue, which is not to be
     described but by the brush of an artist, this again giving way
     to the sober hue of evening, until all view of them would have
     been lost, had not the moon risen in full-orbed glory, to
     enlighten the scene with her paler, but not less beautiful
     light. We sailed about four hours upon the lake, landing upon
     one of the islands upon which is a gentleman's seat, and going
     to the other extremity to see the falls of dark Lodore, and to
     hear the singular effect produced by firing a cannon on the
     shore; it seemed like the rumbling of thunder, and was
     distinctly echoed five times. I don't think I have enjoyed any
     one thing so much as this sail, since we commenced our journey.

     "We came on through Carlisle, and passed the boundary line
     between Scotland and England, and reached this place before
     dark,--the first town over the border. It is a very small
     village, consisting of scarcely more than a dozen white
     cottages, but it has, perhaps, been the scene of as many
     critical events as many a larger one. We are at a very
     comfortable inn, got up for the accommodation of the fugitives
     who fly hither to seal their fate with the blacksmith's unholy
     blessing. Do not be alarmed for me, although I am quietly
     seated in the very room which has witnessed the consummation
     'so devoutly wished' by most young dames. It is, indeed,
     mortifying to find one's self so near the goal, with so many
     requisites, obliged to miss the glorious opportunity for the
     want of one trifling article,--a husband; but so it is, and
     notwithstanding I am treading fairy land, I in vain look for
     some kind godmother to conjure up the needful, and must even
     submit to single blessedness a little longer. But I must stop;
     and have not time to look this over.




Very different from its beginning was the termination of the pleasant
tour through Scotland. Mary felt it a duty to suppress all longings to
go on with her good friend, who was soon to leave the country. Gladly
would she have returned with her to America at once. But the great
purpose, certainly one of the chief objects, for which she had gone
abroad, was not yet accomplished. Her father's only sister, who had been
left a widow in a very destitute condition, was still living in a
distant and obscure village of Yorkshire. Mr. Pickard had made an annual
provision for her support while he lived, and his daughter determined to
carry out his intentions, so far as she could. Yet she felt that no aid
in her power to send would be as much to her poor aunt as a visit, and
she had been anxiously looking for an escort to the place, which was so
remote as to make it hardly prudent for a lady and a stranger to venture
alone. She was therefore the more ready to accompany her friends to
Scotland, as on their return they would go within eighty miles of
Osmotherly, her aunt's residence. Accordingly she parted from them at
Penrith, and went the rest of the way alone.

The visit that followed forms the most remarkable, and in some respects
the most interesting and important, chapter in the story of her life.
Instead of three weeks, which she had set apart for this purpose, she
remained three months at Osmotherly. And it is not the least noticeable
fact in that experience, that she wrote on the spot a very full account
of the whole, in the midst of cares and the sight and sound of
sufferings which are ordinarily allowed to excuse, if they do not wholly
prevent, any use of the pen or effort of mind. But we will not
anticipate. Nor will we interrupt the narrative, which we have drawn
from various letters, by any comments of our own.

     "_Osmotherly, September 2, 1825._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "I wish I could relieve your mind about my undertaking and
     prospects as quickly as my own was set at rest. I will not
     recapitulate all or any thing that I felt at parting from you
     yesterday, but you know me well enough to believe that it was
     with no common degree of regret and anxiety, which the
     uncertainty of the path before me tended not a little to
     increase. But I did recollect that I had never yet been
     forsaken in any difficulty; supposing the worst, there could be
     no fear of real evil, and anxiety and distrust only made all
     that real which might after all be merely imaginary. In order
     to obtain the quiet feeling which this view of things should
     create, I turned my attention to my fellow-passenger, who
     proved a very respectable, well-informed woman, and my only
     companion to North Allerton. Her experiences helped to make me
     more comfortable, for she had come from London alone, travelled
     all night, and had a very long distance farther to go. She said
     she found no difficulty in travelling alone, and gave me some
     useful hints upon the subject. Our route lay over a different
     road from that by which we approached York, and as the day was
     so fine, we had a more tolerable ride than I expected. At North
     Allerton I found a quiet room at the inn, and a civil
     landlady,--went directly to the post-office, where a long and
     delightful letter from Jane McAdam awaited me. Not a word there
     of my aunt's letter, and I then went to a gentleman, through
     whom I had formerly transmitted letters to her, and found that
     he had sent the day before a letter from her to me, and that
     she was then well. This set me quite at ease, and I took a
     chaise and rode hither with a comparatively light heart. And
     then I wished it had so chanced that you could have taken this
     ride with me, for a more beautiful one I have seldom seen. This
     town lies upon one of those hills which we saw at a distance
     towards the east the day we rode from Richmond; and the ride
     from North Allerton is a gradual ascent, giving at every step a
     more extended view of the rich country which we passed through,
     with the additional beauty of numberless little streams which
     we could not see, and highly cultivated hills rising on one
     side to a great height.

     "I found my aunt much better than I expected, and, as you may
     suppose, almost overpowered with joy to see me. I did wish you
     could have seen her,--a small, thin old lady, with a pale
     complexion, like Aunt Whipple, and the very brightest black
     eyes, which sparkle when she speaks with a degree of animation
     almost amusing in such an old lady. She lives in a comfortable
     little two-story cottage of four rooms, which far exceeds any
     thing I ever saw for neatness. I find that I could not have
     come at a better time to do good, or a worse for gaining
     spirits. My aunt's two daughters are married and live in this
     village; one of them, with three children, has a husband at the
     point of death with a fever; his brother died yesterday of the
     small-pox, and two of her children have the whooping-cough;
     added to this, their whole dependence is upon their own
     exertions, which are of course entirely stopped now. One of the
     children, a year and a half old, is with the grandmother, but
     so ill with the cough that she is almost sick with taking care
     of it. It has fortunately taken a fancy to me at once, and I
     can relieve her a little. But worse than all, one of her sons
     had come home in a very gloomy state of mind, and all her
     efforts had failed to rouse him to exertion. I hope to be more
     successful, for he seems willing to listen to me. You may
     suppose, under such a state of things, I shall find enough to
     do. My aunt's mind is in a much better state than I expected,
     and if she does not get worn out with care to do more for me
     than ever was done for any body before, I shall be most
     thankful that I came. She tells me of many neighboring places
     which it would interest me to visit, as resorts of my dear
     father, and I think, next week, if possible to get a vehicle, I
     shall take her off upon a jaunt round the country for a few
     days, in home style, driving myself.

     "I have not seen half the multitude of cousins that I find are
     to be seen, but so far they are kind and affectionate, and
     disposed to make me comfortable and happy. I feel just like a
     child who has left home for the first time; the change is so
     sudden and so great, that the last eight weeks seem to me very
     like a dream of some distant age, and a most interesting one
     too. I never was more thankful for the varieties of life
     through which I have passed, for without actual experience I
     never could have adapted myself to the new order of beings I
     now have to deal with. I shall find full employment for my
     fingers, in making my poor aunt as comfortable as I wish to
     leave her.

     "M. L. P."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, September 8, 1825._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "Watching all night by a death-bed is but a poor preparation
     for writing; and yet I am not willing to lose the first leisure
     moment that I have had since I wrote you, lest you should be
     alarmed at my long silence. But I think, from the account I
     gave you of the state of affairs here, you will naturally
     conclude that I should have had constant occupation, and will
     not be uneasy about me. I have indeed found quite as much
     employment for mind and body as either were able to perform,
     and have not had one moment to devote to you, although my heart
     has been with you, and my thoughts have often followed you. The
     poor sick man, of whom I told you, has been growing worse
     daily, and it was with feelings of almost joy that I last night
     closed his eyes, knowing that his sufferings were at an end;
     and yet he is so great a loss to his family, that I seldom knew
     a case in which it was so difficult to feel that 'it is right.'
     His wife, who is but a slender woman, is left with three little
     boys, without a penny to support them, and almost without the
     power of gaining it, for the youngest, which is but three weeks
     old, is dreadfully ill with the whooping-cough. She is a calm
     and patient sufferer, however, and it does one good to see how
     trouble can be borne by the most unlettered and uninformed,
     when the spirit is right. I have not been able to do much for
     him, but the little baby has been my constant care, and I have
     got to loving it dearly. Every thing around me is sad and
     sorrowful, and nothing but the effort, which it is absolutely
     necessary for me to make, to cheer and assist others, gives me
     the least pleasure. My poor aunt, weakened in mind and body by
     continued and most severe afflictions, is almost a child; her
     son is nearly insane, and keeps her in constant fear lest he
     may destroy himself; and the trials of this poor daughter are
     enough to break her heart. Another of my cousins is well
     married, and wishes me to be with her at her quiet and happy
     home; but I cannot think of deserting this post, however
     painful, for any prospect of ease to myself. In fact, it seems
     to me that posts of difficulty are my appointed lot and my
     element, for I do feel lighter and happier when I have
     difficulties to overcome. Could you look in upon me, you would
     think it was impossible that I could be even tolerably
     comfortable, and yet I am cheerful, and get on as easily as
     possible, and am in truth happy.

     "This village is the most primitive place I ever was in, and a
     very obscure, out-of-the way place; the inhabitants almost
     entirely of one class, and that of the poorer kind of laboring
     people, ignorant as possible, but simple and social. You may
     conceive of their simple manners, when I tell you they 'never
     saw such a lady as Miss Pickard' among them before; and of
     course Miss Pickard is an object of as much curiosity and
     speculation as if she were Empress of all the Russias; but they
     are kind-hearted and civil. The peculiar situation of things
     has taken me more among them than I should have been in twice
     the time, under common circumstances, and it has been a good
     exercise for my faculty of adaptation. I have succeeded, I
     believe, in pleasing them, for it seems as if they only vied
     with each other in trying to do the most for me, and I really
     think, if they had a parson to write the 'Annals of their
     Parish,' the arrival of the 'American lady' would stand as the
     most remarkable event in the year 1825. This amuses me, and
     gives me an opportunity of doing much good with little
     trouble, for it gives me influence; and, moreover, it shows me
     human nature under a new form. But I am entirely destitute of
     every thing like companionship, and having had so much in this
     way lately with you, of the most satisfactory and delightful
     kind, you will readily believe that I must feel a great
     deficiency. There is not even a clergyman's family for me to
     associate with, for the curate of the place is of the very
     worst class of that set whose existence is a standing disgrace
     to the Church; an ignorant, drinking man, as careless and
     negligent of the duties of his station as if he considered it
     of no consequence whatever. I hope to have a little leisure
     soon, and then reading and writing will make up to me in some
     measure for the loss of society; but as yet I have literally
     had to work hard, and have not found time even to look at 'the
     journal.' I have a nice, little, quiet room, however, and feel
     quite at home in it.

     "I have thought much, very, very much, of your voyage back
     without me. I will not say I regret the circumstances which
     have led to my disappointment, for it seemed to be my appointed
     path, and when one follows the dictates of conscience it must
     be right; and when it is right, why should we wish it
     otherwise? But I am weak, and there are times when the thought
     of another six, perhaps nine, months' absence from home, with
     all the uncertainties which attend the future, makes my heart
     sink, and the tear start, in spite of myself. Yet it could not
     be otherwise; it would have been wrong to have neglected coming
     here. I am more convinced of this now than ever, for though it
     was said that I could do as much good by sending money as by
     coming myself, I do not think so; and though I may be thought
     foolishly scrupulous for subjecting myself to the evils I must
     meet with here, when I might have avoided them, I am sure I
     never could have felt satisfied that all was done for my poor
     aunt as well as it could be, unless I had seen and managed it.
     But I am allowing myself in talking of self in a most
     unwarrantable manner; you will pardon me, in consideration of
     the difficulty of giving up at once the habit of
     self-indulgence which your kindness has created and fixed."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, September 10, 1825._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "I do not mean to act modest and beg a compliment for it, but
     in sober truth you do overrate me. Just because you happen to
     have seen more deeply into my 'inner man' than you are wont to
     do with others, and have your feelings strongly interested, you
     let them carry you off, upon their liberal and expanded wings,
     to a region of romance peopled by ideal spirits with which you
     identify your poor friend Mary, who has in truth no business
     there. But I do indeed rejoice, if the experience which God in
     his goodness has given me has been in any measure useful. I do
     consider it a privilege to have learned so much of His
     character and will as in the wisdom of His providence He has
     enabled me to do, though it has been by fiery trial. I feel
     responsible for the right use of such a privilege, not only for
     my own, but others' good; and if in the fulness of my heart I
     have been tempted to show you more of myself than a cooler
     judgment would have approved, I trust that it may not have been
     without its advantages to both; to me, in teaching a lesson of
     humility; to you, as a warning, perhaps. But I must not yield
     to this propensity to egotism; I have too much beside to talk

     "Our poor man was buried yesterday, and, as clergymen rarely
     come here, my cousin thought she would have her infant
     christened on the same day. It was a most affecting sight. I
     stood as its godmother at her request, because I could not
     refuse her at such a time; but it is too great a
     responsibility to be lightly taken. The child, however, cannot
     live, for it has begun already to have fits with its cough.

     "_September 12._ In three days you are to be gone from the
     country, and I shall not have this means of communicating. Dear
     Emma, you cannot tell how much I shall miss you. You seem to be
     a connecting link with home, which I have a fearful dread of
     losing. I don't know how it is, but these coming six months
     seem to me a worse separation than all the past eighteen. Yet
     do not think, because I feel so sad about not going home, that
     I dread staying. You know enough of the interests I have here,
     to feel satisfied that I shall have much to occupy me
     pleasantly. It is only the protracted separation from home that
     I feel sorry for, and that is unavoidable, and will perhaps
     prove best on many accounts. Farewell."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, September 13, 1825._

     "DEAR EMMA:--

     "I had determined to write last night, as I found it quite out
     of the question to attempt it in the daytime. I had been up
     with the little boy a great part of the night before; yet I
     knew I could keep awake writing, I wanted to do it so much. But
     in the true spirit of Polly Pickard, attempting more than any
     one would think reasonable, I was quite persuaded that, as I
     was to sit up, it was as well to do all I could; and as poor
     cousin Bessy had not had a quiet night since her child was
     born, and was going to sleep alone in her house for the first
     time since her husband's death, I thought it would do her good,
     and me no harm, to sit up in her parlor, and take care of the
     baby in the cradle, that she might have a little sleep, and not
     feel alone. The dear little baby had been better than for some
     time, during the day, and I doubted not it would lie in the
     cradle or on my knee very quietly, except during its coughing
     fits. Bessy went to bed, but the poor little creature grew
     worse, and coughed itself into a fit, in which it lay so long
     that I thought it dead, and awoke its mother; but its little
     heart began to beat again, and it seemed to be reviving, though
     slowly, and I sent her off again. It appeared for some time to
     be recovering, but all at once it sunk away and died in my
     arms, so peacefully and sweetly that I could scarcely be
     persuaded that it had not fallen into a still slumber, or had
     another fit. But it was indeed gone, and when I could bring
     myself to give it up, I arranged its little body for its last
     home. I don't know when I have had my feelings more excited. It
     was a lovely little creature, and I have nursed it so much
     since I have been here, that I found it had become an object of
     great interest to me; not a day has passed that I have not
     given three or four hours to it, and it was always so quiet
     with me that it seemed almost to know when I took it. The
     circumstances of the family, too, made it singularly affecting
     that it should be taken away, and the suddenness of its death
     seemed almost to bewilder me. Its poor mother is ill, and
     between comforting her and coming home to my aunt, who is very
     feeble, I scarcely know how to find time enough for either. I
     have been up three nights since Wednesday last, and, with two
     children to manage, I am almost mazed.

     "I have tried to write this morning, for the baby was not out
     of my arms a moment last night, but I cannot collect my
     thoughts,--I don't know what I mean to say. You must state the
     case for me. Could you look in upon me you might wonder I was
     not crazy, but I shall do very well when I get a little sleep.
     Do not feel uneasy about me; I am not in danger of being sick,
     unless the prophecies of the old women here will kill me, for
     they think, I believe, that I am too kind to live, and they
     shake their heads most knowingly,--one proof among a thousand
     how much more frequently our characters are estimated by the
     circumstances in which we happen to be placed, than by any
     other criterion. Do write, to the last minute. I cannot bear to
     part with you in this unsatisfactory manner, but indeed I am
     incapable of any thing more; my eyes are dazzled as I write,
     and I must lie down. I shall write by the packet of the 24th
     from Liverpool, so that you will hear of me almost as soon as
     you get home; and I pray God that in safety and health and
     increased happiness you may all reach 'that haven where you
     would be, with a grateful sense of His mercies.' May God for
     ever bless you, my dear, kind friend, and strengthen you by His
     grace to pursue with success that path of virtue and holiness
     which it is your wish to follow, and enable you to perform all
     the duties which lie before you, consistently with His divine
     will, and worthy of His acceptance. This can only be done by
     humble reliance upon Him who is the way, the truth, and the
     life, for guidance, support, and reward. He alone can enable us
     to do that which we ought to do, and, feeling our own weakness,
     let us rely with faith upon His promises, neither doubting nor
     fearing the certainty of their accomplishment. But I cannot
     write or think; I seem to feel that 'bonnie little bairnie' in
     my arms still, and my nerves are something shaken. The worst of
     the whole is that poor, unhappy young man, whose low moans are
     continually sounding in my ears; but I send him away to-morrow
     for his own sake, as well as ours, and all will go well. Again,
     dearest Emma, Heaven bless you! Ever your

     "M. L. P."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, September 14, 1825._

     "DEAR EMMA:--

     "I have had a grand night's sleep, and am better
     to-day,--should be well, but for this lazy feeling, and a dull
     headache. Don't fear for me. I do not think I am going to be
     sick, and it will be for some good purpose if I am. I could not
     regret what I have done; I could almost say, as Mr. Thacher
     once said, 'I had better live a shorter life, and a useful
     one.' But I am not inclined to throw away life either; I enjoy
     it much, and think it right for all to endeavor to preserve it,
     for we may all do some good if we try, and that is reason
     enough for keeping it, were there no enjoyment to be had; as
     there is, even for the most distressed. But I must leave you,
     for I am not able to write more.

     "... We buried the dear little baby to-day, which has been a
     wet, uncomfortable one, and I do not feel the better for the
     exposure, but on the whole am very well; nothing but a trifling
     cold, scarcely worth minding. I feel with you that it is as
     well, if not _better_, that I should stay. But you must not
     judge of its importance by cousin Jane's representation; her
     warm heart runs away with her judgment where she feels so much.

     "A truce with your 'feelings of inferiority.' Who scolds me for
     the same feelings? It is Pride, my dear, depend upon it. I know
     it of old. Do not let it triumph.

     "Ever sincerely yours,
     "M. L. P."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, October 3, 1825._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "I have just received your farewell blessing, and could you
     look in upon me, and know the peculiar circumstances and
     situation in which I am placed, you would not be surprised that
     it has made a very child of me, and that for the time I feel as
     if all my connection with my home and its interests was severed
     by your departure. I would not write under these impressions,
     for I know it is a diseased state of mind, did I not fear that,
     unless I improve this one leisure evening, I shall not have
     another opportunity of writing for a long time; and I know you
     will be anxious to hear from me, from the uncomfortable feeling
     which you express at not receiving late letters. I did at first
     regret that I had not written upon the chances of your being
     detained, but on the whole it was best that I did not, for I
     could not at any moment since my last date have relieved your
     anxiety, had I told you the truth, and I think your imagination
     could not picture any evil so bad as the reality has been.

     "But to proceed in order. I wrote you last, I think, the day
     after the dear little infant was buried, and I believe I
     mentioned to you that I had taken up my night quarters with my
     poor cousin Bessy. She had never been left alone since her
     husband died, and now that she had no longer her baby to occupy
     her attention, she felt her desolateness more forcibly. I
     therefore gave the day to my aunt, having Bessy and her two
     little boys as much with us as possible, and passed the night
     with her. She was the most patient sufferer I ever saw; not a
     word of repining ever escaped her, and she went about her
     occupations and duties with a steadiness which spoke a
     determination to sacrifice every selfish consideration to the
     good of her children. Scarcely a tear could be seen on her
     cheek, and a common observer would have accused her of want of
     feeling, if he had not understood that the settled calm which
     sat upon her face might hide more real agony than is ever shown
     by any 'sounds of woe.' Her resolution astonished her friends,
     for they knew her to have a very timid and self-distrusting
     character, and the situation in which she was thus suddenly
     placed would have appalled even a stout heart. But I saw the
     true state of the case. When the duties of the day were past,
     and the necessity for exerting herself over, and all at rest
     but ourselves, she felt at liberty to indulge herself in
     talking of that of which she would not speak to any one beside;
     and I found that what seemed insensibility was in reality a
     degree of fortitude and resolution which I never saw equalled.
     I thought it best, too, to encourage her thus to open her
     heart, for I believe that concealed grief is always the most
     destructive to the mind, and her situation really required the
     advice and assistance of any one who could aid her, as she was
     inexperienced and felt her own deficiencies to a most
     overpowering degree. She had had but little instruction upon
     religious subjects, and would listen to my reading of the
     Scriptures, and detail of my own experience of the power of
     religious consolations, as if a new light were opened to her
     soul. I did not then know how much she was affected, but the
     readiness with which she adopted advice upon the subject gave
     me much hope that it would in time become as valuable to her as
     it had been to me.

     "I told you that her infant was only a fortnight old when her
     husband was taken ill, and only a month when it died. Its
     mother had never recovered her strength, and distress having
     destroyed her appetite, and watching deprived her of sleep, she
     was as thin and weak as possible, and but ill able to bear the
     consequences of the sudden death of the child. This, added to a
     cold which she took, made her very feverish, and the absence of
     the physician from town obliged her to confine herself to such
     simple remedies as we could prescribe, to avert further evil
     and restore her strength. But the benefit which she derived
     from them was but temporary. A week from the day upon which her
     baby died, while passing the afternoon with us, she was taken
     very ill, and it was with great difficulty that her brother and
     myself carried her to her own house, only a few rods distant. I
     lost no time in administering the prescriptions of the
     physician, and for a few days she seemed to mend; but I soon
     felt convinced that her disease was the worst form of typhus
     fever, and was sure that she had not strength to get through
     it. The doctor confirmed my suspicions, but told me that such
     was the dread of it among the country people, that, if it were
     known, I should be left to myself, for no one would come near
     the house. I had not then required any assistance, for I was
     very well, and, knowing her situation to be a critical one, did
     not like to trust her to any one beside. By some means,
     however, the story was sounded abroad and spread like wildfire,
     and the suspicion of (what was in fact the truth) the two
     brothers having died of the same disorder added to the evil.

     "The day after Bessy was taken, Jemmy, her youngest child, a
     boy of three, fell ill too, and though it was doubtful whether
     whooping-cough or typhus had the greater share in his malady,
     to the fearful minds of the villagers it was all one and the
     same, and the family were thought to be doomed to destruction.
     One by one fell off from coming near the house, till I at last
     scarcely saw a person except the doctor during the day. This I
     did not mind, for I preferred being constantly with my cousin,
     and the actual labor of attending her was not great; she took
     but little, and all the help which I wished for I had. She
     died, however, on the 30th of September, eleven days after she
     was taken, and during that time I had never left her, night or
     day, except to change my clothes occasionally at my aunt's. I
     had watched with her seven nights, and been up part of every
     other; for so accustomed was she to my care, that she did not
     like to be touched by any other person. I had sent the two
     little boys to their grandmother's, and the youngest was very
     ill during the whole of his mother's sickness, and still
     continues so. My cousin's little cottage was so small, that I
     felt unwilling that any one should sleep in it, lest they
     should suffer from infection; and often did I sit up with her
     alone in the house. I had been so exposed to the disease that I
     felt no fears for myself, and I believe this helped to
     preserve me, and the good doctor watched me very narrowly. I
     could not in a month tell you half the interesting
     circumstances attending this trying scene. Her senses never
     forsook her for a moment, nor her deep sense of gratitude to
     God for the mercies which he had bestowed on her amid all her
     sufferings. It seemed to her His immediate providence which had
     sent me to them just at this time, and her expressions of
     affection and thankfulness were indeed most delightful to me.
     It does appear most singular that I should have come just now,
     for the fact is, poor Bessy would have suffered for want of a
     nurse, beside many other necessaries, had I not been here. Her
     mother was fully occupied with the little boy, and her sister
     too distant, and of too much importance at home, to be with
     her, and the people of the place are too ignorant and
     frightened to have been all to her that she required.

     "It was necessary to bury her immediately; and thus is this
     family entirely broken up, in the short space of three weeks,
     by the death of both its heads. She left her children to my
     sole direction and care, and the settlement of all their
     affairs, so that I have still much to do, beside the care of
     the sick child. His grandmother is almost worn out with it, and
     left his mother's death-bed only to nurse him. I have now
     stolen away from him for an hour to visit this deserted place,
     and am sitting by the fire in the lonely parlor, without any
     other being in the house but the eldest boy of seven, who is
     amusing himself by my side, interrupting me now and then by
     saying, 'Cousin Mary, you will let me live with you, wont you?'
     Every thing is still without, and so strongly is my poor
     cousin's voice associated with every thing I see around me,
     that it would not require any very strong effort of imagination
     to fancy I still heard her blessing me from what is now, I
     trust, her abode of peace and joy. But I must not indulge
     myself in writing about feelings, for I have much else to say;
     but I really think, since the last solemn evening that I spent
     alone in the old oak parlor in Pearl Street, I have never felt
     so forcibly the mutability of all earthly things; and had I any
     one to listen, I could talk all night upon the subject.

     "This is by far the most primitive, uncivilized place I was
     ever in; I cannot liken it to any thing I know at home, for
     even Worthington has lawyers and a clergyman's family to redeem
     it; and, moreover, the general inhabitants of our little towns
     have more information and education than is to be found in
     these out-of-the-way villages, to which the modern improvement
     of national and free schools has not yet been extended. I am
     glad to see all the varieties of life, but under present
     circumstances this is a very solitary one. Were it not for the
     physician's visits, which he kindly makes every day, I should
     live totally without conversation in its true sense. The people
     are good and honest-hearted, and treat me as if I belonged to a
     higher order of animals,--and this is a novel situation! I am
     very free from complaints, and take care not to do more than I
     feel able to, and if I am superstitious in feeling that
     Providence directed me hither at this time, it is a useful
     superstition, inasmuch as it gives me a feeling of security
     that I shall be guided and strengthened to accomplish the work
     appointed for me. Do not fear, but hope and pray for me.

     "I cannot tell you how much your visit to Burcombe gratified
     me; you could not have obliged me more, for I should have been
     so suspicious that my own description of it and its inhabitants
     might be a partial one, that I doubt if I should really have
     done them justice at home: Jane was as much pleased with the
     effort you made to see them, as any one could possibly be, and
     more pleased with the visit itself than I choose to tell you. I
     have most kind letters from the family at Penrith, offering to
     come for me whenever I give the word of command; it is a
     delightful rest to look forward to, but it will, I fear, be
     long before I can avail myself of it. The thoughts of home are
     to me now something like the dreams one has of heaven, in the
     twilight hours between sleeping and waking; I dare not form any
     definite picture, and yet the idea will not be wholly
     discarded. But with so much around me to make me realize the
     uncertainty of life, and exposed to actual danger every moment,
     how can I presume even to hope? May I be able to say from the
     heart, 'Thy will be done.'


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, October 23, 1825._

     "_My dear Cousin_:--

     "I wrote Emma a hurried letter a few weeks since, giving an
     account of my poor cousin's illness and death, and then hoped
     that I should soon be able to tell a happier tale, to relieve
     the anxiety which that might have produced. But it is not yet
     in my power, and I should not venture to write at all, did I
     not hope that all your uneasiness on my account will find an
     antidote in the confidence which daily experience increases in
     my heart, that He whose arm is mighty to save, and who has
     hitherto protected me from all danger, will still extend to me
     his fatherly care, and guide and guard me under all the events
     of his providence. You will readily believe that I have need of
     this confidence to strengthen me, when I tell you that I am
     writing this by the bedside of the eldest of those two dear
     little orphans whom my cousin left in my care. His little
     brother had scarcely recovered from his fever, when I was
     obliged to leave him to attend this poor child with the same
     fever, and have now been for more than a week his sole nurse,
     night and day.

     "But to give you an adequate idea of the peculiarly trying
     situation in which I have been placed for the last seven
     weeks, I must recapitulate the story, which you may perhaps
     have gathered in unconnected details from my letters to Emma.
     It is indeed a melancholy one, but proves to me most painfully
     that our steps are oftentimes guided by a wisdom from above,
     far beyond our own limited conceptions. You know that one of my
     objects in coming to England was to try to do something more
     than I had hitherto been enabled to, for the comfort of my poor
     old aunt, and you will not therefore be surprised that it was
     my fixed resolution not to return until I had an opportunity of
     ascertaining how to do this most effectually. When at last I
     did get here, it was with the expectation of staying only just
     long enough to see that she was made comfortable. I knew
     nothing of her family even by name, and of herself only that
     she was old and feeble, and subject to fits of extreme
     melancholy. I had not any anticipations of pleasure, except
     from the feeling that I was doing what my dear father would
     have done, and fulfilling one of the duties of my life. My
     father had been her idol through life, and, as I have now
     found, almost her sole dependence; her children could do little
     for her, and the relations she had in England knew nothing of
     her. She was of course most delighted to see me, and prepared
     to devote herself with all her faculties to my comfort. But,
     poor body, she stood in need of all that I could do to comfort
     to her.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "I have written this in the intervals of attendance upon the
     little boy, and, as you may perceive, at different periods, for
     I seldom sit five minutes at once. It is now the 25th, and I am
     happy to say he is a little better; but I scarcely dare hope,
     he is of so feeble a constitution. I left him yesterday under
     the influence of opium, so that I was sure he would not miss
     me, to go to North Allerton, seven miles distant, to meet old
     Mr. McAdam and my cousin S----, who had come from Penrith in
     their carriage for me. They did not come hither, fearing that
     strangers would be but intruders in such distress, but stopped
     at North Allerton, and sent an express to me on Sunday night,
     begging me to return with them if possible, for they had known
     of all the sickness which surrounded me, and feared I should
     suffer from contagion. It was most kind in them, and I should
     have been most happy for the release could I have gone with an
     easy conscience. But it would have been worse than inhuman to
     have left this poor little sufferer, beside that much of the
     business which I have undertaken is unfinished, and I should
     not think I had done my duty until I had settled these orphans
     permanently. But I thought I ought to go to them to explain
     this, as I should have been afraid to have had them come here,
     and I took a chaise and passed the day with them. My patient
     did not wake up enough to know I was away, and it was quite a
     refreshment to me. Am I not most fortunate to have such kind
     friends in this strange land? It is a comfort to feel that I
     have such a resting-place when my labors here are over, and
     cheers me even in this most solitary of all the situations in
     which I have ever been placed. Were it not for the good little
     doctor who attends my patients, I know not what I should do. My
     cousin cannot leave home for an instant, and my poor aunt is
     overwhelmed with all these distressing events, added to the
     continual trial which the melancholy young man is to all of us.
     I get on without much fatigue, however, and have not yet been
     obliged to sit up all night; and with the sleep which I get
     whenever the little fellow is quiet, I do very well. He has
     been very much out of his head the greater part of the time,
     but very patient when he is sensible. It is now ten days since
     he became ill, and you may suppose he is somewhat attached to
     his cousin by this time, and I to him. O, if you could look in
     upon me, what would you say!

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_October 30._ You would pity me now if you could look upon me,
     for I have this night closed the eyes of the dear child whom I
     was watching when I wrote the above. He seemed better daily
     after my last date, and on Friday, the 28th, sat up and
     appeared in every respect on the recovery; his appetite was
     good, his fever reduced, and his strength improving. He awoke
     on Saturday early, and begged for his breakfast, ate a light
     one, and fell asleep. His nose had bled a little the evening
     before, but not much; but about eleven, he suddenly threw off
     from his stomach such a quantity of blood, as proved to us that
     there was some internal rupture in the head. This continued
     through the day and night, increasing in violence. No earthly
     power could save him; all was done that could be, but certain
     spots which appeared upon him soon after the bleeding commenced
     decided the physician that he could not live. He lingered until
     this evening, and died from absolute exhaustion at ten o'clock,
     of what is called spotted fever here;--and I laid with him
     after the spots had come out, without knowing what they meant.
     It is a great shock, for I felt almost secure that he was
     getting better, and his poor grandmother is nearly distracted.
     This seems to affect her more than all; being under her own
     roof, it is brought more home to her senses, and it is indeed
     shocking to lose five of one family in so short a time. I am
     sitting up, while a woman, who has been with me through this
     dreadful day, gets a little rest by the side of my aunt; but as
     I was up last night, I am in such an agitated state that I am
     not fit to write. To have seen four human beings die in the
     short space of eight weeks is enough of itself to solemnize
     one's mind; but with all the additional circumstances which
     have attended these, no wonder that my heart is full to
     overflowing. This was a fine boy, and you know that the
     endearing ways of a sick child are most engaging under any
     circumstances, and when that child is an orphan, and dependent
     upon one's self entirely, the interest is indeed intense. I
     never met with so violent a case of fever, and the poor
     sufferer was sensible to the last of all its horrors. One
     cannot indeed lament for him, for he would have probably had
     but a hard life. Little James is now indeed alone in the world,
     happily too young to be conscious of his loss; but it is very
     affecting to think of his being deprived of father, mother, and
     two brothers in eight weeks, and left so perfectly alone.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_November 2._ I add a line to say that I am quite well,
     therefore do not feel anxious about me. There are very many
     cases of the fever in the village, and as I am almost the only
     person in it who is not afraid of infection, I still have full
     employment in assisting the poor sufferers. My cousin's little
     niece is still very ill. I have indeed been wonderfully
     preserved and strengthened. Heaven save me from presumption,
     but I cannot help feeling that I could not have lived through
     all that I have, unless God had protected me.

     "Yours affectionately,

     "M. L. P."

We need not attempt to add any thing to this simple and affecting
narrative of events that seem to belong to a more remote place and
period than England and our own day. With all their naturalness and the
stamp of reality, it would not be difficult--as indeed has been done--to
clothe them with the drapery of fiction, and weave them into a romantic,
improbable tale.

But the tale is not all told. The scene shifts at this point, only to be
succeeded by another not unlike, nor far apart. Near the end of
November, Mary was released from present duty at Osmotherly, took a
reluctant leave--yes, with her generous and clinging affections, a
_reluctant_ leave--of the family in which she had closed the eyes of
five members, and was carried by eager, anxious friends to Penrith.
There, in the bosom of a charming household already known and dear to
her, every thing within and without presented as strong a contrast to
the situation she had just left, as words could express. Her own words
give us some idea of it, in the first letter she wrote after leaving a
place associated "with images of danger and death," and leaving it, as
she supposed, for ever. But the very next letter after that surprises us
with the old date of "Osmotherly"; and we find that hardly a month had
passed before she was recalled to the same spot, the same painful
responsibilities, and far greater danger than before, as the result
proved. But again we leave her to tell her own story.

     "_Penrith, Cumberland, November 29, 1825._


     "After all my melancholy letters from Osmotherly, you will be
     glad to receive one of another date, and under happier
     circumstances. My last letter was just after the death of the
     dear little boy, and I then thought I should be able to leave
     there very shortly; but it was not until the 26th, (after I had
     been there twelve weeks instead of the three which I intended
     when I went,) that I could arrange matters so that I could give
     up my charge conscientiously; and, after all my efforts, I
     could not succeed in settling the business for my poor,
     unfortunate cousin. I left it, however, in a fair way for
     completion, clothed the dear little orphan for the winter, and
     placed him with his aunt, making all the arrangements which my
     limited means allowed for his future support; and
     notwithstanding the incessant trial which I had there, I assure
     you it was not without many painful feelings that I took leave
     of the place, for ever. I had been for the last five weeks
     constantly with my aunt, and could not bear to leave her in the
     solitary situation to which she was reduced by the death of so
     many of her family. My dear little Jamie had become an object
     of affection to me, heightened to an extreme degree, since he
     was, like myself, left without parents or brother or sister. I
     longed to take him as my own, for he is a child of very
     uncommon capacity, and I fear will not have the education which
     he deserves. But I could only commit him in faith to Him who is
     the Father of the fatherless, who will not suffer even the
     least of his creatures to want his care. I think I never shall
     forget his screams of agony when he saw me drive away; I
     thought his little heart would burst. But childish sorrow is
     soon over, and he will forget me long before I shall cease to
     love him.

     "According to an arrangement previously made, my cousin S----
     met me at Greta Bridge, in her grandfather's carriage. I came
     to that place on Thursday in a postchaise, passed the night,
     and came on hither the next day, so that I had only about
     thirty miles to ride alone, and as I got a postboy from the
     neighborhood to drive me all the way, I felt perfectly safe,
     and found no inconvenience whatever. Nothing can exceed the
     kindness of this family to me; indeed, I am made to feel that I
     am at home with them as if I had always belonged to them. After
     all I have had to suffer, it is almost like the rest of the
     Sabbath to the weary laborer, and if kindness and petting will
     cure one, I shall soon recover all I may have lost during my
     dreadful siege at Osmotherly. To be sure, I am almost
     bewildered at the change from constant anxiety and labor to a
     state of perfect idleness and indulgence, but I will try and
     make a good use of it; and I feel so entirely convinced that
     this most amazing preservation of my life must be for some
     useful end, that I think I never can fall into an insensible or
     cold state again. I was almost glad to stay from here, until I
     was quite sure I had not suffered from infection, for although
     I cannot feel much faith in the doctrine of contagion, I would
     not run any risk of communicating the disease to others. It is
     the opinion of many physicians here, (and my little doctor
     among the number,) that change of air may bring out the fever
     which would lie dormant in the system for a long time without
     it, and he warned me not to feel too secure until I had tried
     it. But I do not yet feel any symptoms; weak and weary I am,
     but not feverish, and having no fear am the more safe.

     "But do not think I am so much occupied by the distresses I
     have experienced here, as to be unmindful of those which have
     visited my friends at home. Your letter of the 20th of October,
     and Ann's of the 18th, reached me on the 16th of November. The
     account of poor Maria's death shocked me very much, and made me
     long to fly home, that I might, if possible, do something for
     her dear little children. I wish I could assist them, and feel
     that there is no one of the family to whom the duty of doing it
     is so great. I beg you will use my name in any case in which
     you think I could act with usefulness, and if God spare me to
     return to you, I promise you I will fulfil all you may engage
     for me to the best of my powers.... It tires me so much, that I
     can scarcely write intelligibly. God bless you!


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Osmotherly, December 31, 1825._


     "I have often welcomed this anniversary with delight; but under
     all the various circumstances in which it has found me, I think
     I never felt the value of the privilege which it gives me of
     writing to you more deeply than I do at this moment.

     "But I will first account to you for my being again at this
     place, the very name of which is no doubt by this time
     associated in your mind, as it is in mine, with images of
     danger and death. Of the events which took place during my
     former visit here, you have no doubt been informed by my
     letters to Boston, and of my departure from it, as I thought
     for ever, for the hospitable abode of my kind friends at
     Penrith, where I was enjoying much when I last wrote home. I
     intended staying with them until the middle of January, when
     Mr. McAdam's appointed journey south would secure me an escort
     to Birmingham, and I was, among other things, anticipating
     writing this under the influence of the same most delightful
     society which was operating upon my mind on this night last
     year. But I was doomed in this, as in many more important
     concerns, to feel the uncertainty of all calculations for the
     future; for on the 23d of December I received a letter from the
     physician of this place, written at the request of my aunt, who
     was apparently dying of typhus fever, begging me if possible to
     let her see me once more. I knew there were many reasons which
     made it important that I should come, if that were indeed her
     situation; and at the advanced age of sixty-eight, with a most
     feeble frame, I could not dare to expect a favorable
     termination. The risk of returning to such an infected region
     was, of course, much greater than my former residence there,
     but thus summoned I could not hesitate, and my good friends,
     even more fearful and anxious than I was, could not attempt to
     dissuade me. It was indeed an appalling undertaking, knowing so
     fully the evils to which I was coming which could not be
     avoided, and all that might ensue could not be kept out of

     "It was, I assure you, with many solemn thoughts, though hid by
     cheerful looks, that I took my leave, probably for ever, of
     that good family, and got into the mail alone on the morning of
     the 26th. My route lay across the dreary hill Stanmoor, and, as
     I had not even a single companion the whole eighty miles
     hither, you may be sure my cogitations were many and various.
     Among other things, I was struck by the singular coincidence
     which has always given to Christmas week a peculiar interest;
     neither could I fail to consider, on recollecting the various
     circumstances that had occurred in it, how deep was my debt of
     gratitude to that Being who had guided me through them all in
     safety. Dear N----, this is an overwhelming thought, and one
     which every day's experience forces upon my mind with
     increasing power, a power of which, it seems to me, it would
     have been impossible to conceive under any other than the very
     peculiar circumstances in which I have been, and, it would
     seem, am still doomed to live, while in this country. Imagine
     me, at this distance from all to whom I have been accustomed to
     look for dependence, a being alone in creation almost,
     literally alone in this strange land, making an excursion of
     eighty miles across the country, partly in coaches, partly in
     postchaises, without a being to protect me or appeal to, and
     upon such an errand,--and yet as safe as if a host were
     escorting me, calm, quiet, and perfectly easy as if I were
     taking a ride to Hingham; and then tell me, if the confiding
     spirit which our sacred religion creates in our souls is not
     worth all that we could possess besides.

     "I arrived here in eight hours after I left Penrith, and found
     the poor old lady rather better, and not a little delighted
     that I had cared enough for her to come. She has had many and
     severe trials through life, to which those of the last summer
     were but a sequel. I was the only one of her own relations with
     whom she had come in contact for many years, and the poor
     soul's heart warmed towards me with the whole force of her long
     shut up affections. I at once installed myself as sole nurse in
     the very room in which I had watched the progress of disease
     and death upon that poor child, whose case I mentioned in my
     letter to Emma; and here am I now writing you by the light of a
     rush candle, with my little work-box for a desk, almost afraid
     to breathe lest I should disturb my aunt's slumbers. We two are
     the only beings in this little cottage, for I have sent her
     sons out to sleep, as a precaution against the fever, and put a
     bed into the corner of the room for myself. Could you see me
     acting in the fourfold capacity which I adopt in this humble
     cottage, you would hardly believe me to be the same being, who,
     a week ago, was installed in all the honors of a privileged
     visitor, amid the luxuries of Cockel House, acting 'lady'
     solely, to the utmost of my ability. It amuses me to find how
     easily it all sits upon me, and how readily we may adapt
     ourselves to varieties of situation and find something to enjoy
     in all. Aunty is much better, and I think there is a good
     chance for her recovery, at least to as good a state of health
     as she was in before this illness. I feel little evil in the
     contrast, great as it is to myself, except a slight cold, which
     the very sudden change in the weather, from warm and damp to
     excessive cold, has brought me. The fields to-day are covered
     with snow, the first time I have seen them so in this country,
     and it looked so homeish, and so much like your happy home the
     last time I saw it, that I have been enjoying the sight highly
     to-day, while every one beside was looking blank at it. I am in
     one respect more comfortable than when I was here before, for
     I have one companion. The 'little doctor' has his only sister
     to keep his house, and she has already made herself most
     important and agreeable to me; she has only been here a week,
     and being as much a stranger as myself, we have some feelings
     in common. She is a very lovely little creature, twenty-one
     only in years, but older in experience. Her manner is suited to
     the style of her face,--gentle, winning, and at the same time
     indicating cultivation and elegance of mind. Without the
     slightest shade of affectation or consciousness of beauty, she
     not only gives me a new study of character, but is a most
     convenient and pleasant associate; living in the next house but
     one, I can call upon her at any moment. Something always comes
     to me in all situations to prove to me the care which is taken
     even of the most insignificant; and surely the whole of my
     experience in this place has been but a continued lesson of it.
     Indeed, I certainly have great cause of thankfulness, for that
     only dark passage in my progress since I left home, trying as
     it was, was full of admonition. It showed me a part of the
     great plan of creation of which I knew little or nothing
     before, a class of beings whose characters, duties, motives,
     and views I had never before understood; and above all, it
     showed me how perfectly the various links in the great chain of
     existences are adapted to aid, and strengthen, and apply to
     each other, adding another to the many proofs of the Supreme
     Wisdom which formed and governs all.

     "The only remnant of my poor cousin Bessy's family is a boy of
     just William's age; he was ill at the time his mother died, and
     became my immediate charge until his brother was taken sick,
     and grew so fond of me that it was long before even his aunt,
     whom he had been used to seeing, could make him content to be
     separated from me. He is a very engaging child, bright, and of
     a noble disposition and temper. The similarity of our
     situations was enough to make me feel more than common
     tenderness for him, his dependence upon me increased it, and
     his strong attachment to me completed it. I think I never felt
     so much for a little creature before, and were it not for the
     great distance I should have to take him, I never would leave
     him behind. I thought he would have broken his little heart
     when I drove away, and when I came back his ecstasy was really
     affecting; he ran round me, jumped up in my lap, stroked and
     kissed my face, as if he could not trust to the evidence of one
     sense, and at last burst out a crying, 'Uncle Mady wont go away
     again; Uncle Mady live with Jamie every day, wont you, Uncle
     Mady?' He had always a trick of calling me 'Uncle.' Do not
     think I am made melancholy by all this. I have no recollection
     of ever having the same degree of good spirits as I have been
     blessed with for the last six months,--I may say nine; and save
     my longing for home, I have had no cause to wish any one thing
     relating to me different from what it has been. God grant that
     I may not be tempted to great presumption! I hope my wishes are
     humble, though my confidence may be great.

     "May God be with you, my dear friend, and guide and guard, and
     bless you, through the year on which we have now entered, and
     for ever,--is the earnest prayer of your sincere


But with all her cheerfulness, and self-forgetting, heroic courage, Mary
was not proof against danger and disease. It is well for us to learn
that the laws of nature are not suspended nor diverted from their
course, even by the strongest faith, or for the sake of the most noble
and useful laborer. Such a laborer there was here; but it was hardly to
be expected that she would pass unharmed, the second time, through such
exposure, fatigue, and painful anxiety. If the transition was great, at
first, from that barren and comfortless place to the luxuries of
Penrith, the change back again must have been peculiarly trying. She
speaks of the difference between the two places as equal to that between
the most sumptuous dwelling in Boston and the farm-house at Brush Hill.
Nay, the contrast there was yet greater; for the common cottages in
Yorkshire had no floors for the first story, except of clay and sand.
Such was the house in which all that previous sickness and death had
occurred, and in which the nurse and servant of all now found herself
again. Sending away to another house the melancholy and moaning young
man, and fixing up a bed for herself in a corner of her aunt's small
room, she endeavored to keep herself from the night air, particularly as
the weather, after a long course of warm rains, became intensely cold.
But in vain did she shun exposure. There was work to be done out of
doors as well as in, and no one but herself to do it. A sudden and
severe cramp seized her, and she at last fell upon the floor, when alone
in the night, and there lay a long time, utterly helpless, striving to
make her groans heard by some one in or out of the house. This left her
in a state of extreme debility, from which nothing could for a long time
raise her. She would make it appear a light matter when it was over, but
it is evident, from her own expressions and other facts, that she was in
great danger.

     "_Penrith, February 10, 1826._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "Your last letter was a cordial to me, and came at a time when
     I greatly needed it; for I was actually suffering under all the
     evil which you were fearing for me when you wrote it,--confined
     to the chamber of that little cottage which I have described to
     you, weak and languid, the mere shadow of what I was when I
     parted from you. But for the cause and effect of my last visit
     to Osmotherly I must refer you to my letters to N. C. P. and
     Mrs. B----; you know I cannot bear to tell the same tale twice,
     more especially if it be a melancholy tale.

     "But do not imagine me to have been in a very forlorn and
     disconsolate predicament, for I had many blessings to rejoice
     in all the while. The sun shone brightly all the day full upon
     the windows of our comfortable, neat apartment, furnished with
     what, in her former prosperous days, had been the furniture of
     the 'spare chamber' (the museum of precious articles, you know)
     of Aunty's 'bien house'; Aunty sitting by the fire in her easy
     chair, her bright eyes glistening with the exhilaration of
     returning health; and my ladyship lying on the bed, thin and
     pale enough I grant, but in as high glee as strength would
     permit, and not for one minute depressed; if any change came,
     it was for the better, and my nurses remarked that my worst
     days were my gayest ones. Then I had two visits each day from
     the 'little doctor,' the very essence of good-humor and
     cheerfulness, and as I had in reality but little pain, I could
     manage to enjoy a good deal. Besides, I had the comfort of a
     female companion, with whom I could associate with something
     like equality of feeling. This was the sister of the 'little
     doctor,' who had just come to Osmotherly to keep house for him.
     My dear little Jemmy, too, was a source of great amusement and
     delight to me; he had improved even in the short time I had
     been from him, and showed some new and interesting trait every
     time I saw him. I left all behind me, however, on the 30th of
     January, not without many regrets as you may believe, for I
     felt it was now certainly for ever; and no one can part from
     those who have been kind to the utmost of their power, however
     small that power may be, without sad feelings. This is
     certainly a great drawback upon the pleasure one takes in
     travelling, and I sometimes think, when the time comes that I
     must do the same to all I have known here, I shall wish I had
     never come. But I do not like to think of it.

     "I am indeed much better than I could have dared to hope, but I
     always gain fast if at all, and this week of eating has made a
     great change in me. I cannot tell you how I rejoice at this,
     for I began to be heartily tired of my fictitious character; I
     did not realize my identity when toddling about, catching hold
     of chairs and tables like a child just going alone, as I did
     last week; I longed to shake myself of the encumbrance, or that
     the scene would drop, and let me scamper away, Mary Pickard

     "I am glad you have seen this house, for it will aid your
     imagination a little; but you can scarcely conceive of the
     appearance of comfort which pervades this room as it is now
     arranged. The gentlemen have all deserted us, and just now
     Aunty George, Selina, and I are seated in true spinster style
     round a large fire in the drawing-room up stairs, (which by the
     way was any thing but comfortable when you saw it,) Aunty at
     full length upon the sofa reading on one side, Selina on the
     other writing, and I in the front doing the same, at the same
     table with her. Around us are arranged, in the most convenient
     places, piano, flowers, tables covered with books,
     writing-desks, &c., ottomans ditto, all sorts of comfortable
     chairs,--easy, rocking, &c.; in the corners, shelves with
     collections of shells, minerals, and other odd things, to say
     nothing of the living ornaments. It is the very picture of
     comfort, and I could tell you of certain sensual luxuries which
     make their appearance upon the centre-table, some three, four,
     five, or perhaps six times a day, now that I am prohibited from
     descending to the dining-room; but that would destroy the
     intellectual charm which must hang round the image of Aunty
     George. Mrs. McAdam writes me that she received your letter,
     and really begins to imagine herself a 'monstrously agreeable
     woman.' You must have given her a good dose, I think. She has
     been in a fine taking about this illness of mine, but is
     cooling a little, now she finds I am not satisfied with less
     than four meals per day. How shamefully I have treated Emma's
     kind letter; but there is no end to my wickedness of this sort.
     I must not begin with confessions, but end them by confessing
     myself very tired, and ever your sincere friend,

     "M. L. P."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Erdington, near Birmingham, March 3, 1826._


     "I have continued to gain strength daily since I last wrote.
     Miss McAdam passed a week in Liverpool, during which time
     Selina and I kept house at Cockel; and after passing my last
     few days there in the most delightful manner, with all the good
     inmates, I left them on the 26th. Mr. McAdam kindly insisted on
     coming by the way of Erdington, that I might not be obliged to
     travel all the way alone. We found a great change on this side
     the hills of Westmoreland; the grass is green, and every thing
     putting forth, the lambs bleating and the birds singing as if
     it were May.

     "... I had given Mr. B---- notice of my intention to come to
     him at this time, and found him looking out for me even at the
     gate, with characteristic impatience, on Tuesday about noon,
     and not a little delighted to see me at last. You know how
     strongly attached he was to my father and mother, and indeed to
     the whole family; his enthusiastic feelings have fully retained
     the remembrance of what he enjoyed with them, and any one who
     belonged to them would have been most welcome to him. Besides
     this, he used to pet me, and took a great deal of pains to
     teach me, and I thought the little body would have lost his
     wits when he saw me; he is a kind-hearted man, and with all his
     peculiarities one cannot but respect and love him. You may
     remember what a little oddity he was in appearance when he was
     in Boston, and I assure you increasing years have not at all
     lessened his peculiarity. His face is not, I think, altered in
     the least; his hair is still a bright brown, cut as short as
     scissors can do it, upon which he usually mounts a small
     sailor's wove hat, from beneath the narrow rim of which his
     little bright, gray eyes twinkle in a most animated manner. His
     common dress is a pepper-and-salt frock-coat, which has been
     apparently in the service many long years, the waist of which
     just divides his height, coming down to the chair when he sits;
     a straight, long waistcoat of the same materials, and a colored
     neckerchief tied as tightly as possible round his little neck;
     breeches of purple-corded velvet, fastened at the knee with a
     little steel buckle, white worsted stockings, and a pair of
     what have been long leather gaiters, pushed down over the
     ankles _à la negligée_. Fancy this little odd figure moving
     about as briskly as if he were a boy just loose from school,
     the vivacity of his manner and looks corresponding exactly with
     the quickness of his motions, and you have my little friend Mr.
     B----. You would think all this must be ludicrous, but it is
     not. There is so much good sense and kind feeling about him,
     and so much real benevolence in his manner towards every one,
     that all his peculiarity is forgotten in a very short time. He
     is one of the most intelligent, entertaining men I ever met
     with, and certainly one of the most warm-hearted. He has passed
     a very unsettled life since he left America, and is now living
     in a poor cottage, quite out of the way of all society, with no
     amusement but his little garden, which he cultivates entirely
     himself, and a fine library of most valuable books. This is
     quite enough for him, and he seems as happy and contented as
     possible, because he is independent. His _sanctum_ is more like
     grandpa's than any I ever saw; he reminds me of him in many
     things, and we have talked over old times until I have fancied
     myself young again.

     "You may form some idea of my strength, when I tell you I was
     yesterday tempted by the pleasure of my own company to a walk
     of eight miles, and did not suspect I had done half of it. I
     have indeed recovered my strength rapidly, and do not care
     about the flesh. I believe I am as well as I ever was, and
     should forget that I had been ill, were it not for certain
     feelings of inefficiency and reluctance to move,--the
     consequence of the indulgences I have had, I presume. I have
     indeed had enough to make a spoiled child of me, had I not been
     one before. It is no light burden upon my mind, that I can do
     nothing to show my gratitude for all the kindness I have
     received here. I do begin to dread parting for ever from all
     these good friends; but do not think that _any thing_ can
     efface the remembrance of what I owe my dearest friends at


       *       *       *       *       *

     "_London, May 26, 1826._


     "Mr. Bond had a letter yesterday from Mrs. B. of April 21st,
     in which she says you had heard of my illness at Osmotherly. I
     am glad to remember that you would at the same time hear of my
     entire recovery, and I hope before this you have received other
     letters to tell you how complete was that recovery. It is
     indeed overpowering to me, when I look back upon the events
     which have taken place since I came to England. How many and
     great have been the blessings which have attended me!

     "I staid here with Mrs. Bates from the 4th to the 30th of
     April, seeing and doing very diligently, and, with Mr. Paine's
     assistance, examining many of the wonders and curiosities of
     this great place, which I had not before seen. I then went to
     Chatham to make my farewell visit to my cousin, Mrs. Stokes,
     intending to stay only a fortnight; for I did not then know at
     what time precisely Mr. Palfrey intended to embark for home,
     and was making my arrangements to be ready the latter part of
     June at the farthest. I was not, however, able to return at the
     time I intended, for I was attacked very violently with spasms
     from being very bilious, and the heavy doses administered by
     the physician kept me housed for more than a week. I returned
     to town on Monday last, the 22d, and came again to Mrs. Bates,
     as she begged me to make her house my home in London, as long
     as I staid. I was very much wearied with the journey, and Mr.
     Palfrey and Mr. Bond, who came in soon after, thought I must be
     ill, and may say so, but I assure you I am not. I gain strength
     very fast, and, as a proof of it, I was nearly seven hours on
     my feet yesterday, without food, and not fatigued by it. I
     shall stay here only just long enough to see the friends I have
     about London, and pack up my duds for the voyage, and then go
     to Ash and Uncle Ben for a few days, and thence to Burcombe to
     stay as long as I can.

     "I feel now that my work here is finished (that is, all the
     most important part,--I could find enough to do were I to stay
     ever so long,) and I assure you I should feel most impatient of
     delay beyond the time appointed. Mr. Bond brought me Mr.
     Channing's Review _from himself_; you may believe I was not a
     little pleased that he should think of me. I beg you will thank
     him for me. How I shall enjoy hearing him, if such a blessing
     is in store for me! Love to you and the household.

     "M. L. P."

During the progress of events recorded in these different letters,
covering the space of a whole winter, we can imagine that some anxiety
was felt by friends on both sides of the water. Communication with
remote towns and obscure hamlets, even in England, was not frequent or
easy; and across the ocean we all know how different was the
correspondence then and now. Accordingly, we find the deepest solicitude
expressed, and painful suspense, in both lands. The manner in which the
English friends write shows the extent of Mary's danger, as well as the
amount of her services and their exalted and tender estimate of her
worth. We are not in possession of as many letters from England,
relating to any period, as we have wished to obtain; and the few we have
we hesitate to use freely, because of their allusions to domestic
incidents and persons who may be still living. But abundant is the
testimony, if we need it, to their appreciation of Mary's character,
warm and enthusiastic their love and admiration. A few sentences we take
from the letters of Mrs. McAdam, the 'Aunt Jane' so often named, to a
friend here.

     _October, 1825._ "I have a letter this morning from our blessed
     Mary, dated the 3d of October. She has laid her poor cousin in
     the grave, after a fortnight's illness, during which time she
     appears to have been her sole nurse. I dread she is doing far
     more than she can bear. The younger of the two boys left is
     taken ill, and she talks of taking him home to nurse him; but I
     shall by this post write Miss McAdam to send for her and insist
     on her removal. Her life is of so much more consequence than
     any which are now left, that I can no longer hesitate. You, who
     love her as well as I do, can imagine my uneasiness. Rest
     assured, however, that I will keep you informed of every thing.
     When she wrote, she said she had so much to do she could not
     write home, and begged me to write. Now, my dear friend, all we
     have to do is to rely on that God who orders all things for the
     best, and to whom I constantly and ardently pray that He would
     spare and reward our and His own Mary, to guide more of us to
     Him; and I feel comforted when I rely with confidence on His
     love and wisdom. She is such a blessing, that I would fain hope
     the rest of my days may be influenced by her."

From the same:--

     _November, 1825._ "Since I last wrote you, my dear Emma, I have
     had various accounts from our incomparable Mary. I feel much
     anxiety on her account, for which I have been frequently
     reproved by her, whose higher feelings and better regulated
     judgment give her such wonderful advantage over me, and so
     constantly produce in her the tranquil security of inward
     peace. She is so excellent, and so truly set in the midst of
     difficulties, that it sometimes appears to me as if she had
     been graciously lent to us for our guide to that heaven which
     we _all_ pretend to seek. When she wrote, she was perfectly
     well; but though our friends went for her, she would not leave
     for several days, lest she should take the disease with her to
     Penrith. I dare not say I wish she were removed, for all is
     assuredly for the best, however it may appear to our imperfect
     minds. I feel confident she is the peculiar care of the God she
     loves and serves; but when she gets to Penrith, I know I shall
     be almost too happy. Her mind has taken such complete
     possession of my affections, that I appear to myself a new
     creature; I have totally changed since I became actually
     acquainted with her.... Our correspondence will not drop here,
     I hope; and I may at some future period give you a faint idea
     of the interest she has excited for every thing that lives and
     breathes her atmosphere."

From the letters written in America at this time, to Mary or her friends
in England, many touching passages might be borrowed. How much is
conveyed in a single fact communicated to her, at the moment of the
greatest anxiety! "With all their desire for your return, nobody
murmurs; every body says it is much better for you to stay. And Mrs.
Barnard says, when she expressed her sorrow about it to Dr. Channing, he
gave her for the only time in his life almost an angry look!" The writer
of this passage, when at last assured of Mary's perfect safety after all
her labors and perils, sent her such a full, hearty outpouring of joy
and love, that we must be pardoned for citing a part of it, as showing
the depth of the interest she awakened and the affection she secured.


     "The pleasure and gratitude I feel in the confidence I now have
     that I am writing to an inhabitant of this world, you can
     scarcely imagine. The dread I felt about your fate weighed upon
     me so heavily, in spite of all the reasoning and hope about
     which I sedulously employed myself, that it was a great effort
     to write; and I fear our letters of late have not served to
     animate you. I shall not enter upon the long history of my
     anxiety, which was inwardly greater than any body's, I believe,
     because I knew more about it. I will only tell you, that a
     question about you was sure to damp the best spirits I could be
     in; and if people I visited undertook to talk about you, it was
     a signal for my call to terminate. At one time, I determined
     not to go to town till I heard from you, but was induced to
     alter my plans, and did go and pass a month, doing all I could
     to be at ease, and acting just as if I knew you were
     _safe_;--how you want to scold me for using that word! as if
     you could be any thing but safe in the hands of your God, and
     when you were serving him to the utmost of your power.... On
     Monday night, the 13th of this month, M----, E---- B----, and I
     found our way to Milton Hill in the 'evening coach.' The next
     day, that most valued of couriers, the milkman, brought us a
     bundle from Pearl Street; two letters fell out on opening
     it,--one from Exeter, the other from the Sandwich Isles,--a
     long one from B----, which I employed all the daylight in
     reading. Would you believe me so insatiable, when one such
     blessing as hearing from that distant spot of earth had been
     allowed? I was not yet satisfied, although we had left town but
     the day before; presentiment drove me to the pile of clean
     clothes on the floor, when my hand made its way through the
     chaos to a letter! Mother says it was the sense of feeling that
     discovered it to be yours, for the room was quite dark. I
     needed but half a glimmer of fire-light to show me the
     characters I had so longed and prayed to see once more. I
     screeched, 'Mary Pickard!' and flew to the kitchen fire to
     assure myself still farther; and never, dearest Mary, did I
     feel a warmer flood of joy and gratitude than when 'Penrith,
     8th December,' convinced me you were alive and well, and in
     just the hands you ought to be! And when I came to know, too,
     that my fears had not been unfounded, that you had so narrowly
     escaped, had passed through such trying scenes, and done more,
     much more, than almost any body ever did before, I was too
     happy! Though you don't tell me so, I know under such
     circumstances what efforts you made. But you have earned the
     privilege of being an instrument, in the hands of the
     All-powerful, of good to every human being you come in contact
     with. And when I knew this, why did I feel so forlornly
     whenever I thought of you in that remote place, alone, and
     exposed to fatigue and illness? If it had been you, how much
     higher views would you have taken!


So ended the visit to England. How unlike most visits there! It is not
often that two years are spent abroad chiefly in confinement with the
sick and devotion to the dying. We wonder not that Mary Pickard thought
that such employment was her "destiny." More appropriate does the word
seem than the common term, "mission"; for that expresses too much of
design and consciousness to be associated with her. She projected no
large plans, or distant enterprises. She simply held herself ready for
the work to which she might be summoned, abroad as well as at home, and
with an ambition as easily satisfied at home as abroad. All her
ministrations might seem to have been accidental, if any thing were
accidental;--the occasions sought her, more than they were sought by
her. Yet in some way or other the occasions were sure to appear, and
equally sure to be used. Nor were her charities merely those of the
hand, or of time and toil alone. There was benevolence, as well as
diligence. No one knew, no one will ever know, the amount of her direct
gifts at Osmotherly. But we know, from various sources, that they were
free and large. And by no means were they restricted to her kindred.
There is reason to believe that the whole village shared her bounty; in
moderate measure, of necessity, but in decided liberality. From the
nature and power of the disorder, a general panic prevailed, aggravated
by ignorance and superstition, and followed by improvidence and want. We
have seen the statement, that a large proportion of the inhabitants
either perished or became helpless and a burden. And when the sufferings
of her own connections ceased, by death or recovery, Mary went out to do
what she could among the diseased and destitute generally. She toiled
till the alarm abated, and aimed particularly to remove from the minds
and dwellings of the people those fruitful feeders, if not sources, of
the calamity,--superstition and uncleanness. Is it too much to believe,
that Osmotherly will always feel the blessing of that Providence which
sent there the "good lady"?

It was a beautiful termination of her whole experience among that
people,--whose very dialect differed so much from hers, that they could
scarcely understand her words, but easily read her actions,--that, when
she recovered her own strength sufficiently to take a final leave of
them, the whole village came out in a body, young and old, and escorted
her on her way.



Mary Pickard returned from England in the summer of 1826, and was warmly
welcomed by her many friends in Boston. Her last home before going
abroad had been at Miss Bent's in Washington Street, where she now went,
and stayed through the fall and winter with the exception of short
visits to friends in the vicinity. Thronged with visitors, and occupied
with business of her own which she never left to others if she could do
it herself, she had no time for large correspondence, and we find few
letters for some months. But there are brief notes which show the
fulness of her enjoyment and gratitude, enhanced by the recollection of
the trying scenes through which she had passed, but which she rarely
named and never magnified, as we are assured by some who were constantly
with her. The mercies of the past, more than the trials, filled her
thoughts. "My whole absence has been but a succession of mercies, for
which I could not in a long life show the gratitude I feel; and this the
greatest of all, the safe restoration to my beloved home and blessed
friends,--it is indeed overwhelming. I have been borne through
afflictive trials by that Power which alone can enable us to bear them;
may I also find the same strength sufficient to keep me firm and
uninjured, amid the greater trial of prosperity and joy." This was said
to one of her former instructors in Hingham, with whom she spent a week
in November, reviving the memory of the "first awaking of the mind to
high and holy thoughts and resolves."

To the trial of prosperity of which she speaks, she may have been
exposed at this time, if at any. She had returned after a long absence,
in which she had accomplished all that she proposed, and more than to
most minds would have seemed possible. She was again in the midst of
endeared and delighted friends, more free from care and solicitude for
others than she had ever been before; her society sought by a larger
circle of devoted and admiring acquaintance, paying her marked
attention. There was every thing to gratify, and much to flatter. And
she was happy, very happy,--"more lively and joyous, I think, than at
any time of her life," writes an intimate friend. But she did not remain
long unemployed, or live for herself. She sought other objects of
interest, places and ways of laboring for those in need. She took
classes of poor children in more than one Sunday school, and visited the
houses of the poor during the week; of several families in Sea Street
she is said to have taken particular care through that first season,
though a season crowded with engagements of friendship and society, and
occupied before its close with an unexpected and absorbing interest.

The last night of the year, Mary made one of that great congregation
who listened to that discourse of HENRY WARE on the "Duty of
Improvement," which few who heard have forgotten, and of which one
hearer has said, "No words from mortal lips ever affected me like
those." We may conceive the emotions with which they were heard by her,
in whose mind religious concerns were always paramount, and who already,
as we have reason to believe, was compelled to feel a personal interest
in the preacher. For we now approach that event which is considered the
crisis of a woman's life, and which was certainly to change the whole
aspect of a life that was felt to be peculiarly insulated. But we may be
anticipating. No engagement yet existed, and in the letter written after
the services of the "last night" to one who was never forgotten on that
occasion, there is no allusion to new events, unless in the close.

     "_Boston, December 31, 1826._

     "Were I by your side, dearest N----, I might be able to satisfy
     myself by talking; but when I think of committing to paper what
     I wish to say to you, I am almost discouraged, and have a great
     mind to give up the attempt. I do verily believe I should for
     once play truant, and shut up my desk, did I not fear, should I
     do so, that the ghost of the departing year would start up in
     visible form before me and pronounce a fearful malediction upon
     me for my apostasy. Indeed, so wedded am I to old customs, and
     really superstitious about the fulfilment of certain vows, that
     I should not dare to hope for peace or prosperity for the year
     to come, if I allowed myself to yield to the tempter.

     "When I look back only upon the past month, I feel as if it
     were the work of an age to give you any idea of its interest;
     and when the year, nay, years, of which I wish to speak come in
     array before my mind's eye, it is not strange that I know not
     how to begin, or how to confine myself to the limits of a sheet
     of paper. You know, however, enough of the circumstances of the
     past year to understand something of the feelings which this
     period has brought with it. Perhaps I am inclined to exaggerate
     the peculiarity of the events of my life, which, after all, may
     have been no more exciting than every body meets with; but be
     that as it may, there can be no harm in magnifying the
     blessings. And as there is more hope of attaining a high degree
     of excellence, if our standard of comparison be high (even if
     it be beyond our reach), so I will hope that the more enlarged
     is our estimate of our subjects for gratitude, the more deep
     and heartfelt will our gratitude be. It does seem to me, that
     no being can have _more_ for which to give thanks, than I have
     in past and present blessings; and that no one can fall as far
     short as I do of the effect that should follow such a belief.

     "I have been reading the letter I was writing you at this time
     last year, and it does make me tremble to the very soul, when I
     contrast my situation now with what it then was, to think how
     much is required of one, who has been saved from such peril,
     and brought back to so much good. But it is in vain to attempt
     to tell you what I think or feel at this hour. One idea above
     all the rest will rise, and this you will join me in,--that the
     proofs which the experience of the past year gives of the
     never-ceasing, all-sufficient care of God should make us look
     forward with perfect trust to whatever the future may bring,
     without a doubt that all will be well that He directs,--that
     our weakness will be strengthened, our fear removed, and our
     spirits sustained and soothed under all trials, if we will but
     rest in faith upon his almighty arm. I have felt this so much,
     that I had begun to be presumptuous, and almost thought that no
     possible temptation could make me doubt its sufficiency. But I
     dare not hope so much. I find there are temptations of which I
     have hitherto known nothing, and under the influence of which I
     may have to learn a new lesson. It is said of Bishop Sewell,
     who once most strangely departed from his faith, that his fall
     was necessary to teach him humility, and improve his character.
     Perhaps it may be so with me. If I do fall, I hope it may have
     the same good effect.

     "I have wished to-day, as I often do, that you could have an
     ear where mine was. Mr. Channing gave us a most useful sermon
     this morning upon the office of Christ, from the words, 'I am
     the way, the truth, and the life.' Mr. Gannett this afternoon
     upon the retrospect of the past,--good and solemn. And this
     eve, notwithstanding the violence of the snow-storm, Mr. Ware's
     house has been filled to overflowing, to hear his usual
     address. It was one of the most eloquent and impressive I ever
     heard from him; a powerful exhortation on the necessity of
     Progress, delivered with an energy which gave it great effect.
     I have heard but one of those discourses before this, but I
     should think it a most profitable service. The occasion is
     certainly one by which all who are capable of feeling seriously
     must be solemnly impressed; and the great interest which is
     generally felt in Mr. Ware gives him the power of making a good
     use of such a predisposition. And now that it is _possible_
     that he may accept the call to New York, his influence is
     greater than ever.

     "I have passed a quiet, delightful week at Hingham, made my
     long talked of visit to Mrs. P----, and returned on Christmas
     day to be quiet at home (if possible) until I go to you; and
     yet I ought to be stationary for a time for business' sake. I
     need not tell you how much you have been in my thoughts during
     the past week, so strongly are all the singular events which
     have taken place in it associated with you. It has not been
     suffered to pass without its own special interest; to me it has
     indeed been _full_.

     "Most heartily yours, with best wishes for the coming year.

     "M. L. P."

The year 1827 opened upon Mary differently from any previous year of her
life. Its first month was to witness the consummation of a purpose,
which could not be lightly regarded by a mind like hers. Strange that it
can be by any! Yet we have such reason to fear it, that we deem it a
sufficient apology, if any be needed, for disclosing her own thoughts at
this time more fully than might otherwise seem right. Sure we are of
_her_ permission, whose conversations on the forming of a connection so
often made the subject of trivial jesting were as free as they were
serious. By nothing earthly is the social or moral community more deeply
affected than by the prevalent views of Marriage, and the feelings with
which its momentous obligations are assumed. And when there are revealed
to us by death, under that seal of sacredness which deepens our
conviction of their sincerity, such sentiments as those which Mary
Pickard brought to this relation, our view of duty, and even of
delicacy, moves us to impart rather than withhold them. Not that we
suppose them peculiar to her, or that she has given them any remarkable
expression. They may be common to every right and earnest mind. But
various considerations prevent their being publicly presented with that
personal reality which adds so much to their power. Thankful would all
be, and none more than those perfected spirits of which we now speak, if
the young and the mature would take exalted and sober views of the
holiest and happiest relation in life.

Mary's views were expressed to her two most intimate female friends, the
same night; to one in a short note, to the other more at length.

     "_January 30, 1827._ Dearest Emma, I am not willing that any
     other than my own pen should communicate to you the events of
     this day. I would not that you should think it possible for me,
     under any circumstances, so far to lose my identity as to be
     unmindful of the feelings of one whom I so love; and though it
     requires some effort, I will do the thing with my own hand.
     Know, then, dear E., that a change has passed over the spirit
     of my earthly dreams, and, instead of the self-dependent,
     self-governed being you have known me, I have learned to look
     to another for guidance and happiness; and, more than that,
     have bound myself, by an irrevocable vow, to live for the
     future in the exercise of the great and responsible duties
     which such a connection inevitably brings with it.... You need
     no explanation, nor have I time to give any; it would require
     one of our long nights to trace the rise and progress of the
     influences that have thus terminated. At present, the idea of
     the change I am making is so solemn, so appalling, that my
     faculties are almost paralyzed.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, January 30, 1827._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "I have been sitting with this sheet before me for the last
     half-hour, trying to find out in what way to begin the long and
     eventful story which I wish to convey to your mind as clearly
     as I see it in my own. I am in truth hardly able to write at
     all, from absolute exhaustion of body and mind, and therefore
     am driven to the necessity of beginning at the end of the
     chapter, lest I should not have time to tell the whole. Will it
     be an entire surprise to you to hear that this day has been to
     me the most important of my whole life, the turning-point of
     existence, the witness of my solemn and irrevocable promise to
     unite for the future my fate with that being, who, when we last
     met, I thought was doomed to be a stranger to me for ever? It
     seems, indeed, like a dream, and yet it is true, dreadfully
     true, that I have taken upon myself great and unknown duties
     for which I feel incompetent,--true that I have gained the best
     blessing life can give.

     "You need no explanation to teach you the progress of this in
     my own mind, for you know me well enough to read it without
     book, and you may easily imagine how I feel at such a crisis.
     O, it is solemn, it is awful, thus to bind one's self for life!
     and yet I am conscious my whole heart is with the act, and my
     happiness intimately dependent upon it. This feeling of
     distrust and fearfulness will soon pass away. I have not been
     used to its interference in any case where I have known it was
     my _duty_ to act; it is only when we seem to have the direction
     of events in our own hands, that the feeling of doubt as to
     what _is_ duty weakens our confidence in our success. You will
     say, feeling must be the guide; and so it must so far as this,
     that we may be sure that that path is not the right one to
     which it does _not_ impel; but there is danger of its tempting
     to the wrong one notwithstanding, and it cannot be safe
     unhesitatingly to follow its impulses.

     "Mr. Ware goes to New York on Thursday, for four weeks, to
     preach; he will, I suppose, return by the way of Northampton,
     and I hope you will not object to a visit from him on the way.
     But I must put an end to this. I am in truth unable to write

     "Yours most truly,

     "M. L. P."

The relation thus viewed by a Christian woman has often one aspect, as
in the present instance, which is thought more delicate and
unapproachable than any other. Mary was to take the place, not only of a
wife, but of a "step-mother,"--a name that should be redeemed from the
inconsiderate and unjust odium to which it is commonly subjected. Why
should that odium attach to this, more than to all _unfaithful_ use of
the conjugal relation? Does not this, the more difficult office, exhibit
proportionably as many noble wives and true mothers as the other?
According to the difficulty and the delicacy, is the greatness of the
trust and the merit of fidelity. Let honor be rendered where honor is
due; and let no vulgar prejudice or unkind prediction hide a beauty and
excellence of woman that are less rare than may be supposed.

In aid of these thoughts, as well as in illustration of the character we
are delineating, we are glad to be allowed to quote from two letters of
Henry Ware himself; the first bearing the same date as Mary's just
given, the other written after a more intimate acquaintance. They are
both addressed to his sister at Northampton, to whom he had confided the
care of his children while they were without a mother. The mother whom
they had lost three years before had left a void not easily filled. A
woman of more than common qualities and powers, doomed for several years
to more than ordinary suffering from an insidious and fatal disease, she
had still given much time to the parish, and discharged to the last the
duties of a wife and mother, with a fidelity and affection whose loss
was very grievous, and was felt more and more by Mr. Ware from the
necessity of separation from his children, and their own growing years
and needs. We can understand, therefore, the feelings with which he
formed another connection, and made it known to one who was now to
resign her charge to other hands.

     "_Boston, January 30, 1827._

     "DEAR SISTER:--

     "There is no one who will have more sincere and hearty pleasure
     in the tidings I am going to communicate than you, or from whom
     I shall receive more sincere and affectionate congratulations.
     I therefore lose not a moment in telling you that I am to build
     up again my family hearth, and bring my children to their
     father's side, and have a home once more. With whom, I need not
     tell you. Providence has thrown in my way one woman, whose
     character is all that man can ask, of a singular and exalted
     excellence. You know how admirable she is, and how well suited
     to fill the vacant place by my side. She consents to do it; and
     that I feel grateful and happy, a privileged man, you will not
     doubt.... Write me at New York. Love to you all.

     "HENRY WARE, JR."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Saturday Evening, March 3, 1827._


     "You will not be troubled, I hope, if I pour out from my mind
     a little of the satisfaction which I feel, and in which I am
     rejoicing more and more every day. Since my return, the
     congratulations of my friends have been absolutely
     overpowering; and from seeing more and more of Miss Pickard, I
     am made to feel more and more grateful for the kind providence
     which has led me to this result. You know all my feelings and
     views, and the process of my mind, and I shall therefore be
     understood by you as by nobody else. It is not a common feeling
     which fills me; it is something peculiar, sacred, as if I had
     been under a supernatural guidance, and been made to act from
     pure and elevated and disinterested motives, for the purpose of
     accomplishing some great good. Every thing is connected with
     the memory of the past and with my former happiness, in such a
     way as not to sadden the present, but to give to it a singular
     spirituality, if I may so say; and I feel that, if the departed
     know what is transacting here, my own Elizabeth would
     congratulate me as sincerely as any of my friends. I have
     sought for the best mother to her children, and the best I have
     found. I have desired a pattern and blessing for my parish, and
     I have found one. I have wished some one to bear my load with
     me, and to help, confirm, and strengthen my principle by her
     own high and experienced piety, and such I have found. All
     these things, meeting in one person,--I might have looked for
     each alone, but where else are they to be all found in such
     excellent proportions united? I surveyed them with cool
     judgment, and I shall by and by love them ardently.

     Dear Harriet, I must have somebody to pour out myself to; so
     bear the infliction charitably. Good by. Yours ever lovingly.


The character of Mary Pickard would not be drawn, but one of her noblest
traits be left out of view, if we failed to speak frankly of the former
affection to which Mr. Ware refers, and the memory of which she herself
cherished, at first and always. She had no sympathy, and little respect,
for that narrow view which insists that one affection must crowd out
another; that the departed and the living cannot share the same pure
love of the same true heart. The happiness of husband and wife and
household has sometimes been impaired by a mistaken apprehension on this
subject, and a suspicion of feelings in each other which had no real
existence, or existed only from the want of mutual and free expression.
We have even known cruel attempts made by others to prejudice the minds
of those most concerned, and especially the children of a former mother.
For such attempts, and all thoughts of the kind, we cannot repress our
indignant reproof. No false delicacy should prevent the utterance of
truth, where the best affections and dearest interests are involved.
Instead of avoiding the subject, we are grateful for the opportunity
which such characters as Henry and Mary Ware give us, of presenting the
just, generous, and Christian view. One of her own children has said of
her: "Perhaps no one thing in her character and conduct has oftener
struck common minds with surprise, and superior ones with admiration,
than this entire freedom and frankness in regard to the first wife? 'She
was the nearest and dearest to _him_,' she would say, 'how, then, can I
do otherwise than love her and cherish her memory?' And her children she
received as a precious legacy; they were to her from the first moment
like her own; neither she nor they knew any distinction."

We are permitted to add one other letter of Henry Ware, beautifully
illustrating the character of Mary, and showing his own large and holy
view of this particular relation. It was addressed to Mrs. William Ware,
sister of that first wife the memory of whose excellence and love he so
blended with the new affection.

     "_May 15, 1827._

     "MY DEAR MARY:--

     "I believe that I have said to you, two or three times, how
     much I had calculated on your long visit, as a means of making
     you and Miss Pickard well acquainted.... And I am not sure that
     I should have said even as much as this, were it not for one
     circumstance, which has given me a satisfaction that I never
     had hoped to enjoy, and which will be increased by imparting it
     to you. I have known so much of the selfishness of human love,
     and heard so much of the sensitiveness with which women are apt
     to regard a former affection, that I had not dared to hope that
     I ever should be able to speak as I feel of former days, and
     the memory of my earliest love. Yet, as I longed to cherish it,
     and as all my present plans and feelings are interwoven with
     the thoughts and images of the past, it would have been an
     exceeding pain to me to feel that there was any reserve, or any
     of that--I don't know what to call it--which would compel me to
     hide such feelings, and seem not to have them. I cannot tell
     you, then, how happy I have been in finding Miss Pickard
     entirely above all mean and selfish feelings, which I have
     supposed to be so common. She enters into my views, and we have
     talked freely of other days; and she helps to keep me right by
     speaking of the pleasant impressions she used to receive from
     Elizabeth's character, and what she has heard of her. I wish I
     could go into particulars. So unexpected a communication
     between us has been a source of gratification to me unspeakably
     great; and I do not know when I have felt more truly exalted
     and spiritualized, than when, after such a conversation which
     has freed us from every selfish and earthly feeling, we have
     knelt down together and prayed for blessing from that world,
     where, I feel sure, if the departed regard those whom they left
     behind, there is no sorrow or displeasure at the course I am
     pursuing. I take pleasure in telling you this, because nothing
     can or shall divide me from you, or lessen that feeling in
     which I have so long regarded you as one of the nearest, the
     very nearest, to me; and I long that all who are near to me
     should be so to you. Best love to you, and all happiness with
     you and yours. Till I see you, adieu.


Immediately after her engagement, Mary visited her friend in Worcester;
and from that place we find a very long letter, relating more to others
than to herself, written in a cheerful mood, but showing how deep and
sober had been her meditations on the change that was before her, of
which she writes more fully in the first letter after her return to

     "_Worcester, February 18, 1827._

     "DEAR EMMA:--

     "I have been hunting round the room to find a small sheet of
     paper upon which to do the pretty thing, and pay a troublesome
     debt. But my search has been in vain, so I have e'en changed
     the object of my pen, and determined to let it follow the
     dictates of my inclination, in covering a sheet of Grandpa
     McAdam's 'Bristol-best' with such lines and scratches as it
     may be impelled to make; nothing doubting but its impulses will
     give you some satisfaction, if they go no further than the
     expression of the sincere sympathy felt with you by your
     friends here, in your present state of joyful excitement. I do
     indeed rejoice with you in your happiness at the return of your
     brother; and you may be assured I am joined in this by the
     whole household. Although I have never known from experience
     what are the precise feelings you may have, I think I can enter
     into them at all times. And now, whether it is that my mind is
     more than usually attuned to joy, or whether it is more
     interested for you than it ever has been in similar cases with
     respect to others, I know not; but sure I am, that I never felt
     so much before, or seemed to myself so wholly awake to the
     feelings and interests of my friends, as at this moment. You
     must enjoy a great deal in the next few months, and I know you
     will not let so much cause for gratitude pass without its full
     effect. It has always seemed to me a most humiliating fact,
     that so much _suffering_ should be necessary to teach us our
     dependence. Why should we not be equally taught by the
     blessings which are bestowed upon us, that we are and have
     nothing but as He wills it to be; and does it not seem a
     natural effect of such testimonies of love, to draw our hearts
     towards a Being who is so good to us? Let us at least, dear
     Emma, prove that it may have this influence.

     "Nancy is very well, and bright and happy; and could I drive
     away from her a foolish feeling of a parting visit which hangs
     upon her mind, and fills her eyes whenever she speaks to me, we
     should be in a very merry key. As it is, however, we enjoy
     much, for I have much to tell her of the adventures of the last
     three years, which takes her away from the present; and she is
     at heart so truly satisfied and happy, that we cannot get up
     any thing like real melancholy.

     "I wish indeed, with you, that I could attain something of your
     animation, and for a longer period than that you prescribe; for
     I do not hold it in such contempt as you do. It might not,
     perhaps, add to my individual happiness, for it seems to me I
     am as happy as mortal can be; but I do feel sure it would give
     me the means of communicating more pleasure to others, and this
     could not fail to increase my own. I have always considered
     that buoyancy of spirit of which you speak as a great and
     valuable gift; perhaps I have exaggerated its power, as we are
     apt to do every thing in which we are deficient. But its
     effects in chasing away the vapors which will sometimes gather,
     almost without cause, around the feelings of even the best and
     happiest, are not to be questioned, and are in my view of great
     worth. My happiest moments have always been my quietest, and
     this does little for others' comfort. I have in a great measure
     overcome the solemnity which oppressed me when I saw you; and
     were you only here, I think I could join with you in one of
     your merry laughs, as gayly as you could desire. I do indeed
     wish you were here.

     "You were right in thinking that one of my letters was from
     cousin Jane; the other was from Aunty, quite a happy one, not
     one complaint, and directed by the 'little Doctor,'--so I
     conclude he is in the land of the living. Jane writes in good
     spirits; all things there in a better state than usual.

     "Yours truly,

     "M. L. P."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, March 20, 1827._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "Were I near you, it would be an unspeakable relief to pour
     forth to you, for every moment is so filled with constantly
     increasing interest, that at times I am oppressed and
     overpowered as I do not like to be; and there are moments when
     doubt and distrust of myself so entirely possess me, that I
     feel almost tempted to doubt my _right_ to undertake what I
     have. My mind is slow in all its processes, you know, and in
     this matter it seems to me more slow than is common, it may be
     from the magnitude of the change; but certain it is, I have
     suffered more, and labored more to bring myself into the right
     state, than I ever did in my life in the same time. My cause
     for happiness is increasing every day, and this tempts me to
     dwell too exclusively upon concerns connected with self. I am
     seeing daily more and more of the immense responsibility under
     which I am placing myself, and feeling more and more my own
     incapacity, and this tempts me to be anxious and doubtful. I am
     understanding more of what _might_ be done in the station I am
     to fill, and this makes me ambitious to satisfy all who will
     look to me with hope. O, if I could feel as I should, that if I
     do my utmost with my whole heart, from the right motive, I
     shall gain that approbation which should be the first object of
     my desire, be my efforts successful or not! But I am getting to
     depend too much upon the approbation of those I love.

     "In one respect, this new and strong and satisfying interest is
     not having the influence I feared; instead of engrossing,
     absorbing, and making me selfish, excluding all other
     interests, it seems to enlarge the capacity of affection. I
     feel warmed more than ever towards every living being whom I
     ever loved. And it has done much towards exalting and
     enlightening my mind upon the point which has been a greater
     trial to me than any thing I ever met with. I mean, it has made
     me more willing to leave the world, and enjoy the happiness of
     heaven, than I ever thought I should be. Strange that the thing
     from which, of all others, I should have expected the very
     opposite effect, should have done this!

     "I have been through all the forms and ceremonies of
     'introduction,' very quietly. I have been to Cambridge, and the
     family have been here; and, better than that, I have laid siege
     to the venerable Doctor in his study, and had a most delightful
     conversation of nearly two hours in length; which made me feel
     that I was not a little privileged, to have any claim, however
     small, upon his interest.... I wish you could have heard Mr.
     Channing this morning on the 'Glory of Jesus Christ'; it was
     one of his highest flights. We have great preaching now-a-days
     from many quarters.

     "Yours ever the same,


The marriage of the Rev. HENRY WARE, Jr. and MARY L. PICKARD took place
at the house of Miss Bent in Boston, on the 11th of June, 1827, Dr.
Gannett uniting and blessing them. They were absent a fortnight,
journeying to New York and Northampton; and then returned to Boston with
the two children, and entered upon their new home in Sheafe Street, at
the North End. And there began a new life,--to Mary wholly new, and
intensely busy. She gave herself up to all its duties, at once and
unreservedly. Of her standard of duty we know something already; and
they who also know the demands of a large parish upon a minister's wife,
who resolves not only to make her house free and pleasant to all who
will enter it, but also to share all of her husband's labors for which
she is competent, can form an idea of what Mary found to do. "Mrs. Ware,
at home and abroad, was the _busiest_ woman of my acquaintance," is the
reason given by one of her female friends for not seeking her society
as much as she desired. It will be remembered that she began with a
family, as well as parish, and that the duty of a "mother" was one which
she held very sacred, and would never slight for any other. But we will
let her tell the story of her first labors, as she does in a letter to
Mrs. Hall, at Northampton, who had had the care of the children, and
another to Mrs. Paine. We ought to say of these, and all the letters to
be offered, that they are not given as recording great events or rare
qualities, but simply for what they are,--expressions of the daily
thought and domestic life of a conscientious woman, in common relations
and quiet duty.

     "_Boston, July 20, 1827._


     "You will be glad, I know, to hear from my own pen how we all
     prosper, and I sincerely wish I had time enough to tell you all
     I wish you to know of my various arrangements and avocations,
     hopes and fears, wishes and successes. Of the latter I cannot
     boast much; I am, however, much delighted to find that many
     things which I expected would perplex me, and take more time
     and thought than I should be willing to give them, do not
     trouble me in the least degree,--such as household affairs,
     eating, drinking, and keeping matters moving methodically. I
     did not, to be sure, indulge anxiety about it, as from my utter
     ignorance I had some reason to do; but I did not suppose it
     possible that such a _young novice_ could be inducted into the
     important station of housekeeper without suffering for a time a
     degree of martyrdom. But thus far I get on easily, and hope to
     learn by experience sufficient to meet future wants. My parish
     matters have gone on so far just as I wished. I gave up all
     last week to receiving visitors, and they came in just the
     manner I wished, morning, noon, or evening, as might be most
     convenient to themselves. It was the best way for me, for it
     gave me a better opportunity of getting acquainted with their
     looks, and they seemed to like it very much themselves. I am at
     liberty now, but prefer staying at home, and still have enough
     to do to say 'Welcome' to my friends.

     "But this is all play-work in comparison with the other duties
     that belong to my lot. They are just what I knew they would
     be,--most delicate, most difficult, for one so utterly
     ignorant; but I see the difficulties, and do not find them
     greater than I have always known they would be; am neither
     discouraged nor faint-hearted, but hope and trust that power
     will yet be granted for all exigencies. I do not find myself as
     much discomposed by the task as I expected, considering I have
     had so little to do with children. But I do feel the importance
     of the relation in which I stand to them more deeply, more
     oppressively, than I could have conceived, and I am more than
     ever certain that I have a great deal to learn, and a long work
     before me. Do let me hear from you sometimes; we may not have
     much communication at present, but, as the Quaker said, 'we can
     meditate on each other.' I beg you to understand that I
     consider myself one whose lot has more than a common share of
     blessing, and daily and hourly do I thank God for guiding me to
     this pleasant path. I find I shall realize all you promised me
     of comfort, and much more too.

     "Yours in sincerity.

     "M. L. W."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, July 22, 1827._

     "DEAR NANCY:--

     "Your letter was given me this morning in meeting, and has just
     been read in one of the few quiet moments which fall to my
     lot, and one of the most peaceful and refreshing; and I am
     rejoiced to add to its pleasure, by turning to my little table
     and writing to you. I have indeed longed to give you a peep
     into my almost too delightful _home_; but it has been entirely
     beyond possibility to find an opportunity to write. How much I
     wish you could look in upon us, and see the whole detail of
     affairs from Monday morning to Saturday night, and that still
     more delightful season, the holy Sabbath, I need not tell you.
     But I fear you will never fully understand it, unless you can
     make yourself invisible and come among us....

     "We came on in the same stage, next day, and found all in
     readiness, perfect readiness, for us; and made so, too, by the
     efforts of our friends, which added not a little to the
     comfort. The ladies of the parish would not let Miss B---- hire
     workwomen, but came and did things with their own hands. All
     looked more comfortable and neat and appropriate than I
     expected, as I had picked matters up with no small degree of
     carelessness. Miss B---- and Mrs. B---- were on the spot to
     receive us; and oh! Nancy, to enter _one's own home_, in which
     was to be known all of experience which might be hid in the
     future,--to come to it, too, as I did, after so long floating
     on a changeful sea,--and to come to it under all the
     interesting circumstances of grateful joy and fearful
     responsibilities,--it was a moment not to be described or

     "H---- told you of our Sunday. The transfer to a new place of
     worship was trying and affecting; but I forgot the people, and
     did not suffer because every eye in the house might be directed
     towards me. I need not add, that the excitement in church is
     much more than it ever was to me, though not what it will be
     when I am more at home there. Sunday gave me truly the rest of
     the soul. I arranged that it should be a quiet day. We prepared
     dinner on Saturday, and locked up the house; Mr. Ware in his
     study after breakfast, and the children with me, reading and
     studying. They were easily interested, and, the excitement of
     common days being removed, they were more as I wished, and gave
     me much pleasure. So it was at noon; and at night they go to
     their father, and I have my own hour of peaceful thought. And
     then in the evening we are all together, talking or reading or
     singing. It is realizing so exactly what I have always wished
     to have the day, and what I never before knew, that I enjoy it
     doubly. A friend, perhaps, drops in and joins our singing.

     "... All classes have come to see me, even the poorest, and
     seem quite disposed to be pleased. I have said distinctly that
     I wish ours to be entirely a social intercourse, and they take
     me at my word. I have not told you of my own private joys, nor
     can I in this little space. That they are great, immensely
     great, you can believe; and even with the ----. _August 16._
     Here I was interrupted more than a fortnight ago, and do not
     now remember what was to have been the close of the sentence. I
     might add, that I feel it happy for me, that, with all these
     blessings and pleasant circumstances, I have so much of
     responsibility and anxiety as will effectually prevent my head
     being turned by it. But I have not room for further detail.
     Yours ever.


The sense of "responsibility" just referred to might be called one of
Mary's characteristics. And it had this peculiarity, if no other, that
she felt it to be a blessing rather than a burden. Indeed, in cases
where others would speak, as almost all do speak, of "the _burden_ of
responsibility," she used the other and brighter word. As, at this time,
she said, in a note to a friend,--"My fate is a singular one in this
respect,--that, whatever may be the variety of the scene, it is always
filled with the extremes of blessing and responsibility; and I know not
that I ever felt more fully the _blessing_ of responsibility than now.
Had I not great and almost overpowering duties and cares, my head would
almost of necessity be dizzy with the bright prospect before me. As it
is, I rejoice with a serious, but most grateful spirit,--a _sober_ bliss
certainly, but not the less valuable." There was one utterance of her
"sober bliss" of which we have not spoken as we might, for it was
habitual with her through life. We refer to her love of singing, and her
use of sacred hymns in the family, which began, as we have seen, with
the first Sabbath in her new home, and, as we are to see, ended only
with life. One who lived with her just before her marriage tells us how
much she indulged and enjoyed in this devotional, but cheerful melody,
for "it seemed in her to be truly singing hymns of _praise_." She would
sing after withdrawing for the night, at the close of the busiest and
most distracting days; and sometimes, "after having actually retired,
she would think of a charming tune, always selecting the most beautiful
words, and joined by Miss K----, they would enjoy an hour in this way."
Distinct are the echoes which linger in many hearts still, from her soft
and expressive voice,--the voice of the soul!

The biographer of Henry Ware says that the year of which we are
speaking, that which followed this second marriage, "was one of the most
active, and also, to all human appearance, one of the most successful,
of his ministry." It was marked by the efficiency of his labors,
increased attention to his preaching, a growing congregation, and many
proofs of favor with the community in general. He repeated, that winter,
and enlarged, his Lectures on the Geography of Palestine; and, beside
his Bible class and vestry service, his house was open to his parish
every Tuesday evening for social intercourse and religious conversation.
In this last, as in other parochial ways, Mrs. Ware was an efficient
helper. Nothing could be more to her taste, or in unison with her best
powers, nothing certainly could contribute more to her deepest joys,
than this whole manner of life. If we may not believe that she was
reserved for this very position, we may confidently say that she could
have filled no other with more ease, more energy, or happier results. We
attempt no enumeration of the relations and offices in which she
endeavored to serve her husband's society, or the larger community.
Boston is not more remarkable for its noble charities, than for the
noble women who find sphere and activity enough in devising or directing
so many of those charities. Mrs. Ware sought no publicity or distinction
in these movements, and was less prominent, perhaps less efficient, than
many others. Comparisons she seldom attempted, and never made them a
rule of conduct. Her rule seems to have been, to refuse no service asked
of her for which she was competent, if it interfered not with any duty
to her family or parish. From the opportunities she had enjoyed and
improved, when abroad, of visiting various charitable institutions, she
was frequently consulted in regard to them, and she sent to England for
plans and hints. She was a directress of a Charity Sewing School; and
always regretted that sewing was not taught in the public schools, and
made essential to a complete education with every class. In all her
views and efforts there was that practical good sense, which is better
than the best theories or brightest abstractions. Yet she did not
despise theory and abstraction, nor suppose that either she or her own
generation had learned all there was to be learned. Indeed, we use no
great boldness in saying, that, without the slightest tendency to
reckless innovation or foolish experiment, there never was man or woman
more interested in reform, or anxious for progress, or fearless for
truth, than Henry and Mary Ware.

Of Mary's ideas of the _reward_ which the benevolent and the good should
desire, an amusing illustration has been given us by one who heard the
remark at the time. A motion being made in a charitable Society for a
"vote of thanks for the minister's prayer," Mrs. Ware said to a lady
near her, "While I was secretary of the Society for the Employment of
Female Poor, I never recorded votes of thanks. I thought members should
do _all they could_, and when that was done, they might make their
courtesy to each other!"

In March, 1828, Mrs. Ware, after the labors and anxieties of the first
winter, made a visit to Mrs. Hall in Northampton, where she wrote her
first letter to her husband, containing expressions whose full import we
cannot know, but whose intimations of self-distrust and increasing sense
of responsibility many will understand.

     "_Northampton, March 19, 1828._

     "DEAR HENRY:--

     "No letter from you yesterday; but I did not expect one,
     knowing that Saturday and Sunday are busy days. I feel sure of
     one to-day, however, and while waiting its arrival with all the
     patience I can summon, I cannot please myself better than by
     talking a little to you; and if I am willing to believe that in
     this, as in many other matters, our tastes may correspond, pity
     my delusion, but do not destroy it,--it is the brightest dream
     of life to me.

     "I find it is a very different thing to be lone Polly Pickard,
     beating about the world, conscious that it could not interfere
     with any one's comfort or convenience if she were out of it,
     and to call myself Mary Ware, with all the appendages which
     belong to her,--the cares and comforts, the duties and
     privileges, from which she cannot disconnect herself. It is
     almost incredible to me that a short year should have made one
     who was before utterly reckless of danger so careful and
     cautious,--I had almost said, anxious. And, oh! what a lesson
     it has taught me! I thought I was deeply sensible of my danger;
     I thought I realized fully the strength of the temptation which
     assailed me to rest satisfied with my earthly blessings, and to
     depend upon them entirely for my happiness. But this little
     separation has shown me the state of my mind in a truer light
     than I ever saw it before, and compelled me to confess, with
     deep sorrow, that my trial was greater than I could bear. I had
     borne sorrow and deprivation, loneliness and calumny, unmoved,
     erect, fearless,--but had sunk before the greater trial of
     satisfied affection. May this knowledge do me real good! And if
     it should please our kind Father to restore us to each other,
     let us strive with greater zeal to conquer this enemy. While we
     rejoice, as we must, in the blessings of His providence in
     calling us together, may we use our comforts without so
     abusing them as shall make them instruments of evil instead of
     good to our souls.

     "Do not think I am nervous or inclined to croak. I am perfectly
     well, and while I look at these things seriously, I feel a
     cheerful courage to contend manfully, nothing doubting that
     strength will be given in aid of all right effort, and that all
     these trials, if rightly used, will be so many additional aids
     in attaining that heavenly-mindedness which alone can satisfy.

     "All blessings attend you, dearest Henry. All send love. Your


Expressions of self-distrust and extreme discouragement seem strangely
unintelligible to many minds, when they come from those who are thought
better than others, and are always striving and advancing. Yet these are
the very persons to feel discouraged, because of the high mark they set
for themselves. And the fact that they are thought better than others,
with their keen insight of their own failings, is more apt to mortify
and depress than to exalt the humble and earnest spirit. Never, perhaps,
was Henry Ware doing more for others or himself than in the winter and
spring of the year we are reviewing. Yet in a letter to his wife,
written a few weeks after that which we just gave from her, we find the
expression of a dissatisfaction with himself, even greater than hers. It
was written on his birthday, and shows also his sense of the great
blessing which the last year had brought him. "I never yet was satisfied
with my mode of life for one year,--perhaps I may except one. But since
that I have been growing worse and worse. I did think soberly, that,
when I was settled down with you, I should turn over a new leaf; and I
began; but, by foolish degrees, I have got back to all my accustomed
carelessness and waste of powers, and am doing nothing in proportion to
what I ought to do. Yet other people tell me I do a great deal, and I am
stupid enough to take their judgment instead of my own.... These, dear
Mary, are the morning reflections with which I open my thirty-fifth
year. "Will the year be any better for them? I hope so, but I fear not;
for I do not _feel_ the weight and solemnity of these considerations as
they ought to be felt."

Different, indeed, from the anticipations of either did the opening year
prove. The season which had been the first of Mary's coöperation with
Mr. Ware, was the last of his active service as a pastor. He had
overtasked his energies, and that change was impending which affected
the whole of their remaining work in life. On his return from
Northampton, where he had been preaching, in the month of May, 1828, he
was arrested at Ware by a violent fever, which was followed by extreme
prostration, and confined him there several weeks. His wife was in
Boston, and in a state of health that made travelling neither easy nor
wholly safe. But she wrote so persuasively to the physician for leave to
join her husband, that it could not be refused, and she was soon at his
side. Under date of June 16th, she writes from Ware: "How grateful and
happy I am, to be here! All the few feelings of doubt about the
expediency of the jaunt, which others' fears forced upon my notice,
have vanished, and my own strong convictions that it was best have
become perfect certainty. With the unspeakable satisfaction of being
with my husband, so unexpected to him, and scarcely hoped for by me,
what can there be to dread which can be a balance for such blessings?"

As soon as Mr. Ware was well enough, they went on to Worcester, where
they remained six weeks. And there, on the 13th of July, Mrs. Ware's
first child was born; a son, who lived but few years, yet long enough to
leave a deep impression of beauty and promise. Toward the last of
August, Mr. Ware set out alone on a horseback journey for his health,
riding through New Hampshire and Vermont to Montreal and Quebec, and
returning in October. During the first part of this interval, his wife
and infant child were at lodgings in Newton, where her next letter is
dated, referring in the opening to a poetical epistle which she had
received from her husband. That epistle, as published at length in the
Memoir of Mr. Ware,[3] many will remember; but its tenderness, and its
allusions to their common experience at this period, will furnish an
excuse, if we insert a part of it, as a preface to the letter which

    "Dear Mary, 't is the fourteenth day
      Since I was parted from your side;
    And still upon my lengthening way
      In solitude I ride;
    But not a word has come to tell
    If those I left at home are well.

    "I am not of an anxious mind,
      Nor prone to cherish useless fear;
    Yet oft methinks the very wind
      Is whispering in my ear,
    That many an evil may take place
    Within a fortnight's narrow space.

    "But no,--a happier thought is mine;
      The absent, like the present scene,
    Is guided by a Friend Divine,
      Who bids us wait, serene,
    The issues of that gracious will,
    Which mingles good with every ill.

    "And who should feel this tranquil trust
      In that Benignant One above--
    Who ne'er forgets that we are dust,
      And rules with pitying love--
    Like us, who both have just been led
    Back from the confines of the dead?

    "Then, dearest, present or apart,
      An equal calmness let us wear;
    Let steadfast Faith control the heart,
      And still its throbs of care.
    We may not lean on things of dust,--
    But Heaven is worthy all our trust."

[Footnote 3: Memoir of Henry Ware, p. 220.]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Newton, September 13, 1828._

     "Thank you, dearest, for the pleasure your good long letters
     have given me; and if I am the more pleased that you called
     your Muse to aid you in my behalf, I hope it is one of the
     pardonable weaknesses of womankind, and trust your vanity will
     not take the alarm lest I should undervalue your own unassisted
     powers of pleasing. It is indeed a great and unceasing source
     of delight to me, that, although separated externally in our
     way, our thoughts, our spirits, are pursuing the same course,
     and we may meet in meditation and prayer, sure that the same
     feelings of gratitude and trust are ever present to us both. I
     thought much of this, last Sunday, when I made my first attempt
     to attend public worship. I had felt a great desire to go to
     meeting upon that day, being the eighth week from the birth of
     my child; and, moreover, because the first Sunday in September
     has been a memorable day to me every year since 1813. I did not
     attempt it in the morning, but in the afternoon rode over to
     hear Mr. Wallcut at the Upper Falls. I had felt well and strong
     at home, but it was quite too much for me; my mind was too weak
     to bear it quietly. The reflection upon all that had passed
     since I last entered the house of God, which was forced upon me
     at one view, was indeed overwhelming. I could scarcely control
     myself sufficiently to join in the services. I longed to put
     every one out of the house, that I might prostrate myself
     bodily, and I did mentally, before that Being whose goodness
     had brought me to that hour. I did indeed think much of _you_;
     and there was a high and holy satisfaction in the idea that you
     were at the same time employed in the same way; and although
     all was uncertainty with regard to you, I doubted not, that,
     whether on earth or in heaven, I might safely rely upon this.
     How did I rejoice in that faith which could remove from me all
     anxiety and fear concerning you, which could enable me so
     calmly to suffer you to go from me for such a length of time,
     notwithstanding the very many uncertainties which must belong
     to your situation. I sometimes wonder at the peace which
     pervades my mind, but I know I have a right to feel it; it has
     its basis upon an immovable foundation. Mr. Wallcut gave us a
     very useful, solemn discourse, and I was strengthened by the
     service, and not injured by the excitement.

     "Heaven bless you! Your own


In September, Mrs. Ware returned to their own house in Boston,--that
house in which she had been so happy, and to which she hoped soon to
welcome her husband back again, in restored health. She writes at once.

     "_Sheafe Street, September 26, 1828._

     "Here we are, dear Henry, as comfortable as you could wish, in
     our own dear house, more grateful and happy than I could easily
     describe, every thing looking just as if we had not been away.
     Never did the place look more comfortable,--I had almost said,
     beautiful;--I will say so, for there were so many delightful
     associations with it that it possessed a moral beauty, if I may
     say so, exceeding any other it _could_ have had. I feel finely,
     and am sure I am as able to do all that is necessary as I ever
     was. It is not necessary just now that I should make any
     violent efforts; there is no call for it. Elizabeth is with me,
     as happy as a child can be; and the 'young rogue' likes his
     home so well that he has turned over a new leaf at once, and I
     believe means to behave well. All we want now is your presence,
     and that I trust we shall have in the right time. O, how
     willing does all this experience make one to leave all things
     in His hands, who has brought us through such troubled waters
     so safely, so joyfully! I have gained since Sunday; at least, I
     have none of the confused feeling I then had, which made me
     fear my head was too light for Boston. It is getting _home_, I
     believe; home and its peacefulness are the best restoratives. I
     trust you will find it so. I shall walk a little every day, and
     call first on those in affliction and the sick; there are but
     few, astonishingly few, for the time; none that you have not
     heard of, I believe. Peace be with you, dearest! Your


Mr. Ware did return to Sheafe Street in October, but not to remain. His
health was not restored; he could not resume his pastoral duties, and he
was not willing to remain in Boston and among his people unemployed. A
friend's house in Brookline was kindly offered them, and early in
November they took leave--as it proved, a final leave--of their parish,
and of that house where they had passed but a single year, yet one of
the happiest of their lives. In the mind and memory of both of them,
that abode seems to have been invested with peculiar interest. They have
been heard to speak of the "Eden of Sheafe Street." Their children
always revert to it with a tender fondness; and, beside theirs, there
are many eyes that fill with tears even now, as they look back upon the
happy hours and blessed influences enjoyed there, in their pastor's
home. And she who helped to make that home what it was to pastor and
people, loved to the last to live over again that precious season,
though to her crowded with peculiar cares and trembling

They remained in Brookline that winter. In the spring of 1829, Mr. Ware
virtually resigned his pastoral charge, and a colleague pastor was
chosen, while a new professorship was planned for him in the Divinity
School at Cambridge. At the same time, he was urged by generous friends,
who offered the means, to go first with his wife to Europe, for entire
rest and the recovery of his health. This unexpected opportunity he felt
it right to use. And his wife, who was herself not well, thus speaks of
it to Mrs. Paine, in a letter of several dates:--

     "_Brookline, December 31, 1828._


     "I have been for a long time prohibited from using my eyes, or
     should ere this have despatched to you the epistle which for
     many a weary week has been prepared in my brain for you; and
     now being still under the same interdict, I can only venture to
     remind you that there is still in existence the same old
     friend, who has been wont upon this eve to pour forth to you a
     copious stream of egotism, who never longed for the time to
     come when she might do so, more than at this present; but who,
     for the trial of her patience, must lay aside her pen, and,
     wishing you every blessing, wait until she is at liberty to use
     her eyes to say more.

     "_January 23._ Although still unable to use my eyes without
     suffering, I am strongly tempted, by an empty house and an
     unoccupied hour, to renew, in some small measure, the
     intercourse which has so long ceased between us, and cannot
     help seating myself, pen in hand, to give you a few moments. I

     "_March 30._ I was interrupted by company at the above pauses;
     and since then, dear N----, what a revolution in the state of
     things around me! It seems like a dream that I am again on the
     eve of departure for Europe. It is indeed a dream from which I
     should like to awake; and yet I am so sure that it is right to
     do just what we are doing, that the spirit faints not, nor even
     falters. I do not, indeed, dare to think, but have busied
     myself in visiting my parish, and do not fear but that power
     will be given. Yet, dear N----, what a lot is mine! Surely I
     ought to be better for all this various blessing.

     "Ever yours.

     "M. L. W."

In closing the first and only year of Mary Ware's "parish life," we
remember that it was also the first year of her married life, and an
immediate entrance upon the office of a mother. To her views of this
office we have already referred, but have feared to say all we know to
be true of her discharge of its duties. There is a veil which we may not
raise, a sanctuary which none can enter. Yet it is due to her and to her
children,--it is due to the greatness of a trust whose difficulties all
see, but few estimate kindly,--to speak of the glowing filial love, the
reverent and grateful obligation, expressed by those who were permitted
to call her "mother," and whose sense of indebtedness grows with their
days. By the exercise of a sound discretion in exigencies unavoidable
and seldom allowed for,--by freedom of intercourse through the day, and
prayer and blessing at night,--by a tenderness that made counsel always
kind and discipline never disheartening,--in a word, by a yearning
affection which has caused a start and regret at any allusion to her not
being "their own mother," she took possession of their hearts for life;
and her death called forth, in the simple words of one, the unutterable
sentiment of both,--"Surely God never gave a boy such a mother, or a man
such a friend."



On the 1st of April, 1829, Mrs. Ware sailed from Boston, with her
husband, in the ship Dover, for Liverpool. One of the older children was
left at board and in school, the other in Mr. William Ware's family, in
New York; while the infant was confided to Mr. Ware's sister, Mrs.
Lincoln,--an arrangement that relieved the mother of anxiety, as far as
was possible with any separation. But no parent will need to be told
what she must have suffered, at best, in leaving behind her her first
babe, not a year old, to cross the ocean and go into distant lands for
an indefinite time, with a sick husband on whose restoration or return
no calculation could be made. Yet we see in her not a moment's
hesitation, we hear from her no expression of doubt or the least
despondence. Physicians and judicious friends advised the step, her
husband's health and power of usefulness, if not his life, might depend
upon it; and this was enough, even if her own judgment had differed, as
we have no reason to think it did. It was a feature of her mind very
prominent, as it must be of every well-balanced mind, that she never
suffered herself to be tortured with doubts or fears for the future when
the present duty was clear, and never lamented that she had done that
which seemed right and best, whatever the issue. As she writes, on one
occasion, of her own habits of mind and long experience:--"There is no
one thing that has been more important to my comfort, under any result
of my plans, than the consciousness that they were decided upon after a
full and careful deliberation of all other possible plans, and a calm
judgment concerning them all. Then I felt I had done all that poor human
nature could do; the rest was in God's hands,--it was all in God's
hands. I was satisfied that this decision was in the order of his
providence, and, come what might, I could never regret it, or spend one
vain, impious _wish_ that I had taken another course. But, in order to
make this decision satisfactory, I have always desired to know the whole
truth, and be convinced that I had a perfect view of the whole case in
hand; and have sought suggestions from others, not for my guidance, but
that I might be sure I had deliberated upon all the varieties of plan
which could be thought of."

This principle was now to be put to a severe test, the severest,
perhaps, of her whole life. We have seen what she did, and what she
suffered, in her former visit abroad. Totally different were the
circumstances now, but none of them such as to make the trial less. Then
she had been alone as a traveller, and also alone as to all exposure and
peril. Now she was to feel and fear for the one most dear to her in
life, one who was ill able to bear the fatigues and discomforts to which
he must be subjected, and whom neither his own faith nor her serenity
could keep from depression and discouragement. Through the whole period
of their absence, which proved to be a year and a half, Mr. Ware could
not be said to be well for a single day. Much of the time, he yielded to
dejection and apprehension, as she had never known him before. He
enjoyed much, but suffered more. Not bodily suffering wholly, or
chiefly; but that which is much harder to bear,--the hardest of all,--a
sense of helplessness and the increasing fear of uselessness; the
conviction, in the very prime of life, that life's work must be left
undone, a calling which he dearly loved be relinquished, and he either
remain abroad a wanderer in search of health, or return home with only
the capacity of projecting numerous plans and labors, not one of which
would be ever accomplished. All this his wife shared, at least in its
effect; against all this she had constantly to contend, bearing most of
the responsibility of measures and results, her own health not strong,
and soon subjected to peculiar and most anxious trials.

We have no desire to magnify these trials. We only wish to set them in
their true light, as making an unusual--not an unprecedented, but an
unusual--demand upon the trust, endurance, and energy of a wife and
mother. She herself has been heard to say, that this was the most trying
period of her life; that no other experience equalled it. Yet this would
hardly be inferred from her letters at the time. They were necessarily
few, but written with her usual cheerfulness and unfailing hopefulness.
Not all of them, however. One or two we have seen, such as cannot be
used, that intimate, rather than express, peculiar suffering and
solicitude. But this was in confidence, and for counsel; it being one of
the peculiarities of the case that it presented many points where it was
very difficult to decide whether wisdom and duty should carry them
farther on, or turn them instantly back,--and the decision was with her.

We will not attempt to follow them closely in their foreign tour. Those
who wish to trace its progress, and note the dates and incidents, will
find them in the Memoir of Henry Ware by his brother. They visited
England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, and France,
spending the winter in Italy. The first summer they passed over much of
the ground and sought the spots, in England, so familiar and memorable
to Mary from her former experience. They visited Wordsworth, Southey,
Mrs. Hemans, Miss Edgeworth; and passed much time with Unitarian
ministers, whom Mr. Ware wished particularly to see, that he might learn
all he could of their position, cultivate a fraternal feeling, and open
the way for a more frequent and friendly correspondence between those of
the same household of faith in England and America. About the last of
August they went to the Continent, taking Holland first, and thence
through Switzerland into Italy, reaching Rome in December, and remaining
there until April.

The few letters that Mrs. Ware wrote home will be given in the order of
their dates, with little explanation or comment. Some are in the form of
a journal; and here and there we see the hand of Mr. Ware, taking up
the thread which his wife had dropped, and then leaving her to resume.

     "_Greta Bridge, July 8, 1829._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "I slept last night in the very same room, at Barnard Castle,
     which you and I occupied four years ago. And having been in
     many places lately where we had been together, such as Studley,
     Ripon, and the George Inn at York, where we parted, and
     moreover, as you have visited me in my dreams, night after
     night, for a long time past, I feel that I must yield to the
     desire of writing to you, although it may be but a few lines of
     uninteresting matter. This place will, however, insure to the
     letter some value, for I remember well how you wished that the
     rain would abate, that you might see something of its beauties.
     I wished it also then, but I wish it much more now, that I have
     had an opportunity of----

     "Here the arrival of the coach which was to take us from this
     paradise cut short Mary's opportunity, and I dare say she will
     not remember what she was going to write; so that I, her
     substitute and lieutenant, go on to tell you how much we have
     mentioned your name while on these romantic grounds, and how
     glad we should have been to trace with you the paths of Rokeby
     and Greta in memory----

     "My lieutenant seems to have been cut off in his march rather
     abruptly also; so I must beg you to imagine what beautiful
     associations of persons or things he was about to recall, and
     proceed with my own plain story,--just to tell you that we were
     more than satisfied with our walk; it quite meets Scott's
     description. We trod the same path by which Bertram and
     Wycliffe wound their way from Barnard Castle to Mortham, and a
     wilder or more witching scene could scarcely be imagined. We
     had walked from Stockton to the Castle by the side of the
     Tees, sixteen miles, stopping for refreshment and rest at the
     little, humble inns which alone are to be found on this
     unfrequented route; and truly, after the parade and luxury of
     large hotels, it was a delightful change to see something of
     simple country life. You would have enjoyed it, too,
     notwithstanding the novelty of carrying the equipments of one's
     toilet in our pockets.

     "At Penrith we found our letters by the May packet, and yours,
     dear Emma, was most welcome, not only for the news you gave me
     of my darling children, but for the kind feelings which
     dictated it, and the great entertainment it gave us. It was
     just such a letter as we wanted just at that time; it was the
     latest account, too, that we had had, for though one from Mrs.
     Barnard, and another from Dr. John and William, reached us at
     the same time, they were of earlier date. You brought my little
     Robert more vividly before my eyes than any thing I have heard
     of him. I could see his little hand resting on Clarissa's
     shoulder, looking half coaxingly at you; and if the picture
     made me long to try if he would notice me any better, I was
     amply compensated for my inability to do so by the knowledge
     that he was doing so well, and under such kind care. At Penrith
     I had an attack similar to that which I had when you were at
     Brookline with me, which detained us a day; but, as it rained,
     it was not of much consequence. We had projected a drive round
     the lakes in a gig, and this plan we entered upon the next day
     (Saturday, 11th),--just such a day as we should have asked for.
     We went to Ambleside, via Ullswater and Patterdale, where we
     spent Sunday; heard Wordsworth's son preach, and looked at
     Windermere. Monday we breakfasted with Wordsworth at that
     lovely place, which I doubt not is still visible to your mind's
     eye, as we saw it that beautiful morning. It looked just as
     beautiful without, and as perfectly in keeping within, as we
     had imagined it. I confessed our theft, to the no small
     amusement of Mrs. Wordsworth, who did not, however, seem
     surprised at our feelings. Wordsworth, his wife, son, and
     daughter, composed the party. I wished I could have seen him

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_July 16._ Dear me, what a careless child! I have just
     discovered that I began my letter on a sheet which Mr. Ware had
     one quarter filled to another person; and, having no time to
     rewrite, I must send it piecemeal. I was going to say, that I
     wished I could have seen Wordsworth again, because he did not
     meet my expectation; and therefore I felt disappointed, in
     spite of all my reasoning with myself that my imagination
     should not be the standard in such a case. Besides, such a man
     could not be seen at one view; that which is most delightful in
     him would not be delightful if it were external.

     "The ride to Keswick you will remember well. It lost nothing by
     being seen a second time. We were at the same inn at which we
     formerly stopped; and I could hear, perhaps, the same horses
     tramping along the same pavement over which our nags paced
     their way for us that memorable morning.

     "We drank tea at Southey's, whose residence is much more like a
     poet's than it appeared at a distance, having a fine view of
     the lake between the trees with which it is almost enveloped. I
     heard him talk but little, as there was a party at the house;
     but was more pleased with that little than I expected to be.
     His study is just the most enviable one that I ever have seen.
     The next day we went upon an expedition to Crummock and
     Buttermere, which, though fatiguing, we enjoyed highly, having
     a fine row upon the lake. We returned to Keswick by a road
     which gigs seldom pass over, the Crag through Borrowdale. It
     was just such an expedition as you would have enjoyed on
     horseback, perhaps on foot, as we took it for three of the
     worst miles I ever passed over for roughness and wildness. The
     last part amply repaid us for our toil. We rode by the side of
     the Keswick lake for the whole length, just as the sun was
     setting, yesterday.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_July 17._ O, what would you not give for the sight which is
     before me now!--'fair Melrose,' not by the 'pale moonlight,'
     but by the light of as beautiful a sunset as you could ask for
     upon such a scene. I have not been out of the house yet, having
     contented myself with looking at it from my window, and am now,
     with all diligence, scribbling for the next Boston packet,
     while Mr. Ware has gone to see Mrs. Hemans, who wrote us that
     we should find her in this neighborhood. This is no small
     addition to the attractions of Melrose. I feel very much as if
     I were going to see an old friend, so near does sympathy with a
     person's writings bring one to the writer himself, in soul at
     least, if not in the outward expression. On our way hither from
     Selkirk, we passed Abbotsford. A motley group of towers and
     chimneys did it appear; and it verily made me hold up my head,
     and feel stronger, at the thought of breathing the same
     atmosphere with its mighty inhabitant. We passed Branksome also
     to-day, and came through Teviotdale,--classic ground every inch
     of it. But it will not answer for me to run on at this rate; I
     shall scarcely complete one letter beside, when I wish to write

     "Just at this point Henry returned from his call, with the
     original 'Dominie Sampson,' and the intelligence that Mrs.
     Hemans would join us in our intended visit to the Abbey. The
     moon is just now in full-orbed splendor. Thither, therefore, we
     repaired; and I met Mrs. Hemans for the first time on the top
     of one of the towers, in such a scene as beggars all powers of
     description. Never were mortals more favored by the heavens and
     the earth for such an expedition. The air was very mild; not a
     sound disturbed the midnight stillness but the chirping of
     the ---- (I cannot remember its Scotch name; its sound is somewhat
     like a cricket's). There were just clouds enough to give us all
     the varieties of light and shade. We did enjoy it highly. And
     yet we almost wished we had been alone. One did not want to
     have the interest divided; and the Dominie's dry sayings and
     droll manner had such an effect upon our risibles, that we had,
     in spite of ourselves, a little too much of the ridiculous with
     the sublime. This Dominie, whose real name is Thomson, junior
     minister of the kirk of Melrose, is unique, not _exactly_ such
     as Sir Walter has described, but quite as original.

     But I have come to the end of my letter, that is, my time. Love
     to all, at Canton, Milton, Brookline, Nahant, Roxbury,
     Boston,--a goodly company truly. We have just had a ride to
     Dryburgh Abbey, on the Tweed, a fine ruin beautifully situated.
     The river here answers Scott's description better than at
     Berwick. There are very many lovely situations upon its banks.
     But I _must_ close. With Mr. Ware's united love, and sincere
     wishes that you were with us, yours most affectionately,

     "MARY L. WARE.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "_Geneva, October 11, 1829._


     "Wishing to say very much the same things to you both, and
     finding that the expense and trouble of transporting letters
     from this place across the Atlantic are _pretty considerable_,
     I am induced to address you both at once; hoping that the
     question of title to the possession of this valuable document
     will not give rise to a more severe litigation than the lawyers
     of Massachusetts will be able to settle. Your letters reached
     us in the course of time; yours, Lucy, while we were in London,
     and Harriet's just three months after its last date; both most
     welcome. It is a pleasure which none but a pilgrim can
     understand, to see the veritable handwriting of a friend when
     separated by such a space. You say much of the pleasure we
     shall receive in these foreign parts from the novelty, &c. of
     what we may encounter. So it is; and I trust that I shall enjoy
     all that we should do from the privilege allowed us. But I can
     tell you, under the rose, that there is no pleasure in all this
     wide creation like that of sitting down in a quiet corner, no
     matter what may be around us, holding communion with _home_;
     and I fully believe that all travellers would tell you the
     same, if their pride would let them.

     "We have, as you may have learned, fulfilled in part your first
     wish, Harriet,--we have seen Miss Edgeworth, but not Sir
     Walter. She is a short, rather fat, extremely homely, perhaps I
     might say ugly woman, without a spark of intellectual
     expression in her still face, and not overmuch in her most
     animated moments; but as full of animation, kind feeling, good
     sense, and intelligence, in her conversation, as one could
     desire; a great talker, and a very good listener; not an item
     of pedantry or self-sufficiency, or indeed any thing of what
     one would fear to find in her father's daughter, or in any
     woman who had been so celebrated; easy, playful, natural. We
     forgot it was the renowned Miss Edgeworth, and felt only that
     it was somebody who must be loved and admired. We found her in
     the old family mansion at Edgeworthstown, whither we went fifty
     miles only out of our way to see her; but all the awkwardness
     of such a lion-seeking visit was entirely taken off by the
     reception we met with from the whole family, and we should have
     felt quite at our ease to have passed a week there. We could
     stay only a part of three days; that is, part of two, and the
     whole of the intermediate one. The only impediment to our
     comfort was, that, being constantly in the family circle, which
     is a large one, we could not talk with the lady herself upon
     many points which would have been most interesting. Perhaps we
     saw her to peculiar advantage, but we certainly do feel that
     she has been greatly scandalized in having the reputation of
     acting the pedantic authoress, and partaking of her father's
     scepticism. So much for Miss Edgeworth.

     "I wish I could tell you half as much of Sir Walter from
     personal observation, but he was out when Henry called with his
     friend, Mr. Hamilton; and he is so overpowered with visitors,
     that we were not willing to add ourselves to the list of the
     curious who persecute him. We were delighted with all that we
     heard of him; indeed, the nearer we viewed his character,
     through the medium of those who knew him, the more our
     admiration and desire to see him increased. It would really
     seem that his vast intellect is his least remarkable feature.
     We saw many of his familiar letters to Miss Edgeworth, and that
     was next best to hearing him talk, for they are just like
     conversation. Mrs. Hemans, too, we have seen, and Bowring a
     great deal, and some others of the noted of the present day;
     and we shall treasure the remembrance of the few, for they have
     been but few.

     "It has been truly tantalizing to pass through Switzerland in
     clouds and darkness, now and then catching a glimpse of its
     beauties to show us what we were losing, but the far greater
     part of the time passing through the very finest portions of
     the Alpine scenery without any visible indications that we were
     not in a level country. But we have proceeded thus far free
     from sickness, danger, or even difficulty, and have therefore
     too much reason to be grateful to find it possible to complain.

     "We find a great deal to amuse us in the various habits and
     customs of the countries through which we pass, particularly
     since we left England; and the eating and drinking part of the
     business is not the least entertaining. We, however, manage to
     please ourselves, and our entertainers, too, pretty well. Henry
     eats his bread and milk as comfortably as he would at home, and
     I do what justice I can to the various dishes which are set
     before me, though, when they amount, as they have done, to
     twenty in number, in spite of all the 'J'ai fini's' I could
     utter, I have excited a smile of contempt from the waiter, who
     wondered at the barbarism of dining from one dish. We have not
     seen a carpet since we left Holland, except upon the
     sitting-room of an English lady here, and we have been in some
     handsomely furnished houses.... O this pen, ink, and paper! I
     will have no more to do with them, but leave them to Henry.
     Your sister


       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dear girls, women, or wives: My loquacious helpmate has merely
     left me a place to send my love, and to say I wish I had room
     to write to you and your husbands. By way of supplement, I will
     just say of myself, that I am now able to talk while riding,
     without pain, which I never could do before we left England;
     and can also read loud a little while. This is something worth
     telling of. My visit to Geneva, owing to circumstances, is the
     least satisfactory that I have made. You will perhaps hear
     again from the land of the Cæsars, whence I will dictate a
     letter full of 'ettas,' and 'inas,' and 'issimas,' and
     'ulinas,' and other satin euphonisms. Meanwhile, peace be with
     you! Your brother


We have added Mr. Ware's pleasant little postscript to the last letter,
chiefly to show, by his own confession, how very feeble he must have
been, and how great her anxiety and care. Indeed, she says of him at
this time, "His system requires rest; it will be long before it is fit
for use again." She herself was far from well, and had the depressing
prospect of a more serious sickness, in a foreign land, with added
cares. And yet neither of them was idle, during any period of that
trial. They accomplished a great deal in various ways, and prepared one
distinct work for publication. We say, _they_ did it; for Mrs. Ware
seems to have joined in that labor which afterward gave us one of the
most useful of Henry Ware's works. We refer to his treatise on the
"Formation of the Christian Character." It is probably known that this
book was written almost entirely in travelling; first in this country,
during the horseback jaunt which Mr. Ware took alone through New England
to Canada, in 1828, and then abroad, at various stages of this European
tour. And here it was in Mrs. Ware's power to be of essential service to
her husband, in a way which she explains in a letter written late in
life, half jestingly taking to herself a part of the credit for the work
to which we refer. To Dr. John Ware she writes, in 1844, in reference to
her husband's labors in this and other ways, at the time of which we are

     "You will gather from the letters of European friends in what
     estimate he was held by them. That is of little import; but it
     shows how faithfully he preserved his identity as a minister
     of the Gospel. In looking back upon the jaunt, as a whole,
     nothing is so prominent to my mind as the perpetual indications
     of his ruling passion, if I may call it so,--his love of his
     profession,--the eagerness with which he sought out his
     ministerial brethren wherever he heard of them, stopping by the
     way-side to introduce himself and extend to them the hand of
     fellowship, often going out of the way many miles for that
     purpose, and making all other objects subservient to that of
     increasing his knowledge of men and things pertaining to the
     ministerial life. I _know_ his visit was a useful one to his
     brethren in many respects....

     "You know, I believe, that the greater part of his work upon
     the 'Christian Character' was written on that tour. Its pages
     are to my memory a sort of diary of our progress, associated as
     they are with the pleasant evenings, when, after our autumnal
     day's journey, having despatched our supper, we settled
     ourselves at a little table before a cheerful wood-fire in our
     inn, and he with his writing materials, and I with my work, or
     writing or reading, could almost imagine ourselves at home.
     Thus were my evenings spent in alternate writing, reading, and
     criticism, until I almost felt as if I had written the book

The end of the year 1829 found Mr. and Mrs. Ware travelling from Rome to
Naples; and on the "last night," faithful to her friendships everywhere,
she began the regular "annual" to Mrs. Paine, which she did not finish
till after their return to Rome, thus giving some account of their
condition in both places.

     "_St. Agatha,[4] December 31, 1829._

     "MY DEAR NANCY:--

     "This is not the first annual which you have received with a
     foreign date; neither can you be surprised at any aberration in
     my orbit. And yet methinks you will have to consider twice
     before you can quite realize that it is 'Pearl Street Mary
     Pickard,' who is writing you from this region of ancient glory
     and far-famed beauty. But so it is; and could you look in upon
     me, you would wonder, as I do, that the very peculiar changes
     of the eighteen years you have known me should leave me so
     precisely the same. I begin to think that I am made of most
     invulnerable materials; for here I sit--surrounded by as
     singular and trying circumstances as any which I have ever
     known--as easy and happy, I had almost said as indifferent, as
     if the world were jogging on with me in the tamest way
     imaginable. At no period of my life have I had more for which
     to be thankful in reviewing the year which has passed,--that we
     should have travelled so far without the slightest accident,
     leaving our dearest interests so well provided for, finding so
     much kindness wherever we have been, and so many facilities for
     our enjoyment; and above all, that my husband, though not much
     better, should not have been made much worse by all the
     disadvantages under which he has labored of climate and
     weather. If I were at your elbow, how I should love to give you
     a detail of some of our experiences during the year. You know
     enough of the outlines to guess at the minutiæ in many
     instances, and enough of us both to imagine the internal
     effects produced by them.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_Rome, March 2d._ Back in Rome again, after a five weeks'
     sojourn in Naples, from which place I should have despatched
     this, but that I did not think it quite worth while to send
     such a piece of egotism so far by mail. We had almost incessant
     rain while at Naples, which prevented our doing and seeing as
     much as we wished; but the few fine days we had, we enjoyed and
     employed to the utmost. Although in January, they were like our
     June days. A shawl was too warm a garment to be borne in the
     sun, and upon our out-of-town expeditions we took our lunch in
     the open air. These were rare days, to be sure, but they gave
     us some idea of what the climate would have been had the season
     been a common one, for so much rain at that time, they told us,
     was almost unprecedented. We went of course to Pompeii, where I
     had many and pleasant recollections of your husband, tell him;
     for the explanations which he gave me, when we saw the panorama
     of that place together in London, had made it all so familiar
     to my mind that I could not easily overcome the impression that
     I had been there before. Vesuvius we were content to admire at
     a distance, fearing the ascent would be injurious to my
     husband. But the classical regions of Avernus and the Elysian
     fields, the abode of the Cumæan Sibyl, and the beautiful
     temples of Baiæ, we explored at our leisure.

     "I can scarcely fancy any locality more beautiful for a city
     than that of Naples, and, viewed at a distance, it has a very
     imposing appearance; but in itself it is noisy, dirty, and
     disagreeable, with the exception of the modern part of the
     street which borders upon the bay. We had rooms in that street,
     within forty feet of the water, and in rain or sunshine enjoyed
     the beauty of the bay with equal delight. We returned hither in
     company with Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell, and Mr. and Mrs. Rollins,
     with whom we have been the greater part of the time since we
     arrived in Florence in November. We are at lodgings with them
     here, and, as you may suppose, very much enjoy our quiet
     family party. We have also Dr. and Mrs. Kirkland, and Mr. and
     Mrs. Gould, from our part of the country, and many from New

     "There is so much to be done here, and my husband is obliged to
     do things so leisurely, that I know not that we shall ever see
     half that is to be seen. There is a great difference between
     travelling for health and mere pleasure. Almost all our friends
     will be on the wing before us, but I trust we shall find our
     way home in good time, and be the better for having come. Mr.
     Ware's is just such an uncertain case, that it is impossible to
     have any very decided opinion about it,--he sometimes seeming
     almost as well as ever, then again prostrated by some very
     trifle. On the whole, there is still much to hope from time and
     care, but nothing to flatter one into the hope of speedy
     restoration. May we have patience to wait with cheerfulness the
     full development of the designs of Heaven with regard to us,
     hoping for good, and willing to submit to trial!

     "This is the season of Lent, which makes no apparent change in
     the state of things, and before we leave Rome we shall have the
     famous solemnities of Holy Week, when, if the Pope does not die
     (which it is reported he is about doing), I hope to witness the
     illumination of St. Peter's, and to listen to the _Miserere_.
     So far, I have not heard any music in Italy which satisfied me,
     except once the vespers of the nuns in one of the churches
     here; it is all too loud, rapid, and theatrical. But it is time
     to despatch my letter, so good by.

     "Yours, most affectionately,

     "M. L. WARE."

[Footnote 4: "A little village, or rather almost solitary inn, between
Rome and Naples."]

The last date of the above letter is the 2d of March; and before the
close of that month Mrs. Ware's second child was born,--a daughter, who
still lives. Mr. Ware's letter, announcing the event to his brother in
Boston, expresses his gratitude for the many mercies that surrounded
them, among excellent friends, making "as pretty a little, quiet
domestic circle as ever Rome has seen since the days of the twin
founders." At the same time, he confesses his entire discouragement in
regard to his own health, and their great embarrassment at what course
to pursue. "I am weary of this miserably idle life, and yet I am fit for
no other. I am afraid to go home, because I know I shall only be able to
do half the requisite work, and to do that not more than half; yet to
stay away is altogether out of the question." As usual, Mary was ready
to do any thing that seemed best, even to go home alone with her new
charge, if her husband would be benefited by remaining longer and acting
freely. Some prompt and decided course she advised, at whatever
sacrifice. "We have talked over this matter together, and the only
relief which Mary is able to suggest is, that I should state my case
exactly, resign the professorship, so as not to be a burden or hindrance
to those for whom I care more than for myself, send her home from Havre,
and spend a year in travelling Europe on foot and on horseback. This
might be done at a very small expense, an expense which we could meet
without taxing College or friends."

We can easily conceive of the anxiety of a high-minded woman, a devoted
wife and mother, at such a crisis. We have said that Mrs. Ware has been
known to refer to this experience as the great trial of her life, and
we suppose the period of which we are speaking was the most trying of
all; especially if we comprise in it the few months that preceded the
birth of her child,--a season of which she has written more freely than
of any other of her trials. Nor can we show the full power of her
endurance at that time, and her wonderful energy,--such as is common
only to woman,--unless by giving part of a letter written to her
physician, describing this experience.

"Not for a single day free from positive pain, I felt determined to keep
out of sight all physical as well as mental distress. In this I believe
I succeeded, excepting when occasionally nature was overpowered, and I
lost for a time my consciousness. But the effort to keep a cheerful
outside, when the body was undergoing so great suffering, and the mind
fully awake to all the uncertainties and possibilities which lay before
us, can only be appreciated or known by one similarly situated. My faith
never failed me, nor my confidence that the course I had adopted was the
right one. But the degree of tension to which every faculty was
stretched, all the time, was just as much as my reason could bear
unshaken; and more than it could have borne, I believe, had not my
nerves found relief in hours of tearful prostration, when Henry was
asleep, or so far out of the way as not to detect it."

We have no further particulars to give of the sojourn in Rome. The
travellers gladly turned their faces toward home the moment the season
and their strength would permit. Early in May we hear of them in Geneva,
and at the end of that month in Paris. From both those places Mr. Ware
writes home, in a disheartened, yet decided tone, as to his return,
showing what a burden of anxiety they were still bearing. "I have only
spoken out more plainly what has for some time been my conviction, that
I am gaining nothing; and I simply wish to have you prepared for a
proper reception of my _miserability_ when I shall return." "I am sure I
need not stay away; I am sure I am not fit to do any hard work; I do not
think I could edit the Examiner. But I will come home by the packet of
July 20th, and you shall judge. It will be the hardest of all I have yet
done, to abstain from Cambridge, especially as Mr. Norton vacates his
place, and there is the more need of other laborers."

In June, Mr. and Mrs. Ware were separated for a time, she taking
lodgings with her infant at Waltham Abbey, and he making an excursion
alone for his health. Soon after he left her, Mary wrote to him
thus:--"I am quite sure it was best for you to go, though there was some
risk in it. If you only keep a sharp watch upon your 'excitables,' not
mistaking the effect of them for strength, and so do not overdo, you
will, I doubt not, be better for the jaunt; you will be gaining much
mental satisfaction, and I am sure that will help the body.... Yours to
'Miss Pickard' is just received. The dear little Miss is as good as
possible; she knows how much I wish I were with you, and coos and smiles
all the time to make me contented. I am thankful you are so well, and
though I should have richly enjoyed being with you, I am sure it is
better for you to be alone. I want to go to Chatham next week, if I feel
better, but it is such a luxury to be at rest! O, dearest, how we shall
enjoy it! I have had time to think a little, and collect my scattered
wits, and I could pour out volumes of the result of my cogitations--but
_voila_! the end of my paper! Do all you can, see all you can without
injury, gain all that is possible to gain, and above all, _feel_ that
you have time enough; that is, don't feel 'hurried'; it is destructive
to comfort and profit."

In this letter we find also a hint, which tells something of Mary's
continued thoughtfulness and generous provision for that poor old aunt
whom she left at Osmotherly five years before. On first arriving in
England, she had again visited, with her husband, that scene of singular
interest and mingled recollections. And now that Mr. Ware is journeying
alone in that direction, she writes to him: "Should you go to Osmotherly
(which is not quite worth while, as it would take you two days), give
Aunty her yearly allowance, if you can,--ten pounds. But no, I remember
you did not take enough with you. Write her a word,--it will please her;
and pay the postage." This was said at the very time that Mrs. Ware had
denied herself the pleasure of going with her husband, on account of the
added expense of travelling with an infant. She continued that annuity
to her aunt as long as she lived, and a friend thinks it was doubled
part of the time. We bring the fact to notice, because, from a delicacy
which ought not, perhaps, to suppress facts so illustrative of
character, we have forborne to give half the proof we found, in letters
and in conversation with friends, of her noble generosity in connection
with the strictest domestic economy, and withal a personal self-denial
and simplicity that caused remark, if not censure. Could all the facts
be given of her early surrender of property to a considerable amount,
when she might have held it, and the rigid restriction of her personal
expenditure, through life, within the limits of bare comfort and
respectability, while there were times when she could have done much
more for herself, and no time when her hospitalities were not without
stint,--were it right, or were it desirable, to refer to facts and
instances confirming this general statement,--we are sure it would be
seen to be at the least worthy of honor and imitation. But the very
thought of her disinterestedness, and _secret_ charities, checks and
rebukes us.

Before leaving England, she wrote the following letter to the two
children in America.

     "_Waltham Abbey, June 19, 1830._


     "It is a long time since I wrote to either of you, for I was
     ill for some weeks, and since I got well, I have been
     travelling almost every day, and have not had time to sit down
     quietly. But all this while I have thought much of you,
     particularly when I was lying on the bed sick. When I
     remembered how great was the distance which separated us from
     you, and how uncertain it was if we ever saw you again, I
     wished that I could be sure that you would always be good,
     doing that which would please God, that I might hope to be
     united to you again in heaven. You do not know how often your
     father and I have talked about you since we left you, or how
     anxious we have felt that you should improve; we hope to find
     that you have made a good use of the time of our absence, if we
     are ever permitted to see our home again; and how happy we
     shall be to have you with us, not to be separated again, I
     trust, for a long time!

     "You will be glad to know that your dear father is better than
     when he left home. He has gone now to Manchester for a few
     days, and I have come with little Baby from London to stay with
     a cousin while he is absent. Baby will have been a great
     traveller by the time she gets home, but she will not be any
     the wiser for it; when she knows how many wonderful things she
     has passed by, she will wish she had been old enough to observe
     them. I have seen a great many grown-up people in our travels,
     who, I think, will not know much more than she does of what
     they have passed by, because they have not the habit of
     observing and thinking about what they see; they remind me of
     the story in 'Evenings at Home,' entitled 'Eyes and no-Eyes.' I
     dare say you recollect it. Others are not wiser for their
     travels, because they have not prepared themselves to
     understand what they see, by reading; they care nothing about
     the antiquities of a country, because they know nothing about
     its history; or the works of art which they meet with, because
     they do not know how they are made, or their uses. You will be
     surprised to find, as you grow older and know more, how much
     every thing which you have learned will add to your pleasure. I
     dare say you have many lessons given you, of which you do not
     see the use at present, but you will by and by, and if you fix
     them well in your memory you will be very glad then.

     "It is now the 26th of June, and we have just heard that the
     king of England died this morning, and his brother, the Duke of
     Clarence, was proclaimed king, at twelve o'clock, at
     Westminster. On Monday he will be proclaimed at three places in
     London, by heralds dressed in very gay costume, such as has
     always been worn on like occasions for many centuries, of
     course very different from modern dresses. They will use
     trumpets in order to be heard by as many people as possible,
     who will no doubt collect in great crowds to hear them. The new
     king is called William the Fourth. There will be a great parade
     at the king's funeral, and the new king's coronation, but we
     shall not see either. I hope we shall be on the water before
     they take place, for the preparations are to be so great, that
     it is said three weeks at least will be necessary for the
     funeral, and perhaps months for the coronation. The next heir
     to the crown is a little girl, only a year older than you,

     "Good by, my dear children.

     "Your loving Mother."

On the passage home, in August, Mrs. Ware had another severe trial of
her physical and mental energies,--a trial that is supposed to have
essentially impaired the vigor of a remarkably strong and enduring
frame. Mr. Ware, who had gained little if any strength during their
whole absence, became severely ill from a painful and alarming attack of
acute disease. His wife was his only nurse, and, if we recollect right,
the only physician. And there, amid all the deprivations and discomforts
of the _sea_, confined to the narrow range of a small state-room,
carrying in her arms a restless infant, of which those most willing
could but seldom relieve her, and with the whole weight of the
responsibility upon her saddened heart, that wife and mother performed
offices and made exertions, which, by some acquainted with all the
circumstances, have been called "almost superhuman." One fearful night
especially, the night which was to determine the result, she watched
over the flickering and apparently expiring light of the life most dear
to her, in anxious and most arduous services, until the crisis had
passed. Her husband recovered from this attack almost entirely, before
the end of the voyage; but the effect upon herself, of all she had done
and endured in the last seventeen months, was a prostrating and
protracted sickness soon after her return. Up to this time, we suppose
Mrs. Ware to have possessed a power of action and endurance seldom
equalled in her own sex or in the same walk of life. Yet she used to say
that her natural temperament was sluggish rather than active, and that
her activity was an exertion. Recurring, some years later, to this same
season, she writes: "You do not know me as well as you might, or you
would not talk of my _activity_. Naturally I am essentially indolent;
and to this day no one knows the effort it often costs me to rouse
myself from my lethargy. Still I have had a pride in my physical
ability, which has sometimes impelled me when better motives ought to
have operated. But that pride had a fall, when I went to Europe with Mr.
Ware, from which, it seems to me, it can never rise again. Yet it may
influence me when I do not suspect it, and I shall look out sharp for

It was in this connection also that Mrs. Ware repelled the idea of
"sacrifice" in such relations. "The phrase 'sacrifice for those we
love,' I do not quite understand. I should think the thing intended was
more nearly allied to the germ of selfish gratification, and therefore
as little entitled to the appellation of a virtue as any other selfish
propensity." Just before leaving America for this European tour, when
not strong herself, she had written to her husband, "I am very much
afraid of becoming too thoughtful of this poor body of mine." And now,
on her return, she was compelled to think of it more than ever before.



Mr. Ware's connection with his parish in Boston had been continued, at
the earnest request of the people, in the hope, that, if he removed to
Cambridge, he might still retain the pastoral office, and perform such
of the duties as should be perfectly easy. A connection which had
existed thirteen years, in perfect harmony and mutual attachment, could
not be sundered without mutual pain. To no man living did permanence in
the pastoral office seem more desirable or more important than to Henry
Ware; and the time had not then quite come when pastor and people could
separate in a day, with or without cause. Nor could Mrs. Ware be
indifferent to such a change. It was the extinguishment of many hopes
which she had fondly cherished, in becoming the wife of one whose
earliest choice and highest ambition had been for the ministry and a
parish life,--a life which had attractions hardly less strong for
herself. But now they had no choice. Whatever the sacrifice required,
neither of them was willing to remain in an office, whose duties they
could not perform with vigor and entire devotion. A dissolution of the
connection was therefore asked, immediately after their return from
Europe. And the society, in yielding to the obvious duty of granting the
request, expressed earnestly their sense of obligation and gratitude,
not only to their pastor, but also to her who had been his co-laborer in
their service. In their final letter, they say: "We should do injustice
to our feelings if we failed, on this occasion, to make mention of her
also, who has laid us under such obligations by her devotedness to you
when we looked upon you as belonging to ourselves, and who, though not
long with us, had already taught us how highly to value and how deeply
to regret her."

In October, 1830, Mr. and Mrs. Ware took up their abode in Cambridge;
where he entered at once, in improved, but still feeble health, upon the
duties of the new Professorship of "Pulpit Eloquence and Pastoral Care."
And except the place which they had been compelled to resign, for which
they both retained, we think, as long as they lived, a strong preference
and lingering desire, no situation could have been found more acceptable
than this at Cambridge. A post of great responsibility, calling for all
the strength and labor that any could bestow, it was yet a position of
peculiar privilege and opportunity, in the midst of family connections,
near to all their friends, and having close relations to the ministry
which they so loved. In many ways, too, would these relations afford to
Mrs. Ware herself facilities for action, and the exercise of her
peculiar powers and affections.

Yet there were two great anxieties which Mrs. Ware brought to this new
situation; one, relating to the health of her husband; the other, to
their straitened pecuniary means. The first of these was known, and
could be understood by all. The last will never be understood, except by
those similarly situated, and as high-minded, generous, and desirous of
usefulness. We speak of this as a general truth. There is more mental
suffering, more physical feebleness, and greater loss to the community
in regard to the energy and activity of those who would serve it,
resulting from this one cause, than perhaps from any other. We say it in
no temper of complaint, much less of censure; for we know not where the
fault lies, if there be any. But we do know the fact, and there can be
few who have not seen it in some of every calling,--that the necessity
of incessant thoughtfulness and extreme carefulness for the things of
this world, with the dread of debt or dependence of any kind, in the
midst, too, of sickness and the utmost uncertainty, is a weight upon the
heart, and an obstacle to the energies, such as no faith, or fortitude,
or philosophy can wholly overcome; no, nor even the experience, as in
this instance, of ceaseless kindness, and a liberality ready to do all
that delicacy would permit. The fact remains,--better known than
explained, and inseparable, it may be, from the constitution of society,
possibly from the nature of man,--aggravated, as the trial often is, by
the infirmity and helplessness which God himself appoints.

The beginning of their life in Cambridge was made memorable by one of
the longest and most serious sicknesses that Mrs. Ware had ever known.
We have already referred to it, as probably caused by the uncommon
demands of their journey abroad and the voyage home. We did not refer,
in its place, to a severe illness which she had in Geneva, of which she
gives an account in a note some years later, and speaks of it as very
serious. Many causes thus conspired to predispose her to this attack,
which, for the first time in her life, so far as we know, was of a
pulmonary character, and shut her up for the whole winter,--a severe
trial, where so much was waiting to be done, and after so long a period
of absence from home and active duty. There was greater prostration, and
more imminent peril, than all were aware of, and more, we suppose, than
ever before. Her sickness must have begun almost immediately after they
went to Cambridge; for in the same month Mr. Ware writes to Rev. Mr.
Allen of Northborough, as if he had for some time been very anxious, and
was then only beginning to hope. "I am happy to be able to say, that
Mary does seem to be doing better,--the first day that I have thought
so. Her disorder has had transient intermissions, but never before
seemed to yield. I think now she has fairly begun to mend. But she is
wretchedly weak, and a little talking makes her hoarse. We have kept her
as quiet as possible, and forbidden all visitors; yet she has not been
as quiet as most persons, because she does not know how to take thought
for herself, and continues her interest for all about her. She has
suffered a great deal of severe pain, and her cough has been kept from
distressing her only by opiates. You rightly guess how great a
disappointment of our hopes this has been. I have not been without very
serious apprehensions as to the result; and you may judge what must be
felt, when we are apprehensive for one so perfectly invaluable as she.
You know her in part, but one must know her intimately as I do, to
understand half her worth." And, again, as late as November, Mr. Ware
writes to Miss Forbes that Mary is not yet able to bear any visitor, not
even one as intimate as she, whose society and sympathy they so much
desired. And he adds, in concluding his letter to that excellent friend,
"Emma," whom they had not seen since their return from Europe: "Since we
met, we have all seen changes and trials, and are at least more
experienced in the discipline of Providence. I esteem myself quite well;
and if my cup were not dashed with the bitterness of Mary's ill health,
I should have more sources of happiness than I could perhaps bear

In a few weeks, Miss F---- went to Mrs. Ware, and devoted herself
entirely to the care of her for two months or more. The communion of
these congenial minds was very beautiful, and will help at various
points to illustrate the character of Mary. Their intimacy began early,
and was never interrupted. How true they were to each other, how
socially and spiritually confiding, how much they mutually imparted and
received, through life and in death, can be known only to those who know
all; for both their natures, even in their present exaltation, might
shrink from the disclosure of some of the evidences of their tender and
generous love. Their intercourse at this time, softened by the sickness
from which Mary was very slowly rising, and which, we have seen,
awakened many apprehensions, must have been peculiarly grateful. It was
a season of precious experience to Mrs. Ware, as will be seen in the
first letter she wrote,--her faithful annual to the friend in Worcester.

     "_Cambridge, December 31, 1830._

     "Another year has passed away, dearest Nancy, since I last
     spread before me a fair white page, on which to tell you that I
     was still in existence; and instead of 'St. Agatha' and the
     disagreeables belonging to it, behold me in my own blessed
     home, scribbling at the same old desk. A change, indeed, and
     what a change, for one short year! You know it all, and I need
     not, if I could, recount the various causes for deep, fervent
     gratitude which rise to my memory in the retrospect. You can
     understand, without explanation, why it is that the thought of
     them so entirely overwhelms me that I cannot touch upon them
     with sufficient calmness even to write about them. I shall be
     less tired to-morrow morning, and will resume; but I could not
     let this eve, so long sacred to _you_, pass without marking it.
     Farewell, then, for this time.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 16._ I have suffered a longer period to pass away
     without continuing this than I intended. I know not how it is,
     but I find that year after year passes off, and still the same
     errors are to be mourned over; and for one I begin to fear that
     the habit of procrastination will adhere to me through life. I
     was weak, and my nerves so excitable, when I began this, that I
     could not even recur in thought to the events of the past year,
     and retain decent composure. But the impression of their review
     has not passed away, and I trust never will; and I feel that it
     would do my heart good to go over the ground with you (were
     you only by my side), not of their external character, that you
     know already, but of the effect of such discipline upon the
     mind. Constant exposure to the weather hardens the skin, and
     the habit of living under circumstances of trial deadens one's
     sensibilities; and I could not now, if I would, be as strongly
     affected by them as I used to be during my novitiate. Still, I
     have not quite ceased to feel, and consequently to suffer and
     to enjoy; and I trust that the joys and sorrows of the past
     year have not been experienced without some beneficial result.

     "I have long thought one of the greatest blessings of my life
     to be that singular preparation which each event has given me
     for that which was to succeed it; and I never realized this so
     fully as during my late wanderings. Habit had given me the
     power of sustaining easily and cheerfully circumstances which,
     to one less experienced, would have brought labor and sorrow;
     thus enabling me to pursue the one great object for which we
     were striving, unclogged (if I may so say) by any
     considerations for self, and thus lessening my trials, not only
     to myself, but to those around me. Now that all is over, I am
     conscious that the mental as well as the physical effort has
     been great; and I consider this 'lying by' as advantageous to
     my mind as to my body. I was beginning wrong, had for some time
     felt that trifles were a burden to me; and although by the
     application of strong stimulants, such as the joy of getting
     home, I could keep alive my courage to act, I am persuaded that
     it was something of the excitement which frequently precedes
     entire failure, rather than any substantial good. In the
     delightful quiet of my own snug chamber, I have had time to
     look a little more into myself than I have been able to do for
     a long, long time. The outward exigencies of the moment had so
     long occupied every faculty, that it was not singular that I
     had become almost a stranger to that void within, which is to
     be known only in the 'secret silence' of tranquil thought. I
     have felt grateful for this repose; and, so far from pitying me
     for having been arrested in the pursuit of my domestic duties,
     just as I was so happily restored to them, my friends would
     rejoice for me, if they knew how much I needed, and how much I
     have enjoyed, this rest. Don't think me quite insensible to the
     trouble it has caused my friends, or the loss it has been to my
     husband's comfort. I am not; but neither am I sure that in the
     end both will not be gainers by it. I have not been very
     sick,--not so sick as to require a suspension of any of the
     daily operations of the household in my behalf. I could always
     have my children about me, and except now and then could do
     very well without any aid out of my family. I needed rest and
     quiet more than any thing; and that did not interfere with
     others' pursuits. Emma has been with me six weeks; and enacted
     Mrs. Gerry, Queen's jester, Cerberus, and a 'thorn in the
     flesh,' as she styles herself, with the perfection that belongs
     to such an actress. She has been a real comfort and delight to
     us both; for she has the faculty of _fitting in_ so exactly to
     the circumstances of the case, that she does more good than she
     intends to do, good as her intentions are.

     But Emma says, 'Hold! enough!' I forget which of her characters
     she appears under now; but I'll punish her by making her fill
     this page with the bulletin of health of every man, woman, and
     child belonging to the establishment, which I was just going to
     give you myself.


In February, we find Mrs. Ware still a prisoner in that chamber of
sickness; though not exactly a prisoner, for we have heard her speak of
the reluctance with which she left that long confinement, to return to
the glare and tumult of the world. And from the manner in which she
wrote to Emma, soon after she had left her, it would seem that she had
not expected to return at all. Indeed, some of her language indicates a
serious apprehension on her part, of which few were aware. In refusing
to let Emma come again merely to read to her, as she had proposed, Mary
says: "I allow that it would be an especial comfort to be read to sleep
sometimes, when my opium-fed imagination is conjuring up fancies that
mar my rest for that night; and it would be a great pleasure to have my
thoughts a little more diverted from self than I can divert them
unaided. If my disease were rapidly gaining ground, the case would be
altered. I know too well the luxury of having done 'the last' for a
friend, to debar any one from it. But although I am aware that there are
many _probabilities_ in favor of the idea that the disease never will be
overcome, I see no reason to nourish the feeling which a state of
uncertainty cannot but create. It may be that my days are to be few. And
if the 'wearin' awa of snow-wreaths in the thaw' is to be the signal of
like decay in myself, I shall surely need you more than now. At all
events, the spring must be a season of lassitude and bodily trial to me;
and if you will give me the promised visit then, you will have no reason
to be dissatisfied with the degree of good you will do me." Two months
later than this, Mrs. Ware wrote to the same friend, more at length.

     "_Cambridge, April 20, 1831._

     "DEAR EMMA:--

     "I have watched you from my working-chair 'out of sight,' as
     some of my Dublin friends would say; and now I have taken my
     desk into my lap for sundry purposes, but the first that
     suggests itself is, to commence an _omnium gatherum_ for you. I
     shall want to say five hundred things at least every day for a
     month to come; and I don't know why I should not indulge you
     with one of the five hundred daily. What time so good to
     commence, as that in which my heart is full of twice that
     number of feelings of gratitude and love towards you? But no,
     this is not a good time either, for they come rushing forward
     with such a spirit of rivalry, each wishing to be represented
     first, that they blind my eyes and make my pen tremble; so I
     will teach them what a good disciplinarian I am, and make them
     all keep silence until they have learned better manners.

     "To-day I am as weak as possible, but free from pain. The truth
     is, that I am feeling, just as I told you I should, the trial
     of weakness much more, now that I can move about, than when I
     was shut up. When I knew it was my part to give up trying to do
     any thing, and turn my mind to the improvement which belonged
     to such a state of things, I had not a wish to step over my
     threshold, or an anxious thought about any thing beyond it. It
     would be time enough when I could go among people and things, I
     thought, and I would enjoy the luxury of idleness to the full.
     I did; but now the case is changing. I am able to use my bodily
     powers, and feel that I ought to exert my mental energies also;
     but my strength fails me, mental and bodily, and this brings to
     me a feeling of discouragement and dissatisfaction with myself,
     that I find it hard to struggle against as I ought. In fact, it
     carries me back to old Mary Pickard's spring feelings of
     nothingness, which I fight with in vain. I fear that I have
     been so long indulged in idleness, that I have lost my energy
     of mind, or become selfish, and a thousand other wrong things
     which do sometimes creep upon one without leave. You will tell
     me this is merely the effect, the inevitable effect, of
     weakness, as my husband does. I hope it is, and that I shall
     rise in time to my wished-for energy.

     "I was glad to find you had made so good a beginning of your
     summer life. It is delightful to me to be able to think of you
     enjoying so much, and doing so much, as I am sure you will. I
     think it was very well to strike into the plan at once. May I
     ask you, too, to take one half-hour daily, with your door
     locked, for some little sentence and the thoughts which will
     grow out of it, for the cultivation of that internal treasure
     which you value so much, and in which you wish to feel more
     vital, exciting interest? I know by my own experience that we
     lose much of what we long to keep, by an unacknowledged but
     constantly operating contempt for small means, hourly
     attentions to the details of spiritual discipline. Having
     calmly, thoroughly, may I add, prayerfully, viewed one
     Christian virtue in the day, are we not almost secure of acting
     in conformity to that one, for at least twenty-four hours? And
     if every day we thus gain one victory, shall we not have reason
     to hope we may in time be wholly conquerors? But more of this
     in _our_ pretty book, which will contain preaching enough for
     my share of your ear upon such matters.

     "All send love, with that of your

     "M. L. WARE."

In the spring, Mrs. Ware recovered, as to all apparent disease; but she
continued feeble through the summer, and suffered much from her sense
of inefficiency, in body and mind,--"literally unable," as she says,
"to write a letter." Nor do we find any letters before October, when she
wrote in full her own impressions of this important portion of her
experience, with an account of its termination in the alarming illness
of her husband, to whom she was summoned at a distance. His health had
been constantly improving through the winter, and he had performed all
the duties of his office, except preaching, which he had ventured upon
but once for nearly three years, and then only on account of the death
of Mrs. Emerson, the wife of his colleague and successor in Boston. In
the summer vacation of the present year, 1831, Mr. Ware made a
pedestrian tour, with a friend, to the White Hills; and, feeling strong
enough, engaged to preach on his return at Concord, N. H. But before he
could reach that place, he was prostrated with fever, and became
severely, and he himself believed fatally ill. Under this full
conviction, he made a great effort to write a few last words to his
wife; and did write a note, which we wish we were at liberty to use, so
moving as it is in itself and its circumstances, so characteristic of
him who wrote it, and so touching and beautiful a tribute to her whom he
loved, and whom he thought to see no more on earth.

It need not be told that Mrs. Ware went to her husband as soon as she
knew of his sickness, though she had not entirely regained her own
strength. He had been removed to Concord, where she joined him, and
stayed till they could come home together. She seems not to have been
surprised by this summons; it being one of her principles, and a fixed
habit, to anticipate all probable, even possible events, as far as she
could, and make them familiar to her thoughts; not to sadden or weaken,
but to strengthen and prepare her mind for the duties and emergencies to
which she might be called. If the events did not occur, nothing was
lost. If they came, the shock was less, and there was greater
preparation and fortitude to encounter it. This is not the common
course, and will not commend itself to all. Not all would be capable of
it; and it may not be necessary or desirable for all. The common habit
is the very opposite, and the counsel usually given, from the pulpit and
in private, is to anticipate nothing,--least of all, to anticipate evil;
or, as the phrase is, never to "borrow trouble." This is not the place
to discuss the subject. We wish only to record our vivid impression of
the delight and instruction with which we have listened to that
unpretending woman, as she argued the matter with those who differed
with her; not asking them to do as she did, or assuming the smallest
merit for the habit, but only showing them how completely the uniform
experience of a life of trial had satisfied her that this course was
best for _her_. And all who have seen her in trial and sickness will
testify to the reality and power of this persuasion.

The account, to which we have already adverted, of their experiences
during this first year at Cambridge, through her own illness and that of
her husband, is contained in a letter written on the evening of the
first Sabbath that Mr. Ware was able to preach in the College Chapel,
when she also was able to hear him.

     "_Cambridge, October 2, 1831._

     "MY DEAR NANCY:--

     "Were you ever so weak as to omit doing a thing which you
     strongly desired to do, entirely because you knew you could not
     do it thoroughly to your own satisfaction? If you have been,
     you can better understand than I can describe the many foolish
     feelings which have, from time to time, and a hundred times,
     made me throw down my pen and say to myself, 'I cannot write to
     her now; I have not time to say half I wish to say, or she to
     hear.' It is just so now; I knew all the time it was wrong to
     do so, and now I am determined to turn over a new leaf with
     myself, at the commencement of this new year of my life; and as
     your spirit has haunted my conscience more than any other, I
     begin by laying it with the spell of my fairy pen. But where
     shall I begin? I cannot remember where I left off, or rather do
     not know what you have heard from others since I left you a
     year ago.

     "Of my winter's sickness I cannot write; it contained a long
     life of enjoyment, and what I hoped would prove profitable
     thought and reflection. I came out of my nest almost
     reluctantly, for I had a dread of the absorbing power of
     worldly cares and interests; and for a long time my head
     remained so weak that I suffered from the necessity of giving
     my whole mind to the trifling occupations of daily life in
     order to perform them with tolerable decency. This has been a
     bane to my comfort throughout the summer; and although I have
     had Harriet Hall and Mary Ware, and many of those I rejoiced to
     see, again around me, I have not profited much by the
     privilege, my mind having all its capacity more than employed
     by the care of our bodies. This was very humiliating for one to
     whom all the outward cares of life have been mere play-work;
     but I could contrive to keep externally quiet, and not appear
     fidgety; so I try to think this was conquest enough for me in
     my then state of weakness. The heat prostrated me very much. I
     began to fear I should never be able to do any two things at
     once again. But since my family has returned to its usual size,
     and the cool days of autumn have sent their invigorating
     influences to my bodily powers, my mind improves 'a little, not
     much' (as my Rob says fifty times a day). Literally, I could
     not write a letter through the whole summer; and now the task
     is so novel a one, that I cannot expect to be coherent, this
     being my first.

     "In this state of things, my husband left me for a walk to the
     White Hills. I felt sure that, if pursued with due discretion,
     it would do him good. He was pretty well, but wanted something
     to give him a spring before beginning to preach. I had not the
     least objection to his going, but having watched him so long,
     so incessantly, I felt very much as a mother does the first
     night she weans her infant from her. In pursuance of my
     long-established habit, I set myself the task of preparing for
     any accident which might befall him, and I believe looked at
     all the possibilities of the case; so that when the summons
     actually came for me to attend him at Concord, where he was ill
     of a fever, it did not take me by surprise. I was, as it were,
     prepared for it, and could receive it calmly and act coolly. In
     two hours I was on my way to him, confident in my own strength,
     for no care of him present could be the weight on my mind which
     the thought of him absent had been; and the bodily exertion was
     not as great as I had been for some time making, having been
     nearly all summer without my _quantum_ of help. I found him
     very sick, but surrounded by kindness. He soon began to mend,
     and we jogged homewards. Harriet had been with me, so that I
     could leave my children without any anxiety; and the journey,
     and the happiness which accompanied it, did me good. I have
     been gaining ever since, and Mr. Ware too. I am now so well,
     that I can walk an hour before breakfast, and into Boston with
     ease; and to-day I have had the unspeakable joy of hearing my
     husband perform all the services of the pulpit. This is a point
     that I have so often thought of as the one blessing which I
     dared not hope for, and have believed that, if it could be
     granted, I should have nothing more to ask for, that I hardly
     know how I feel, now that it is actually granted. One thing
     more, however, I must ask,--that I may be truly grateful for

     "Yours as ever.

     "M. L. W."

Happy was it for Mrs. Ware if she _could_ be always prepared for change
and trial. For while her life was a favored one, and so regarded by her,
few enjoying more in any condition, she was equally alive to all
suffering, and seldom knew a long exemption. So far, however, she had
been spared all trial in regard to her children. Not that they had been
free from sickness, or had caused no solicitude, for there had been much
of both; but their lives had been continued, and at this time she was
rejoicing in their health. Three of them she had just taken to Milton,
to enjoy a week with them at Brush Hill, where she had spent so much of
her early life, but where she had not been at all since her children
were born. Pleasantly does she contrast her present with her former
enjoyment there. Writing to her husband from this place, she says:--"I
am enjoying myself much, but find I was quite mistaken in thinking I
could turn into Mary Pickard again by the power of association. I do
very well under that character through the day, but with nightfall the
remembrance of _home_ comes over me; the idea of the husband and child I
have left there, and the three chickens who are asleep up stairs, rises
before my mind's eye, as so many more blessings than poor Polly could
boast, that I resign my pretensions with a very grateful heart. I am
sorry, dear Henry, that you could not be a little longer with me here,
(among other very disinterested reasons,) that I might read you sundry
chapters in the life of that interesting personage just named,--chapters
which are written about upon these trees and stone walls, and which no
other place could recall. It is very delightful for me to live over
those days again, and I am sure my mind will be refreshed by this visit,
if my body is not. As to this latter concern, it does as well as I could

This visit was made just before her summons to Mr. Ware's bedside at
Concord. After their return to Cambridge, they took possession of a new
house just built for them; and one of the first events that occurred in
that house was the _death_ of Mrs. Ware's first-born, Robert, then three
and a half years of age. It was a sore trial, and well do we remember
the spirit in which it was met; for it was our privilege to be staying
with them at the time, and to be present at the parting. The little
sufferer had endeared himself to us all by his patience and sweetness of
disposition. Separated from his parents in early infancy, and remaining
apart until he was two years old, they had taken him back, when they
returned, as a fresh gift from God; and though another had been granted
them, there was a peculiar feeling connected with _him_, which every
parent will understand. Movingly now does the scene return to us, of the
mother sitting silently and reverently at the side of her expiring boy;
and when the gentle breathing wholly ceased, asking--still silently--the
husband and father, who knelt by her, to _pray_. Faintly, tremulously,
more and more distinctly, and then most fervently, did that voice of
submission and supplication fall upon our ears, and fill our eyes, and
lift the heart into a region which death never enters! As the voice
ceased, the mother fainted; but soon she rose, stronger rather than
weaker, and ready for every duty. In referring to this bereavement
afterward, she says, in the thought of her husband's constant danger:
"Having had so long the greatest possible trial hanging over my head,
every thing else seems comparatively easy to bear; and I sometimes
doubt, whether any thing but that _one_ will ever wean me from the
world, as I think a Christian should be." How much she felt, and how
much she trusted, may be seen in her first letter after this trial.

     "_Cambridge, December 31, 1831._


     "Again does this anniversary find us inhabitants of this world,
     and again, as usual, does it present in my lot something of
     solemn and interesting import, upon which we may dwell with
     profit for a time. It is a privileged hour, and I shall use it
     as I have been wont to do, in the full indulgence of selfish
     egotism, trusting that some good may result to us both from
     it. What does the retrospect of the year present to me? My
     husband and myself have been again raised from the bed of
     sickness and threatened death, and I have been called upon to
     restore to Him who gave one of the dearest treasures which His
     providence had bestowed upon me. These are great events for one
     short year, designed to produce great effects, involving great
     responsibility, bestowing great privileges. My own sickness
     brought with it many pleasures, many pure and elevating views
     and feelings; and although it did not bring me to that cheerful
     willingness to resign my life after which I strove and hoped to
     attain, it thereby threw light upon the weakness of my
     religious character, calculated to subdue presumptuous
     self-dependence, and teach a lesson of humility which may
     perhaps be of more importance and advantage to my growth in
     holiness. My husband's danger renewed the so oft repeated
     testimony that strength is ever at hand for those who need it,
     gave me another exercise of trust in that mighty arm which can
     save to the uttermost, and in its result is a new cause for
     gratitude to Him who has so abundantly blessed me all the days
     of my life.

     "And now has come this new trial of my faith, this new test of
     its reality, that there may be no hiding-place left for me, no
     light wanting by which to search into the hidden recesses of
     the spirit to 'see if there be any wicked way in it.' And
     whatever may be the result of this strict scrutiny, am I not to
     be thankful for it? Am I not to feel that it is indeed the
     kindest love that subjects me to it? We feel it a privilege
     that a child should have earthly parents to guide, counsel, and
     correct it; and shall we not be grateful to that Heavenly
     Parent who does the same in a far better manner? I would thank
     God that he has by his past dispensations taught me the duty
     and happiness of submission, so that I can bow to the rod, and
     desire only to see how its chastisement is to be used and
     improved. I have always looked upon the death of children
     rather as a subject for joy than sorrow, and have been
     perplexed at seeing so many, who would bear what seemed to me
     much harder trials with firmness, so completely overwhelmed by
     this, as is frequently the case. But I know that upon any point
     in which we have had no personal experience we cannot form a
     correct judgment, and therefore I have never had any definite
     anticipations of its effect upon myself. I am thankful to find
     that the general views upon which my former opinions have been
     founded are not obscured by the flood of new emotions which
     actual experience brings. I can resign my child into the hands
     of its Maker, with as strong a belief as I ever had, that it is
     a blessing to itself to be removed, 'untasked, untried,' from a
     world in which the result of labor and trial is so doubtful. It
     is a blessing to be taken from the care of ignorant, powerless
     human teachers, to the guidance of higher and holier and
     perfect instructors; so that its pure spirit will not now be
     sullied by the pollutions of this degraded world, but go on
     from glory to glory until it has attained the full measure of
     the stature of a child of God.

     "You know too well what are the hopes and enjoyments belonging
     to the relation of parent and child, to require to be told how
     hard it is to lay them all aside; and there was something in
     the peculiar circumstances of the birth and life of this child,
     which could not but give a peculiar character to our connection
     with him. And so he has passed from us; but what a comfort to
     know that we have not lost him! We had a visit from Dr.
     Channing yesterday, in which he spoke so gloriously of the
     honor of having given a child to heaven, as to elevate me far
     above common considerations. But enough; think of us still as

    "M. L. WARE."

One of the traits of Mrs. Ware's character--not named for its
singularity or distinction, but simply as a fact, noticed by all who
knew her--was the amount of time and strength which she devoted to her
children. With all the sicknesses, which from this period came almost
constantly either to her or her husband, and which are apt to make such
sad inroads upon our quiet and faithful intercourse with our
children,--amid all her domestic cares, of which she took as large a
share, in every department, as perhaps any woman ever did in a similar
position, feeling and seeing, all the time, the painful need of a rigid
economy, in the midst of never-ceasing and never-limited
hospitality,--her thoughtfulness and care for each child, in regard to
the body, the mind, and the soul, seemed literally uninterrupted. And
this care of her children reached them in their absence as well as their
presence. In the summer after Robert's death, the oldest son, John, was
placed at school in Framingham, where he remained several years; and
seldom did he fail to receive, not only faithful letters, but a journal
of daily doings, from his mother's pen, though she long remained feeble,
and was now the mother of another infant, which she was compelled to put
out to nurse. Another term of severe illness ensued, causing a lameness
of long duration. But as soon as possible, indeed all along, she was
doing something for the absent son.

"When you left home, my dear John," she writes in July, 1832, "I thought
I should soon be well enough to write you, and intended to keep a
journal for you of what went on amongst us, to be sent to you every
fortnight; but now you have been gone two months, and I have not been
able to write to you once, so little can we calculate upon the future. I
have been obliged to keep my bed a great part of the time, and am not
yet able to walk across the room without much pain. I have not been down
stairs, excepting twice, when I was carried in arms to the front door,
and rode about ten minutes, which hurt me so much that I shall not try
it again very soon. I tell you all this, that you may understand how
impossible it has been for me to fulfil my promise to you. I have
thought much of you, and rejoiced to hear so often from you that you
were happy and improving. When I have felt that I should never get well,
and perhaps never see you again in this world, I have been very anxious
about you, and have prayed most fervently that God would guide you in
the right path, and hoped that you would live to be a comfort to your
father when I was gone....

"This is a busy week with us; yesterday being Exhibition, to-day
Valedictory, to-morrow the Theological Exhibition in the morning and a
public meeting of the Philanthropic Society in the afternoon. We shall
have an open house, and hope to have as many friends with us as we had
last year." An open house, filled with friends, all welcomed and in some
way entertained by the lady of the house, who is not able to walk across
the room without pain! We doubt not there are hundreds of such cases,
some it may be, more trying and more remarkable; but it does not alter
the fact, nor make it less worthy of notice in a woman who did all that
Mrs. Ware did.

It was a feature of Mrs. Ware's domestic character, that the throng of
cares and conflict of duties seldom _worried_ her. Many are they who are
as diligent and faithful, but yet live in a perpetual hurry and fret.
She knew the danger, and brought all her power and principle to
withstand it, even in the smallest matters. Often have we heard her
lamenting the necessity of spending so much of life in mere drudgery,
ministering to the perishing but never-satisfied _body_; a necessity and
service that devolve upon many women, and take from them the opportunity
of high mental and spiritual culture, unless they carry into these daily
duties and petty cares a calm spirit and a cheerful tone, with an
elevated and steadfast purpose. Such was Mary's habitual endeavor. The
difficulty, and the frequent failure, none were more ready to own. She
never satisfied herself, but she never flagged. She never worried.
Sudden interruptions, culinary disappointments, "shoals of visitors"
with little of preparation, were not allowed to chill her welcome or
cloud their enjoyment. There were no apologies at that table. If
unexpected guests were not always filled, they were never annoyed, nor
suffered to think much about it. A clergyman, who visited the house
often as a student, says of Mrs. Ware: "I remember the wonder I felt at
her humility and dignity in welcoming to her table on some occasion a
troop of accidental guests, when she had almost nothing to offer but
her hospitality. The absence of all apologies and of all mortification,
the ease and cheerfulness of the conversation, which became the only
feast, gave me a lesson never forgotten, although never learned."

Are these little things? They fill a large place in life, and have much
to do with its solid comfort. They affect the temper, they enter into
the character, and may help or hinder our best power and improvement. We
introduce them here _because_ they are little. There was not much in the
life we are penning that was not little in some comparisons. It is the
life of a plain, retiring, domestic woman. It is an example not beyond
the reach of any who desire to reach it. We wish to show it just as it
was; and to show, that of nothing was it more clearly the result, in
nothing does its value more clearly consist, than in the power of
Christian faith and simple goodness.

We have sometimes thought it would be well if all parishioners, those
especially who are quick to discern the failings and slow to understand
the labors of their pastor, could spend a few weeks in his house, and
get some idea of the variety, complexity, arduousness, and endlessness
of his duties. But from the picture which Mrs. Ware gives of the life at
Cambridge, we should infer that the engagements and interruptions of
most parishes were light in the comparison. "I used to think Boston life
a very busy and irregular one; but our life here is far more so. There,
there were some hours in the day in which, from conventional custom, one
was secure of being quiet. But here, neither early hours nor late,
neither rain nor tempest, are any security against interruption; and
often, very often, does a whole day pass without either my husband or
myself having one moment for our own occupations, or even a chance to
exchange a single sentence of recognition. I do not complain of this,
for it is inevitable. I must believe it is our appointed duty. But it
seems sometimes a most unprofitable mode of passing away life; at least
it is very difficult to make progress in the things one most desires,
when our time and our thoughts are so little at our own disposal."

Still, amid all these calls and cares, the "journal" continues, and full
sheets of companion-like narration or maternal counsel go to the
schoolboy at Framingham, who is having some of the trials of
school-life, petty, but serious.

"Dear John, it is time you had another letter, and I am very glad to be
able to write you one; it is the next best thing to sitting down by you
and having a good chat. I should very much like to look in upon you, and
know exactly how you get along. I hope you will continue to bear any
provocation you may receive with perfect quietness and forbearance. Such
conduct as you describe is not worthy of notice; and if you persevere in
doing right, and show no arrogance or pride about it, you will gain
their respect in time, that is, of all who are worth gaining. I am very
glad you have Mr. Abbot's book (The Young Christian). I thought of you
when I was reading it, and felt as if it would be very useful to you.
You will find much in it which you never thought of, and much of which
you will see a counterpart within yourself, if you examine yourself
faithfully. It seemed to me, while reading it, that I was looking into a
glass which reflected myself; for I have lived long enough to know more
about myself than I used to at your age, and I often wish that I had had
such looking-glasses then; I should, I think, have been saved many a
feeling of self-reproach, and many a foolish and sinful action. You can
hardly imagine now how great a blessing you possess in the watchful care
which is extended over you by your dear father; may it never be
withdrawn from you until you have learned to guide yourself by the high
and holy principles of Christian virtue!"

It shows Mr. Ware's apprehensions in regard to his wife's health as well
as his own, that, in a letter to the same son, he writes: "I find that
your two parents are in very frail health, and probably destined to a
short life. You will perhaps, therefore, be left at an early age to take
care of yourself."

We learn still more of their mental and social life at this period from
two letters which Mrs. Ware wrote at the end of the years 1832 and 1833;
there having been little variety between, except a journey south as far
as Alexandria, which they took together, for recreation and health,
early in 1833, with a few later incidents referred to in the letters.

     "_Cambridge, December 31, 1832._

     "DEAR N----:

     "F---- prophesied, ten years ago, that friendship between
     married women could not be of long continuance. He did not know
     that there is in woman's nature something which woman only can
     fully understand; or his knowledge of human nature in general
     would have shown him that the love of sympathy will triumph
     over many an obstacle, which would be a perfect barrier to a
     less powerful motive. Who but a woman, and one too who knows
     the exact mould in which one's soul is fashioned, would
     understand what it has been to me to stand on the verge of the
     grave, in full possession of the whole intellectual being, and
     prepare myself to leave such an assemblage of blessings as have
     fallen to my lot,--husband, children, friends, and the
     delightful duties which accompany these relations,--and then to
     be restored to them all, with an added gift! And all without
     one drawback, but my own want of sensibility, to make the
     blessing as great as it would be with a more sensitive heart.
     Perhaps no one can fully comprehend it who has not been placed
     in exactly the same situation. But you can come nearer to it
     than any one else, and you will not wonder that the past should
     seem to me one of the most valuable years of my life. I have
     often wished for just this experience, when I have felt how
     ineffectual were the monitors of Providence in awakening that
     deep sense of God's goodness, and that clear conviction of the
     reality of a future state, which are so important to the
     Christian life. I have almost envied those who were permitted
     to approach so nearly to the gates of death as to give up all
     expectation of a prolonged life. It has seemed as if this
     appeal must be irresistible; as if there could be no more
     deadness, or apathy, or indifference, after this. One _could_
     not come back to the world and be absorbed as before in its
     short-lived pursuits. But vain is the hope, I begin to fear, of
     our being raised by any thing so much above the world, as not
     to be subject to the power of the tempter while we live in it.
     The physical weakness which enables us to realize the uncertain
     tenure by which we are connected with this world is gradually
     changed into strength, and the power to act brings with it the
     desire;--and who shall easily set bounds to this desire? It is
     the all-consuming monster that cries, 'Give! give!' until we do
     give it every day, every hour, every thought,--until the
     present alone occupies us, and, alas! satisfies us too. Is this
     exaggeration, merely a dark picture drawn from my own sad
     experience? I hope it is.

     "But I am going too far, filling all my paper with croaking,
     when I have so pleasant a picture of my 'outer man' to present
     to you. We are all well; that is, well enough to be free from
     anxiety on the subject;--neither Henry nor I good for much
     beyond a very narrow sphere, but free from disease. I keep very
     quietly at home. Indeed, I cannot do otherwise; a ride into
     Boston tires me so much, that I am not fit for any thing for a
     day after; a walk does the same. So I am fain to content myself
     with my home comforts; and to this end I have converted my
     chamber into a study, where Henry writes, I work, and Nanny
     plays all the livelong day. It is more like Sheafe Street
     comfort than any thing we have had since. My husband's social
     habits, and the fact of our having lived so much together for
     the last three years, make it particularly pleasant to him to
     be saved the trouble of going in search of me whenever he wants
     to read a sentence or say a word; and for the same reasons, it
     is very pleasant to me to have so much of his presence without
     feeling that he is taken off from his rightful pursuits by it.
     January 1, 1833! A happy new year to you all!

     "Yours truly.

     "M. L. W."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Cambridge, December 31, 1833._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "I am inclined to think that it is our inordinate estimate of
     the happiness of this life, and our vague, half-sceptical
     notions of a future state, that make us grieve so much when
     such spirits as Elizabeth B---- are withdrawn from us. I don't
     know, but I sometimes greatly fear that we do not bring home
     the _reality_ of the future as we should do; we are so occupied
     with our theories of right principles of action and correct
     ideas of moral conduct in this life (all very good in their
     place), and so afraid of falling into the extravagant exercise
     of the imagination, which has betrayed so many of our opponents
     in doctrine into enthusiasm and folly, that we lose sight of
     the good influences which such contemplations might have upon
     our hearts. This year has been to me one of less variety than
     any of the last six. My husband's long sickness in the spring,
     and the efforts consequent upon it, were the source of much
     anxiety, and in some points a new experience. But I have had
     for so long a time only to bear and submit, that my mind has
     settled itself into that attitude, and it is no longer an
     effort. It is quite another thing, when it becomes my duty to
     exercise my energies in positive acts,--when others are looking
     to me for guidance, when my habitual influence is to form the
     character of this child and check the waywardness of that, with
     all the train of active duties which devolve upon a married
     woman,--then I am overpowered and powerless.

     "I wished you had been by my side on Sunday, while I sat in my
     old corner in Federal Street meeting-house, listening to that
     voice which is to us both associated with some of our best
     religious impressions. I went to hear Dr. Channing, for the
     second time only since I returned home, as much for the sake of
     recalling old associations as from any expectation of new
     influences; for it does me good now and then to go back to what
     I was, the better to understand what I am. If he had known just
     what I was suffering, he could not have adapted himself more
     entirely to my case. He was upon some of the obstacles which
     may prevent our use of the present moment for improvement; and
     he enlarged upon the tendency to rest satisfied with past
     attainments. Because we had at one period of our lives been
     deeply moved and strongly influenced by religious motives,--had
     performed some great acts of benevolence, or sustained
     ourselves under great trial with fortitude and submission,--we
     deluded ourselves with the idea, that we had attained a height
     from which we could not fall. But no mistake could be more
     ruinous. The past was _nothing_, except as it influenced the
     present. We trust too much to future improvement, to a vague
     notion of gradual progress,--we know not exactly how, or by
     what means. But as we are not conscious of becoming worse, we
     think we must be growing better, and shall by and by be all
     that we ought to be. Or we hope for more favorable
     circumstances to influence us, and expect to be, we know not
     why, in a more fit state at some other time for our religious

     "Had I room, I could give you a long story about this, for my
     mind is full of it. But I have another word to say upon the
     fact of our giving so much time to the mere outside of life, to
     the employment of our fingers, the mere mechanical employments
     pertaining to the body. It is a question with me, whether it is
     not a duty to be satisfied with a less elegant, and even a less
     comfortable style of life, rather than take so much from the
     cultivation of the intellectual and spiritual, when, as is so
     often the case now-a-days, we must either do the drudgery
     ourselves or leave it undone. I don't know,--I am puzzled. I
     know that if we are doing our _duty_, however mean may be our
     employment, we are fulfilling our destiny, and doing God the
     best service. But the question is, What is our duty? And are we
     not in danger of mistaking the real nature of duty, from too
     great a love of this world and the things of it? This is one of
     the difficult questions, which my husband and I try to settle.
     I wish you would tell me what you think. And here comes my
     Willie, with an imploring look to be taken up,--a reproving
     one, too, that in all this long letter neither he nor his
     family are so much as noticed. All are well.

     "Yours ever.

     "M. L. WARE."

Unusual freedom from sickness and apprehension was for a time enjoyed.
Mrs. Ware was full of happiness and thankfulness. "It seems to me that
never had people so much reason for gratitude as we; and I think I never
felt this more than at this time, for I too am beginning to have the
first feelings of health which I have known for a year and a half." But
a change came. And with the letter which explains it we close this
portion of the Cambridge life.

     "_Cambridge, May 4, 1834._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "... We have had our usual variety of sickness and health since
     I wrote to you in January. Soon after that, I had a visit from
     my old, and I thought conquered, enemy, the cramp; not a very
     severe attack, but sufficient to make me very good for nothing
     for a week, in the course of which Nanny had a very severe
     fall, which for twenty-four hours made us apprehensive that we
     should have to part with her. But this trial was spared us, in
     much mercy; for two days after this, Elizabeth was very sick,
     though not dangerously. All this had its effect upon Mr. Ware
     and myself, and we have been the greater part of the time in
     the most disagreeable state of betwixity, neither sick enough
     to be excused from labor, nor well enough to do any thing
     profitable,--just good for nothing. In the vacation in April,
     Mr. Ware went to Portsmouth to collect materials for his Memoir
     of Dr. Parker, intending by the way to go to Exeter.

     "The day after he went, my Willie, who had been the very
     perfection of health and happiness all winter, began to droop,
     and, notwithstanding pretty efficient measures, in a few days
     became the subject of decided lung fever; not very sick, but
     requiring constant watching and careful attention. A week from
     the day he was taken, he had a severe spasmodic attack, from
     which we thought he would never revive; and when, after various
     measures, he began to breathe again, we sat for four hours
     expecting that every moment would be his last. It was a season
     of severe trial, not a little increased by his father's
     absence, and the impossibility of his reaching home until this
     sweet child must be for ever removed from his sight. Yet it was
     not for me to learn then, for the first time, that He who sends
     trial always gives strength to bear it. I knew it would be so,
     and in that faith I rested in peace and tranquillity. But this
     blow, too, was averted. After a long struggle he revived, and I
     realized, what I had never known before, that this second
     birth, as it were, of a child is a far more affecting cause for
     gratitude and joy than the first gift ever can be. It was a
     great experience in many ways. It helped me to understand the
     feeling of those who were witnesses of miracles more than any
     thing I ever met with. For all human means were at an end;
     nothing could be done but to pray that the Almighty Power, to
     whom all things were possible, might yet interpose to save. And
     the fact of having been carried through such a trial with
     entire submission and calmness,--what confidence does it not
     give in the all-sufficient power of that religion which can
     alone succor one in such an hour of need! The kindness, too,
     which such an occasion calls forth from those around us, is not
     the least of its blessings. It makes us view human kind more
     justly than we are sometimes inclined to do, and sinks for ever
     some of those petty and contemptuous feelings which will
     sometimes rise towards those with whom we have but little

     "My husband returned after all this was over, quite sick; but
     he did return without the necessity of my going to him, and
     returned to be the better for being _at home_, gaining every
     moment after he entered his house. All this was during that
     bright, warm interval in April, when nature seemed buoyant with
     joy. We had just completed our summer arrangements, and
     altogether it seemed to me as if I had begun existence anew.
     Although somewhat exhausted by the struggle, I really am better
     than for months past.

     "Yours ever.

     "M. L. WARE."



It is the misfortune of those who are often sick to be blamed for their
sicknesses in proportion as they are active and laborious when well.
Their energy is sure to be considered the _cause_ of subsequent and
frequent debility; and if not blamed, they find less compassion or kind
consideration than the indolent and self-indulgent. These last may be
sick all the time, and it is ascribed only to nature or the providence
of God. But the conscientious and energetic, who accomplish wonders for
themselves or others in their brief intervals of health, and possibly in
sickness likewise, are accused of imprudence and a sinful disregard of
self; while in truth it may be only by extreme care and unknown
self-denials that they are able to accomplish any thing.

If Mary Ware was ever severely censured, we suppose it to have been in
connection with this matter of health. Few women have been blessed with
a better constitution, or greater power of action. With an almost
masculine frame, there was such a degree of firmness with her
gentleness, as always gave the idea of more strength than was wanted. We
doubt if in early life she ever thought of saving her strength, so
accustomed was she to do any thing that needed to be done, without
saying or thinking much about it. She who had been the sole nurse of a
sick mother at the age of eleven or twelve, and, as another describes
her then, "going through all the offices of the sick-room with the
firmness of a woman, holding on leeches with her little hand, and
performing _all_ the necessary duties, not absolutely from necessity,
but from so much love and so much confidence that no one else was
wanted,"--she who had scarcely, from that period until middle life, been
free from care and toil for the sick and suffering,--might be pardoned
if she became self-relying, or at least self-forgetting. And yet when at
last that vigorous frame was impaired, and the overwrought energies of
body and mind partially gave way, so that the remainder of her life was
subject to constant fluctuations of strength and weakness, powerful
exertion and acute suffering, she does not seem to us to have been
presumptuous or ever reckless. It is evident now, if it was not at the
time, that she made this as much a matter of sober calculation and
conscientious questioning as any thing, and much more than is common.
Still she tells us that she was blamed for her imprudence; and she
brings instances from her own experience to show the frequent error of
judging of what one does, or forbears to do, by the apparent result,
rather than from knowledge or by principle. "People judge by
_consequences_, or what seem to be consequences, rather than by
reasoning upon premises."

It is partly to show how Mrs. Ware defended herself, and at the same
time submitted to counsel and was grateful for admonition, and partly
to show how singularly insulated she must have been in her early
training and her self-formed character, that we introduce the following
note, written to a lady who acted the part of a true friend. The date is
not given, but the note itself shows that it was written the year of the
journey to the South already mentioned, when she accompanied her husband
at some risk to herself.


     "I cannot thank you as I would for your kind note. I have not
     words wherewith to picture to you the joy I feel, that there is
     any one human being in existence who is willing to admonish me
     freely. If you have told me nothing new, your words are none
     the less welcome, for one cannot have the truth too frequently
     presented to the mind and although we may have _all_ knowledge,
     it is not often that we can grasp it all at one glance, or even
     that we remember the points most useful to us at the time

     "You will not think I boast, when I say that one and all the
     views you present have long formed part of the rule of action
     by which I have _tried_ to govern myself, because I know you
     will easily understand the deep-searching, Argus-eyed
     vigilance, which one wholly self-educated almost inevitably
     acquires. I never have had, since I can remember, a principle
     of action suggested to me, or a word said to show me _why_ one
     action was wrong and another right. For many years a whisper of
     blame never reached my ears; and when at last it came like a
     flood upon me, there was no friendly looking-glass near to
     point out to me the deformity from which my mistakes arose. At
     ten years of age I waked up to a sense of the danger of the
     state of indulgence in which I was living. At thirteen, by the
     death of my mother, I was left wholly to my own guidance,
     externally as well as internally; and from that time to this I
     have labored night and day to know, discipline, and govern
     myself, as I would a child for whose soul I was responsible.
     Dr. Channing's sermons and conversation are the only effectual
     human guide I ever had, until I was married. Having no one to
     whom to speak, and but one friend to whom I could write upon
     the subject, no wonder that my habits of thought should have
     been more cultivated than of conversation; no wonder the whole
     ground of self-deception, self-distrust, self-aggrandizement,
     should have been gone over again and again until every root was
     displaced and exposed to view; though, alas! not a hundredth
     part eradicated. Now this is not to my point, but you will
     still see that you have done me good by making me feel thus
     loquacious and unreserved with you.

     "You remind me that I omitted one item in my defence, the mere
     mention of which will answer many of your queries. Who can tell
     how often a person, blamed for the disregard of many
     considerations which ought to influence the conduct, is
     inflamed by those very considerations, restrained by those very
     motives? We see what is done; we cannot see what is forborne.
     In proof of this, after I recovered from the long illness which
     followed immediately upon my arrival at home, three and a half
     years ago, it was five or six months before I felt any thing
     like elasticity of mind or body; the least effort fatigued me;
     I looked perfectly well, and every body was asking me why I did
     not go here, there, and everywhere. I knew from my feelings
     that I still needed rest, and I took it. Change of air,
     consequent upon the necessity of attending Mr. Ware in his
     sickness at Concord, produced a great change in my whole
     feelings. I seemed well again; but I knew my system had
     materially suffered while abroad, and I determined religiously
     to abstain from all effort of all kinds that did not seem
     perfectly safe. No one knew any thing about it, I was so well.
     Still I persevered. I literally did not walk across the room,
     or eat a meal, that winter, without deliberately arguing the
     case,--was it best or not? In this healthy state, I went to Dr.
     W.'s lecture, and was very prudent afterward; yet when my
     severe sickness commenced, it was all laid to that lecture; I
     was talked to, even in its worst stages, as if to be sick was a
     crime, and I have not to this day heard the last of it....
     Again, I never in my whole life did so _imprudent_ a thing as
     undertaking the journey I did last spring; there was no one
     reason against the probability, almost certainty, of its
     injuring me. I knew the risk; no one else did. I took the risk,
     because I thought the object authorized it. The result, after
     much suffering by the way, was favorable, and all was well. Had
     it been otherwise, there would have been voices enough to point
     out that it was wrong....

     "There is one simple question which I wish to have
     answered,--How do other people attain infallible correctness of
     judgment? Is it by experience or intuition? If the former, have
     they not suffered from their experiments, sometimes erred in
     their calculations, and should they not have charity for others
     who are going over the same ground? If by the latter, should
     they not pity those less favored than themselves? I will not
     trouble you any more with my egotism. Remember, the best favor
     you can confer is, when you think I am doing wrong, to check
     me, ask me why, show me wherein I deceive myself; and never
     fear to speak plainly to your grateful friend,

     "M. L. WARE."

There is another province into which the really high-minded and
independent will carry the same conscientiousness, with equal firmness.
It is a province often regarded as low and little. Nothing is little
that involves principles and affects character. And what does this more
than Dress? It is a matter to which few can be indifferent, even in a
pecuniary view; and that is by no means the highest view. Love of dress
is admitted to be one of the earliest passions that appear in human
nature, and may be said to be a universal passion. If it be stronger in
one sex than in the other,--a fact more easily assumed than
demonstrated,--she is the nobler woman, wife, and mother who gives it
its proper place among the elements of education, and both deigns and
dares to speak of it and act upon it as a Christian.

So did Mrs. Ware speak and act. The circumstances in which she had
always been placed, inducing the habit and the necessity of strict
frugality, as we have seen, would alone have prevented her from
overlooking so large an item in the domestic and social economy. But
besides this, she had regard to the integrity of her principles, and the
influence of example. She aimed evidently at two points, not easily
attained together,--to make little of the whole matter of dress, and, at
the same time, bring it under the control of a high Christian rule. As
to her own attire, we should say no one thought of it at all, because of
its simplicity, and because of her ease of manners and dignity of
character. Yet this impression is qualified, though in one view
confirmed, by hearing that, in a new place of residence, so plain was
her appearance on all occasions, the villagers suspected her of
reserving her fine clothes for some better class,--a suspicion only
amusing to those who knew her, but sure to give pain to her benevolent
heart. In another note to the female friend last addressed, she
expresses her thoughts and describes her practice on this subject, so
simply and sensibly, that we cannot hesitate to offer all of it except
the specific and personal applications; while these, if they could be
given, would show yet more how consistent and thorough she was.

     "_Saturday Evening, January 17, 1835._


     "I have such a poor faculty at expressing myself in speech,
     that I never feel that I have quite done myself justice in any
     delicate matter, when I have used only oral means. I have felt
     this peculiarly since I left you this afternoon, because some
     expressions of mine have recurred to my mind's ear, which I
     thought might possibly be construed by you into a very
     different meaning from their intended one. I do not, as you
     know, like to trouble my friends with the discussions of
     questions merely personal, and which I ought to be able to
     decide for myself unaided; and the whole subject of _dress_
     seems, at a first glance, so trifling, that most people would
     laugh at my having a serious thought about it. But to me, the
     least thing which can have an influence upon the character of
     my children becomes in my eyes a matter of deep importance; and
     for this reason I have really longed to enter upon this said
     subject with some one who could look at it in the same light,
     or who could disabuse me of my anxiety about it, if it was a
     foolish one. Accident has opened the door to your ear, and if
     you can have patience with me, and I can find words to tell you
     what I mean, I may some time or other try your friendship in
     this way.

     "To go back a little. When we went to Europe, you may know it
     was the liberality of our friends, and the goodwill of the
     Corporation, which enabled us to undertake the expense of so
     long a tour. We calculated very well for such novices, but
     could not anticipate the great additional draft which a child's
     birth and the journey home would make upon our resources.
     Consequently we returned in debt. This debt we had hoped to
     liquidate by living within our salary, and thus laying by a
     little every year. Four years' experiment has proved this hope
     fallacious. Every year has brought with it some occasion of
     great extra expense, which has taken up what might otherwise
     have been laid by for this purpose. We have had, you know, a
     great deal of sickness, and there have been other contingencies
     which it is not necessary to enumerate. These may not occur
     again, but past experience proves that we have no right to
     calculate upon such exemptions; and it becomes, therefore, more
     than ever necessary that we economize in the strictest manner,
     to do all we can to free ourselves from this burden, and to do
     justice to others. Our children, of course, are acquainted with
     this state of affairs, and it is right that they should do
     their part, and from right motives. They know, as we do, that
     there are many expenses of daily occurrence in which there
     cannot be any retrenchment consistent with our obligations to
     our friends and the situation we hold in society,--such as the
     calls of hospitality and charity. But they ought to feel that
     all _personal_ sacrifices are to be made that can be, according
     to a standard of propriety which a high moral sense would
     dictate. This, of course, must be in some measure an arbitrary
     standard, to be settled as much by experiment and example as by
     reasoning. I have therefore had but few _rules_ upon the
     subject, leaving to each occasion which brings up the question
     all argumentation, taking care to have as little discussion as
     may be possible, lest it become in any way the subject of too
     much thought. This is particularly to be avoided with regard to
     dress, and upon this I have been more puzzled than on any other
     branch, as both our elder children are just of an age to
     require very 'judgmatical' treatment upon it. My rule for
     myself is, as I told you, to do without every thing which I can
     _decently_, making my own ideas of decency, not others', the
     standard. It is a difficult matter, especially as I make no
     pretensions to good taste, or good faculty, about externals;
     but this, I maintain, does not alter the question of duty....

     "I feel that I am trying your patience with much ado about a
     small thing. But it is my weak side to wish to be thoroughly
     understood by my friends, weak points and all; and it helps me
     to understand myself, thus to try to make others understand me.
     I have not a word of complaint to make. We are far better
     provided for than is necessary to our happiness. We could live
     upon our income and grow rich, were our wishes only our rule;
     but as we are situated, it is not easy to make 'all ends meet,'
     as the phrase is; and as our five children grow every day
     older, it becomes more and more difficult every year. Can you
     teach me to economize? I fear, however, that if you could, you
     could not insure me strength to carry your plan into execution.
     No one who has not experienced it can tell how great a drawback
     sickness is to all saving, especially when it comes upon the
     head of the house, and when it requires the most expensive
     kinds of remedy. But enough of all this. I wish you would tell
     me if you do not think I am right in declining your offer. I am
     always doubtful enough about my own judgment, to be open to
     conviction from those who differ.

     "Yours in all love.

     "M. L. WARE."

The years 1834 and 1835 are spoken of by Mr. and Mrs. Ware as peculiarly
favored, having little sickness or severe trial, compared with other
years. But this must have been only a comparative view; for we find
several incidental allusions to a state of feebleness and inability,
which most of us would consider quite enough either for discipline or
release from labor. Very pleasantly, however, does Mrs. Ware speak of
those interruptions and prostrations, as if they were the ordinary
condition. To Emma she writes: "Could you have alighted upon us at any
time within the last fortnight, you would have found yourself _at home_.
Nearly all last week Mr. Ware and myself enjoyed a most social
_tête-à-tête_ upon the two beds which occupy my chamber, neither of us
capable of reading to the other, nor, a great part of the time, of
speaking; I ill from the effects of the cramp, he from the fatigue of
taking care of me with it. From this state we were compelled to rouse
ourselves, by having one domestic taken sick, and Nanny ---- All the
rest you know." This was said in 1834. In the autumn of that year a
daughter was born; and for a time Mrs. Ware was so helpless, that she
yielded more than was her wont to feelings of discouragement. "I did
_try_ to be hopeful; but the idea of so long a period of uselessness,
and its consequent evils to my children and family, was dreadful to me;
and I could not quite feel that I could receive it as patiently as I
ought." But severely does she chide herself for this distrust,
especially as the result was so much better than her fears. She regained
her health, and soon enjoyed a greater sense of strength and energy
than she had had since her marriage. And this period of
exemption--though not very long as regarded the health of all the
household--was one of the seasons in which she strove to make amends for
lost time, and accomplished a vast deal. Not that there was any
remarkable, visible product. She never labored for one object
exclusively, in doors or out, and it would not be easy to point to
definite results. It may be doubted if she ever thought much of results,
or expected, or even desired, to see them in any sure and signal form.
To do "all she could" was her only ambition; and she had the wisdom
which is worth more than any other,--to be _content_ with doing all she
could, only taking care that that word "all" should take in something
more than the thought of earth, or self. She did not forget that objects
and interests have a relative, as well as positive importance; and
probably all who knew her well have marked this as a characteristic
trait,--that she studied the exact proportion of the different claims
upon her time, and was more anxious to do justly than to do all things.

In our times, and in a position like Mr. Ware's, there were sure to be
numerous calls and claims abroad as well as at home, and for a woman not
less than a man. We have not inquired as to the names or number of the
benevolent societies and industrial enterprises in Cambridge, in which
Mrs. Ware took part. That she gained any notoriety in this way, we
should be surprised to hear, both from her multiplicity of duties, and
her preference of private to public activity. Yet that her influence
was felt, her judgment peculiarly relied upon, and her presence always
welcomed, in these connections, we know. Cases of moral want and
exposure interested her most, and we have reason to think that she was
never without some such case on her hands or in her heart. What she
could not do herself, in the gift of time or clothes or money, she
always induced others to do, _never_ suffering an object of actual want
or peril to go unassisted. Very far was she above the poor apology, that
to do any thing for one sufferer will create more. In a multitude of
small notes given us, written by her to various neighbors and friends,
we chanced to see in one, so small as at first to be overlooked, a few
words that fixed attention; and on reading it through, we found, in the
compass of a few lines, a whole volume of illustration as to her
interest, her courage, and her power of indignation for selfish excuses.
We give it just as it was written to a neighbor, another right-minded

     "I have company, therefore cannot answer you at length, or as I
     wish. I should have stepped in to see you this afternoon, if I
     had not been prevented by callers, to say a few words upon the
     subject of the latter part of your note. I have to-day got at
     the poor man's wardrobe for the first time, and determined to
     _beg_ for some means to supply it with a few decencies, for
     even they are wanting. Mr. Ware has thought it quite allowable
     to state the case to one or two of our rich men, to raise
     enough to pay the expenses of his journey; and I have just
     resolved to undertake the other matter. But I am full of
     wrathful indignation at being _sneered at_ for taking him in.
     'You will have enough English beggars at your door, if you do
     so.' A good argument against relieving any distress! So let the
     poor suffer as much as they may,--no relief,--for others will
     be idle and want relief too!--M. L. W."

In another brief note, we saw a statement of Mrs. Ware, to the effect
that for many years she had not been without some "case of intemperance
on hand"; and a little inquiry tells us that it refers to her habit of
helping the reformed and the struggling to get an honest living. A
"Ladies' Aid Society" had been formed in Cambridge, with that special
object; and its President, being obliged to leave home, asked Mrs. Ware
to look after her "patients," when she found that Mary had long been
doing privately, and by herself, what they were doing as a society.

It may seem the language of enthusiastic friendship, and our readers
will deduct what they please on that account, but we must give a passage
from a recent letter, written by one of the many theological students
who had free access to Mr. Ware's house and family. In reference to Mrs.
Ware, he writes: "I have often quoted her example since to those who
make the cares of housekeeping an excuse for the neglect of all public
offices. She seemed to keep house better than any body else, to exercise
a larger and freer hospitality, to make her tea-table a pleasant resort,
to provide more simply and at the same time more attractively, while,
after all, her domestic cares were only an incident in her daily duties.
She seemed to have time for every great out-door or general interest,
and to be full of schemes of benevolence and kindness. And it was the
easy, natural way in which she performed these double functions that
gave me such a sense of her _power_."

In regard to intercourse with general society and festive gatherings,
Mary Ware was often drawn to them, not less by a social, genial temper
than by a sense of duty. A duty even there she recognized and regarded;
a duty secondary, certainly, to many others, but involving obligation
when other duties came not in the way. She believed that society had
claims as well as the family, and pure enjoyment as well as religion.
Her social sympathies were always calm, but never cold; subdued, but
ardent, and ever ready both to taste and impart pleasure. Her interest
in children was a passion, and her love of seeing and promoting their
enjoyment as intense as any we have known. She could ill brook any
restraint put upon the freedom and joyousness of the young, beyond the
point of propriety or others' comfort. Her own convenience, her rooms,
her whole house, she would give up, adding her powers of entertainment
and enjoyment, rather than make life cheerless or religion repulsive.
Many scenes can we recall of childish glee and hearty frolic, presided
over, shared, and promoted by both the heads of that house, with which
are associated some of the happiest hours of life, and the best. We will
always thank God that those two hearts, which He was pleased to chasten
with many sicknesses and sorrows, were as genial and joyous as they were
pure and humble.

There was one form of social entertainment--if it deserve the name--with
which Mrs. Ware had no sympathy, and for which she had little charity.
Indeed, that "indignation" which we have seen enkindled by selfishness,
though not easily roused, could not always restrain itself in the
hearing of small gossip or busy _scandal_. We said in the introduction
to this Memoir, that not a single line or word allied to those petty
vices have we found in the whole extent of her correspondence, sober or
trivial. We are sure the same might be said of her conversation. Nor was
this negative only. There was a tone of decided displeasure, and, if
necessary, pointed reproof, called forth at times by the spiteful or
thoughtless scandal-monger. She would not allow that we have a _right_
to be thoughtless; nor did she believe that we were sent into the world
to scan a neighbor's conduct or impugn another's motives. In a letter
written at Cambridge to a friend whom she had been to meet in Boston,
but with whom her enjoyment had been greatly interrupted, she thus
expresses herself.

     "It is only tantalizing to meet in Boston, to fritter away the
     few moments of intercourse which we want for better purposes in
     the idle, profitless gossip of city life. Is it because I have
     so little interest in other people, or is it for a better
     reason, that I have no patience with hearing people descant
     upon the whys and wherefores of their neighbors' concerns;
     discussing their actions with as decided judgment upon their
     merits, as if the secret springs of thought, and all the
     various causes which led to them, were as fully developed to
     us as they can be to the Omniscient only? I know we may learn
     much from others' experience, both in warning and example; and
     to do this, we must closely observe them, and follow or vary
     from their course as our own conscience and judgment may
     dictate. But surely it is not necessary that we should be all
     the time speculating and gossiping with each other, upon every
     portion of the lives of our neighbors, or such portions as
     cannot from their very nature be of any importance to us in any
     way. Is it just to our minds so to employ them? Is it Christian
     charity towards others? I may see clearly my neighbor's faults,
     and if there be any chance of doing him good by it, I may speak
     of them to him freely. I may consult a friend, who I know will
     treat the subject with the same tender feeling that I have
     myself, upon all the views which could result in good to the
     guilty or ourselves. But to talk publicly to any and all about
     the matter, for no possible result but the getting rid of so
     much time, fostering contempt on the one hand and self-conceit
     on the other, seems to me the wickedest abuse of the high
     privilege of speech that I know of, next to absolute falsehood.
     And how often does this habit lead to falsehood, and all manner
     of injustice!... But enough. Perhaps I am too much of a recluse
     to judge justly of the temptations of city life, and am
     committing the very sin which I am condemning. Suffice it to
     say, that thus was my whole comfort in town destroyed, and I
     came home feeling that, so far as regarded our knowledge of
     each other's inner woman, we might as well not have met."

With all the variety of the Cambridge life, there was necessarily a
sameness which makes it needless to mark every year, or follow exactly
the order of events. The chief "events" of these twelve years were the
death of one child, the birth of four, and the variations of health and
sickness to both parents. In the experience of sickness, the year 1836
brought one of the sorest visitations. We subjoin Mrs. Ware's account of
it soon after its occurrence, and her review of the year at its close.

     "_Cambridge, May 29, 1836._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "... You have heard, no doubt, enough of the outline of our
     story to have traced us in all our outward movements. But you
     cannot know what rich experience the last four months have
     brought to us, and the compass of a letter can tell you little.
     The first stroke was a heavy one. Henry had been very well all
     winter, and had gained a degree of strength and ability to
     labor unharmed, which, in our most sanguine moments, we never
     even hoped for, so that the disappointment was even greater
     than when he was taken ill at Ware, as the height from which he
     fell was greater. He was attacked, for the first time since
     that, upon the lungs; and when, for the first few days, it
     seemed quite reasonable to expect that the consequences, if not
     even more alarming, would be at least as lasting as those which
     followed the former attack, the prospect was heart-sickening.
     It required the industrious use of all the few moments of
     thought I could borrow from my occupations, to gather strength
     enough to nerve me for the calm contemplation of the picture.

     "His own view of the case was a very reasonable one; and the
     calmness with which he looked at the improbability of
     recovery, was at once an aid and a source of high enjoyment to
     me. A few weeks, however, gave us more encouragement; the
     attack was not a severe one, and yielded readily to the
     remedies applied. And although we could not but look forward to
     a long confinement at that season of the year, there was much
     in his state to give us pleasure. His mind is always, when he
     begins to recover, in a very animated state, very active, and
     upon the most entertaining subjects. This time he injured his
     eyes by looking over newspapers and books, in the early part of
     his illness; so that, as soon as my most arduous duties as
     nurse ceased, I had to commence those of reader and amanuensis.
     I never was so literary in my life. I did nothing but read and
     write; nor have I done much else since, for he cannot yet do
     either for himself. Thus passed ten weeks, a period equal to
     our whole residence at Ware and Worcester; and yet, owing to
     the difference of the season, he could not get out of his room
     more than once or twice a week, when he was carried in arms to
     a carriage. At this time, too, I sunk for a short term, not
     with disease, but exhaustion from confinement and incessant
     effort of some kind or other. I soon got rested; but whether
     from the interruption which this caused to Henry's literary
     employments, or because the time had come for a change, I know
     not,--his own animation ceased, and he seemed in danger of
     losing all his energy and strength for the want of air and
     exercise. I had hoped that he would be sent to a warmer region
     as soon as he had strength to get there, for air and exercise
     are always essential to his recovery. But he dragged on, until
     I was not willing to be submissive any longer; and I begged
     that he might go to New York at least, for a city is so much
     more protected than the country, that he could walk there in
     weather that would have kept him in here. I went to New York
     with him, but could not well stay; and as he was in a second
     home there, it did not seem necessary. He came home just in
     time to sit down by a fire during this long storm! It was most
     unlucky, but cannot be helped. Were it possible, I would go off
     with him as soon as the sun shines, to keep him from going to
     work. I never say any thing is _impossible_, but it seems to me
     next to it that I should leave home now. All my five children
     are at home,--to say nothing of not having attended to any of
     my domestic duties since last January;--a little sewing to be
     done, you may fancy. Still, if it is _necessary_ to go, some
     way of effecting it will present itself.

     "Yours in all true love.

     "MARY L. WARE."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, December 31, 1836._

      _Saturday Night._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "What a crowd of recollections rush upon my mind as I date this
     letter! It is nine years since I have affixed 'Boston' to this
     annual epistle; and the last 'Saturday night' which found me
     thus occupied was eleven years ago, at _Osmotherly_, 1825; and
     the last time I wrote the whole date was to a note which
     accompanied a pair of pegged gloves which I sat up till
     midnight to finish for your brother, in 1814. What an
     interesting and varied picture do these dates present to my
     mind's eye, and how many remembrances are associated with them
     of joy and sorrow, of trial and happiness! I could willingly
     spend hours in recalling all in detail, and I feel as if it
     would do us both good, should I do so; for I find that, in the
     full occupation of the present, the lessons of the past are
     losing their power over me. Their voice cannot be heard in the
     busy bustle of life; and it is only at a few favored moments
     like these, when all creation within and around us pauses, as
     it were, before taking another onward step towards eternity,
     that we can hear their distant, solemn murmur. It is good,
     then, to turn our hearts to the teaching, and to fix in them
     more deeply the warning and encouragement which we may thus

     "I have been led lately to think more than usual of the past,
     by Mrs. B----'s death. I believe I do not exaggerate when I
     rest in the idea that she was a woman of rare powers to
     interest and influence those around her. My own recollections
     bring with them a sense of almost romantic enthusiasm with
     regard to her; and I am quite sure that I owe as much of my
     conception of the _loveliness_ of a truly religious being to
     her exhibition of it, as to any one other source. With the
     thought of her in her glory, comes the remembrance of many who
     have been taken from time to time from our communion; and it
     amazes me to find how large is their number. How soon will it
     be, that it will become a rare thing to meet one of the
     companions of our childhood!... Perhaps I generalize too much
     from my own individual experience; but I find it so difficult
     to keep before my eyes the uncertainty of life, or to feel as I
     would do the _reality_ of the spiritual world, so busy am I
     with the occupations of this material one, that I should like
     to be recalled to the subject by some irresistible voice every
     hour of the day.

     "I have spent this evening in our old church at the North End,
     for the first time upon this occasion since I lived in Sheafe
     Street, when Henry preached; and as I look back upon the
     experience I have had since that time, it seems to me I have
     little hope of ever being what I ought to be, when all this has
     had so little effect.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 9._ Yesterday, heard Dr. Channing preach and
     administer the communion, the latter of which is more to me
     than even his best sermons, so great is the power of
     association.... I find I almost lose sight of some of my best
     _pleasures_, when I have been for any length of time free from
     great _trial_. In truth, all this nomenclature is wrong. Ease
     and prosperity make our greatest trial; we are never more
     blessed than when we are said to be in affliction. It is
     remarkable, that not one year has passed since I began this
     custom of recording to you these mercies, that there has not
     been some striking one on the list. What is to come this year?
     God knows; and in this I can rest satisfied. Henry's eyes are
     useless, and mine still in requisition; of course I do nothing
     else, except at odd moments, when he is away or asleep.


Mr. Ware's severe illness at this period seems to have been a crisis;
for the two following years, both with him and her, were probably the
best of all they passed at Cambridge, in their freedom from sickness,
their ability to work, and the amount of their work. We connect them in
this respect, for it is not easy to separate their spheres and agencies,
even in regard to his professional labors. Of course, we mean to imply
nothing as to any special mental aid, for no woman ever made less
pretension, or less attempt, at any thing more than could be done by
every sensible and interested mind. But so completely did she enter into
all his engagements, so constantly did she watch the degree of his
strength and the effect of his exertions, and so often was she called to
assist him directly, as reader or writer, from the failure of his eyes
and his frequent debility, that her coöperation was not wholly a figure
of speech. Then, too, her heart was as much enlisted in the welfare and
success of his pupils in the Theological School, as it had been in his
Boston parish. All that she had a right to know, she did know; all that
a woman and friend could do for those pupils, in sympathy, counsel,
encouragement, or personal aid, she invariably did. A son, then a member
of the School, says of her: "As a Professor's wife, I do not think
father's heart was more in the School than was hers. I suspect she knew
every thing about it, and was his constant assistant and counsellor. How
much directly she had to do with the young men, I cannot say. They were
encouraged to be at the house, came to tea constantly by invitation, and
in all sicknesses she cared for them; especially M---- and B----, who
were brought to the house, and C----, and also an undergraduate, sick.
She did what she could for the destitute among them; and I remember her
getting shirts made, &c., &c. I remember, too, the delicate way in which
I was sent, on a cold New Year's evening, with a large bundle to an
undergraduate who was friendless and penniless." There are others, and
many, who could tell much more; and whose recollections of her delicate
sympathy, generous aid, and unpretending goodness, will hardly suffer
them to speak of her, but with silent tears. They felt her _moral_
power; and all the more, because she seemed utterly unconscious of it.
"Never have I been with her," writes one, who says he had but a common
acquaintance, "no matter how short the time or slight the occasion,
without the feeling of greater elevation of soul. I never knew one of
whom this were truer. Virtue came out of her." And he only adds, of one
connected with him, "Even now the thought of Mrs. Ware moves her more
than the presence of any living friend."

While writing these passages, we have received the testimony of another
of those students, more extended, but too pertinent and valuable to be

     "The members of the Theological School were always sure of her
     sympathy. They went to her as they would to an elder sister.
     There was something peculiarly engaging and attractive about
     her, which we all felt, but could not well understand. Yet she
     did not encourage, as some kind-hearted women do, the morbid
     sensibilities of young men, which, even while apparently
     depreciating their own powers, almost always have their origin
     in an exaggerated egotism or some masked form of selfishness.
     Mrs. Ware's peculiar excellence was, that, without encouraging
     such a state of mind and without repelling those who had
     cherished it, she, by the healthiness of her own mind and the
     cheerful disinterestedness of her character, dissolved the
     gloomy spell, and sent away her visitors with new hope and
     life. It was the atmosphere in which she lived, more than any
     particular words or acts, that made her presence in Cambridge
     so attractive, and so beneficent to the young at that period of
     life when they are likely to be in a morbid condition. To go
     from our rooms to her house, when we had got discouraged or
     worn down, was like going into a different climate. And we
     went back, like invalids who have been spending a winter at the
     South, with new vitality in our veins.

     "While connected with the School, in 1834, I had a short but
     violent attack of brain fever. I was in Divinity Hall, and very
     kindly taken care of by my associates in the School, who did
     for me every thing that young men know how to do in such a
     case. After a few days, Mrs. Ware came to see me. The bare
     sight of her countenance, and the sweet, gentle tones of her
     voice, I shall never forget. They changed the whole aspect of
     the room. As soon as it could be done, I was removed to her
     house. And the delicacy of her touch, as in my helplessness she
     washed my hands and face, with the air of motherly cheerfulness
     and tenderness, was to my diseased nerves like the ministry of
     one from a better world. During the months of confinement and
     extreme debility which succeeded, the remembrance of her
     kindness was a constant source of comfort, and I cannot now
     recall it without deep and grateful emotion."

In connection with exertions for others, it is but just to refer again
to the laborious efforts, self-denial, and perpetual solicitude, to
which Mrs. Ware was driven, at home, in regard to pecuniary means. The
difficulty came at last to its height. They found it impossible to live
as they did, and yet impossible to retrench more than they always had.
We would not speak of this so freely, did we not feel--beside the light
it throws upon character and results--that it is due to the professors
and ministers of all denominations, whose energies are crippled, and
power of serving as well as enjoying sadly abridged, by the conflicting
facts of unreasonable demand and incompetent support. Those of us who do
not suffer, and are only grateful, have the better right to speak for
others; and we speak in the memory, and as by the authority, of those
two unsparing and noble workers, whose sentiments on the subject we well
know, and whose power of usefulness should never have been hampered, as
it often was, by the want of means which hundreds were both able and
willing to furnish. Yes, willing; for it is no want of _generosity_ that
we speak of; were we capable of that injustice, especially in the
community and the family under review, we should expect almost to hear
the reproof of the departed ones, whose gratitude was as intense as
their solicitude. Not for themselves did they feel, but for others; for
the School, for the ministry; for the students who were prevented from
entering the School, or forced to leave it, by poverty and the fear of
debt, some of whom were retained only by promises of aid, whose
fulfilment cost added labor and wearing anxiety. There is better
provision now, we know; ample provision for those willing to accept it.
Still are there wants and straits in the actual ministry which are not
duly considered. And this it is that is needed,--not generosity in the
few, but consideration in the many, and the coöperation of all. If the
institutions of the Gospel are worth having, they are worth supporting.
If young men are expected to engage in a service that becomes every year
more perplexed and exacting, they must be able to see a fair prospect of
such remuneration and sympathy as will at least set them free from
worldly anxiety. We believe that in no one way can the ministry be more
strengthened and elevated, than by a consideration and provision, not
extravagant, not large, not perhaps proportioned to the labor and reward
of other callings, but _sure_; and sufficient, while it imposes the
necessity of all the exertion, prudence, simplicity, and sacrifice that
should be expected and be seen in the service of CHRIST, to save from
all depression, and the necessity of other pursuits.

Is this a digression? No; for it entered into the daily thought, and
affected the life, not only of Henry Ware, but equally of her whose life
was his, and whose spirit was always striving to allay his fears, and
nurse his powers and resources. Reluctantly did she consent to his
taking upon himself new burdens and extended responsibilities, as he did
in 1838, when his father resigned to him his active duties, by a liberal
arrangement made for both of them. "While this makes us very grateful,"
she writes, "it involves more anxiety about health; but we will trust."

Just at the time of these new offices and brighter hopes on the one
hand, and increased labor and danger on the other, a heavy affliction
fell upon them both, in the sudden death of a sister; the first death in
thirty years of an adult member of that family, from which six have
since gone to the spirit-land. Ought any considerations to prevent our
giving to others the Christian thoughts and high affections called forth
from Mrs. Ware by that event? They were many and comforting. Some she
thus expressed to Mrs. Allen, a surviving sister. "The more I dwell
upon what she was, of what she was capable, and how deeply she suffered
from the mere load of humanity, the more I am thankful that the season
of discipline is over, the more I rejoice at the thought of what she is
now enjoying. Can we conceive of a higher bliss than that which must be
experienced by a soul of such capacities as hers, which has struggled,
as we believe, most strenuously with temptation both within and without
while here, freed at last for ever from the burden of the flesh,
throwing off all obstacles to its progress in a purer state, _bounding_
forward to perfection? O, who would recall her here, even for the best
happiness which this world could give her? But we are yet too earthly to
part with our treasures without suffering. It is meant that we should
suffer. It is a part, a most important object, of the dispensation; the
inevitable consequence, too, of that which we esteem the best blessing
of our existence,--our capacity for the exercise of the affections. It
seems as if so great an event as I feel this to be must have great
objects; and who can doubt that the improvement of those who suffer by
it is the principal one? I have never felt this so deeply with regard to
any event that ever happened to me in life. I have never had so loud, so
imperious a call. O my God, give me grace to profit by this call, to be
made better by the mental exercises to which it has given rise!"

At the end of 1838 we find Mary very happy, in gratitude for the past
and cheerful hopes of the future, with sober but not sad thoughts of the
recent sorrow.

     "_Cambridge, December 31, 1838._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "... O that blessed thing, Faith,--faith in the truth of
     friendship! Among other changes, I have not yet grown old
     enough to lose my youthful faith in those I love; and between
     you and me, I begin to suspect that I never shall. I certainly
     do not find myself, at forty, one whit nearer misanthropy than
     I was at sixteen. Is this symptomatic of folly at the very
     core? Or is it only the effect of my superior good luck in
     life? Whatever it may be, I bless God for it, for I find in it
     too much happiness to be willing to regret it, even if it be a

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 9._ Just so far had I got, when I found my eyes so
     dim and my head so giddy that I was compelled to go to bed. And
     there have I been most of the time since, quite sick with one
     of my old attacks upon the lungs, which threatened to keep me
     there the rest of the winter, if it did not end in lung fever,
     so obstinate and violent was my cough.... I have been living in
     the past very much lately, from having many of Harriet's
     letters to read. Some of them, written in Exeter, have brought
     before my mind people of whom I had not thought for years; and
     circumstances having intimate connection with events in which I
     was immediately interested at the time, have unfolded a long
     and beautiful page of life before me, which I seldom have
     opportunity to recall. O that Past! what stores of wisdom and
     happiness are not laid up in it! Why should it be that the busy
     bustle of the Present hides it so much from our sight? Should
     we not, by an effort, give ourselves more to its retrospection,
     that we may profit more by its teaching?...

     "But here we are, dear N., at the end of another year,
     certainly not growing younger, yet I think not at all losing
     our capacity for enjoying. So far from it, I am surprised to
     find, that, while with regard to some things my happiness
     becomes more and more every day a sober certainty, it does not
     in the least diminish my susceptibility of enjoyment from any
     new source that chances to present itself from day to day. In
     fact, it is a much more agreeable thing to grow old than I
     expected to find it. This is not strange, you may say, in my
     case, whose blessings increase with every year. Truly it is so,
     and I never felt it more than at this present. Never since I
     was married could I look back upon a year of such freedom from
     sickness in my own family; never was my husband so well for the
     same length of time in his preaching life; and if I had no more
     to be grateful for than my precious baby, who has been nothing
     but a comfort ever since she was born, that is enough for one
     year. One sad blight has passed over us, and it has indeed
     solemnized our hearts, and made us feel, as we never felt
     before, by how slight a tenure we hold all earthly blessings.
     But these afflictions serve to make us more grateful for those
     blessings which cannot be taken away.

     "O, how I do wish you were within talking distance, that I
     might know whether you feel as I do about bringing up children.
     I have no comfort yet in my management of my little ones. I
     have not yet got upon the right track, and begin to think I
     never shall. Lucy comes and comforts me a little now and then,
     and if I had her power I should no doubt have her success; but
     that makes all the difference in the world.

     "Yours ever, in true love.

     "M. L. W."

Another year closed its record with similar expressions of thankfulness,
though we see that it brought sickness and discipline. But these are
not spoken of as trials; for Mrs. Ware appears in fact, as well as in
word, to have caused sickness to change its name and its face. It had
become to her a friend, whose absence she almost dreaded. "It is so long
since I have had the slightest physical drawback, that I had almost
forgotten that I could be other than strong. I am glad to be reminded
that I am not free from the common lot in this respect; in truth, that I
am to be subject to the salutary discipline which the prospect of
certain suffering and weakness, with all their possible consequences,
brings to the soul." She had great faith in the relation of events to
each other. She looked upon nothing in the providence of God as either
accidental or insulated; every thing had a design and a connection. "If
any one thing more than any other strikes me powerfully as I advance in
life, gaining confirmation from every day's experience, it is the
beautiful adaptation of circumstances to accomplish the great object of
existence, each succeeding event pointing to some end which the other
events of life have not particularly aimed at. It seems as if we had
only to keep our vision clear, to find around us all the teaching which
we can possibly need to bring us to perfection." She had not much
respect for the common view of "circumstances," as securing all the good
and accounting for all the evil in men's conduct and character. To her
mind, the responsibility was as great of turning adverse circumstances
to good account, as of using well the most favoring and prosperous
condition. Yet here she dealt more severely with herself than with any
one else; too severely sometimes, as may be the case with all
conscientious sufferers who are at the same time conscientious workers.
They exact too much of their own frames. They make too little allowance
for those natural limits and occasional weaknesses, for which many minds
allow too much. Most of us suffer the body to be master, where it should
be servant; while they of whom we speak are apt to forget that the body
_will_ sometimes rule, and affect the mind unfavorably yet helplessly.
There are various intimations, some of which we have seen already, that
Mrs. Ware was not free from all errors or dangers of this kind, though
she soon detected them. After a short visit to Mrs. Paine, in 1839, she
says of it: "I did enjoy my visit to you hugely; I do enjoy it now even
more; for I was fighting all the time with an evil demon within in the
shape of an uncommonly violent attack of 'Mary Pickardism,' making me
feel that I might as well be out of the world as in it. But that is
over; and I have learnt from it that our minds are more frequently under
the control of our _physique_, than we, in our pride, are very willing
to admit."

The season of exemption and favor continues; not without qualifications
and exceptions, as others might think them, but without serious
interruption to the labors or joys of Mr. and Mrs. Ware. And we see the
effect of it in the pleasant and playful mood of the next letter.

     "_Cambridge, January 1, 1841, 1.20 o'clock, A.M._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "There is some difference truly between a solitary spinster
     sitting in her quiet parlor with her desk before her, pen in
     hand, without a shadow of a hope or fear of interruption from
     any demand of domestic duty or pleasure, and the mother of
     seven children, one of them a most agreeable youth of six
     months, with a husband and nurse to boot, to be looked after
     and taken care of. For instance, after a vain attempt to get
     all the new year's presents finished and arrayed in due order
     before the clock should strike twelve upon the 31st of
     December, 1840, I was obliged at the first date to content
     myself with just recording the hour with one hand, while the
     other held in durance the two hands of the above-named youth,
     who had been for the previous hour exercising his utmost power
     of fascinating blandishment to attract and monopolize my
     attention. And now I must re-date, _One o'clock, P. M., January
     3d_, being my very first moment, since the aforesaid date, that
     I could in conscience give to the luxurious employment of
     writing to you. I think the said little (or, rather, large)
     gentleman had a strong desire to write to you himself, or he
     would not have been so remarkably wakeful upon that occasion;
     but I chose to enact the part of the dog in the manger,--if I
     could not do it myself, I would not let him. He is a most
     bewitching creature, by the way, and there is no telling what
     you may have lost by my selfishness. Nothing can be sweeter
     than a healthy, bright child of his age; there is certainly
     something far beyond the mere animal in the enjoyment we derive
     from such a creature. I am sometimes tempted, when I watch the
     animated expression of his little visage, to go all lengths
     with the modern spiritualists, and believe that there is a
     higher sense and fuller knowledge of the deep things of heaven
     inclosed in that little casket now, than can be found in it
     after the wisdom of the world has entered there....

     "O, how the business of life thickens as one goes onward! I
     sometimes wish I knew whether there is ever to be such a thing
     as _rest_ in this life for me, wherein to breathe a little more
     freely, and feel it right to forget, for a moment at least, the
     care of the earthly. Or I should like still better to know how
     far it is practicable to keep one's mind at ease, and yet do
     all that ought to be done. It does not seem as if it could have
     been intended that we should be the careworn drudges that most
     of us are, hardly giving ourselves time to enjoy the sight of
     the beautiful world around us, or know any thing of that within
     us. I have often great misgivings upon the subject, much
     doubting whether it is not, after all, more my bad management
     than the necessity of the case, which makes me so pressed from
     want of time to do what I wish. But I have looked around and
     within in vain for a remedy for the evil.

     "I am just where I was a year ago, only a little more involved
     from having one child more, and that one that cannot be tended
     by any one who is not tolerably sizable herself. This is not as
     it should be, (not my baby, but my incessant occupation,) and I
     feel the evil effect upon my intellectual and physical
     too,--the one becomes utterly empty, the other too crowded.
     Thought is free, happily, but one uses up the material for
     thought if not refreshed by outward subjects occasionally; or
     rather one's thoughts take too uniform a track, and become
     morbid. I should like to peep into some other person's mind and
     see how the land lies; one is apt to think that no one is as
     wicked as himself, but perhaps the same causes lead to the same
     results. It would be a comfort to know, upon the old principle,
     that 'misery loves company.' Yours,


A change was approaching. The favored interval had been unusually long,
and an amount of work had been accomplished of which we attempt not to
give an idea. It had been to Mrs. Ware, as to her husband, a "golden
age," in vigor, labor, and enjoyment. In the family, the school, and the
community, both were busy, both happy. There was no diminution of care,
rather an increase with an increasing family, unnumbered visitors, and
interruptions, engagements, and claims, of every possible kind. But all
this went on easily and naturally. A casual observer would not be likely
to see that there was much done, or to be done. There was no hurry, no
apparent exertion. Each caller or claimant was received so quietly, and
listened to so patiently, that he might have thought he was the only
one, or the favored. To be sure, Mrs. Ware felt, as we have seen, that
there was no such thing as rest, nor time to do the half that she would.
But very few saw the feeling, and it prevented neither her own serenity
nor others' enjoyment. Very grateful did she feel for her husband's
continued health and active usefulness. At the same time, we can see
that her experienced eye and watchful heart discovered symptoms of
coming change,--as in passages of her letters of different dates.

     "_December 31, 1841._ I look at my husband with a sort of
     wonder, to find that another whole year has passed without any
     serious consequences to his health. I dare not look forward for
     him, for it seems presumption to expect that he can be long
     exempt. His duties are very perplexing from their variety, and
     I think the effect upon his system, by harassing his mind, is
     really worse than a greater amount of labor would be upon a
     more concentrated and satisfactory object. He is the greater
     part of the time in that dragging, half-sick state, which
     leaves neither freedom of mind nor comfort of body. I often
     think he could be happier, and do in fact more good, in a
     parish, than here; and were it not that men at his time of life
     get to be too old-fashioned and 'conservative,' as the phrase
     is, to suit the rising generation, I should hope he might yet
     end his days in the vocation which he best loves. I would not
     have you suspect me of a discontented spirit; but my heart
     leaps at the idea of parish-meetings in my own parlor, and
     other _pastoreen_ enjoyments. But I have no care about the
     future, other than that which one must have,--a desire to
     fulfil the duties which it may bring.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 16, 1842._ I have been prevented by all sorts of
     things from finishing this; it is not worth while to enumerate
     them. I will only say, that for the last fortnight I have had
     little thought or time for any thing but preparing my husband
     for a six weeks' absence. Not that I had so very much to do for
     him (although it is a different thing to poor folks, to live
     where their clothes can be mended every day, or must go without
     mending for six weeks); but he has been very unwell lately, and
     I am so little accustomed to the idea of his going away sick
     without going with him, that I found it very hard to bring my
     mind to submit to it. I did not feel quite clear whether it
     would be right to let him go, in the hope that change of scene
     and occupation would do him good, or to prevent it from fear
     that the necessity of the case would tempt him to exert
     himself, whether he was able or not. However, he has gone; and
     went too upon the anniversary of dear Dr. Follen's loss. But I
     have heard of his safe arrival in pretty good case, and I hope
     for the best. Yet I am a very baby at the prospect of so long a
     separation. Truly one's affections do not become blunted by
     age,--do they?"

What _her_ affections were appears in the letter which she had already
written to her husband,--written in fact the very night of the day he
left her; for her heart was full. Its quick, keen sensibilities told her
that this was more than a common parting. Seldom had Mr. Ware gone from
home since they were married, without being sick, or without her going
to him. And though she had not the least superstition, nor even indulged
gloomy apprehensions, she held herself ready for the worst, and saw
reason at this time to expect some decided result from such a journey in
mid-winter, with all that had preceded it. Before she slept, therefore,
she gave utterance to the emotions--prayers and blessings we might call
them--which were yearning within her.

     "_Cambridge, January 12, 1842, 1/2 past 11._

     "DEAR HENRY:--

     "And you are really gone! And notwithstanding I have looked
     forward to this moment for so long a time, and, as I thought,
     realized over and over again all that I should feel when it
     should arrive, I am ashamed to find how little all my
     anticipations have prepared me for it. I do not mean to
     overwhelm you with an outpouring of all my woman's weakness,
     but I could not go to bed without saying, 'Good night to you,
     dearest.' I have a quiet faith that all is well with you, and I
     have much hope that this expedition will result in good to your
     mind and body both. I can say from my heart, 'God speed you!'
     And the thought that His care is over you reconciles me to
     having you withdrawn from mine, as nothing else could do. I
     feel that, in your absence, great responsibilities rest upon
     me, and I cannot therefore go to my solitary chamber for the
     first time without many solemn and affecting thoughts. But my
     hopes are bright, and my confidence unshaken; and I can send my
     mind forward with a cheerful trust, although the tear will come
     to my eye. So good night, again. I know your thoughts are with
     me, as mine with you, and that this union in the spirit can
     never cease, whatever may betide our outward being.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_Friday Evening, 14th._ Thanks for your letter,--and many most
     grateful thanks to the Giver of all good for your safety! It
     could not be but that the recollection of the past should be
     present to our minds; it was good that it should be so, and I
     trust it has not been without great blessing to our souls. For
     myself, I almost feared that I was a little superstitious, or
     rather inclined to forebode evil; for I feel so much that we
     have been peculiarly blessed in having so many times had
     threatened evils averted, that, upon every new exposure, I find
     I am inclined to think it is presumption to expect exemption
     this time; and I never felt this more strongly than now. I hope
     I have behaved well outwardly. I have tried to do so, but the
     struggle has been very great. This experience is a new lesson
     of trust and comfort for us. May it have its due influence!

     "Farewell. Blessings be with you!

     "M. L. WARE."

The result of the visit to New York is known. Mrs. Ware had not
over-estimated the importance of the period. It was a crisis. The second
Sunday of her husband's absence was the last time that he ever attempted
to preach. He was attacked in the pulpit with bleeding, as he supposed
from the lungs, and did not finish the service. It was the end of his
career as a preacher, and the extinction of many bright hopes in those
united minds and devoted hearts. For to Mrs. Ware, also, was this a
disappointment of cherished purposes, not simply as his wife, but from
her own fervid interest in the Christian ministry, and her sympathy with
the aspirations and the struggles of those engaged, or about to engage,
in this great work.

Her account of the change, and other changes that followed, closing the
Cambridge life, may be best given in extracts from various letters,
which will constitute a journal of the time.

     "_March, 1842._ Mr. Ware had not been well for two months
     previous to his going to New York; no difficulty upon the
     lungs,--simply out of order from too close and wearisome
     attention to a vexatious variety of duty, having no rest, and
     not time enough to do any thing well. His system seemed
     disarranged, and he thought he should be most benefited by
     going away, changing the scene entirely, and obtaining rest to
     mind and body. He went. Every letter spoke of improvement, and
     I had made up my mind, that, in spite of all my fears, he was
     doing the best possible thing. So I said to his father on
     Sunday evening; and on Monday I received his letter, telling
     me of his having been taken in church with raising blood. Of
     course I went immediately to him, arriving at his lodgings at
     nine, Tuesday morning. The weather was very mild, and the
     uncertainty of its continuing so made me anxious to get him
     home. After some reluctance on the part of his physician had
     been overcome, we decided to return that day. So, after
     spending eight hours in New York, I turned my face homeward,
     and in forty hours after leaving my own door landed at it with
     my precious charge, none the worse for the journey. You may
     suppose it all seemed a dream to me. It was, however, a sad
     reality to him, a _very_ sad disappointment.... Your picture of
     'rest' is a beautiful vision,--one which many of our friends
     have brought before our eyes at this time. But what can a man
     do, with seven children, and only his own hands to depend upon?
     I scruple not to say, that a ten-foot house, and bread and
     water diet, with the sense of rest to _him_, would be a luxury,
     and I trust some door will be opened to us by which we shall
     obtain it. Now he is tied, bound hand and foot; and if he does
     not die in the bonds, it is more than any one has a right to
     calculate upon. How various the trials of life! and how
     difficult always to feel that elasticity of spirit which is
     needful to make one as cheerful as we ought to be at all

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_May 1, 1842._ You will hear in a few days of the change that
     has come to us. I have been entirely satisfied, ever since last
     October, that it must come to this, and I felt, the sooner
     Henry stopped, the better for him. But the utter uncertainty as
     to the future support of such a large family, and a reluctance
     to leave his father's side in his declining years, important as
     he is to his parent's comfort, could not but make him
     deliberate.... And now, dear Nancy, we are once more afloat on
     the world's wide sea. You will easily guess how much there is
     of deep, soul-stirring emotion in all this, and how much more
     there must be before we quit for ever our dearly loved home,
     rendered doubly dear by the hours of sickness and sacred sorrow
     experienced in it. What will be our destination, I know not. We
     have some plans, but the execution of any must depend upon
     contingencies now hidden from us. The first thing to be thought
     of is Mr. Ware's restoration to health; and had we the means, I
     should like to spend a week or two in riding about home, or in
     little excursions, giving him the opportunity of doing what he
     could by conversation for the class about to leave the School.
     Should he ever get well, there are some possible projects
     already presented which would support us, but in the mean time
     all is dark,--that is, we know nothing about it. I am satisfied
     that we have done _right_, and I am ready for the consequences,
     be they what they may. I am not as strong as I once was to meet
     hard labor, but I am willing to work to the extent of my
     ability; and I know that no amount of bodily labor can be so
     wearisome as the mental struggle of the last two years. I feel
     as if I could meet any thing better than seeing my husband
     declining; can he only be spared, no matter what comes. Do not
     think that I am unmindful of the difficulties which poverty
     brings,--the hindrances to the satisfactory education of
     children, the loss of intellectual privileges, and the wear and
     tear to the spirit by the uncertainties of daily supply for
     even the necessary wants of life. I understand it all; and I
     know that in all there is useful discipline for heaven, and I
     think for my children, that, if the means of one kind of
     education are denied them, they may in other ways gain the
     essentials for spiritual life more readily. I cannot distrust
     or doubt the good providence of God under all circumstances;
     how can I, after the experience I have had in life?... If Mr.
     Ware and I should ride off anywhere, it will probably be
     towards Worcester. O the money, the money! what can be done
     without money! I have written to the end of my paper, and all
     about self; but I have much to say about other things."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_May 8, 1842._ I have tried in vain, dear Emma, to find time
     and ability to answer your kind notes, for I have longed to
     tell you something of the mighty movement which has been going
     on within our little domestic world, as well as to satisfy you
     of Mr. Ware's gradual progress towards health. But for the
     first three weeks of his sickness, his case demanded my
     undivided attention; and since the day he wrote his letter of
     resignation, I have been, with the exception of three 'poor
     days,' sick myself. Not made sick by that fact, I beg you to
     understand,--unless the reaction of relief from anxiety might
     make one sick, and the exhilaration consequent upon it act too
     powerfully upon the nervous system. It is indeed an
     unspeakable relief to my mind, and I could see that it was also
     to Henry, for he began to improve at once when the deed was
     done. It is a great step, at our time of life, with so large a
     family, and so little substantial health in the acting portion
     of it, to be launched forth upon the wide world to obtain a
     support we know not how. But of what use is experience, of what
     value is faith, if they cannot enable one to meet the changes
     of life without fear?... I have been quite sick, having had a
     sudden and severe attack threatening fever. I felt for a little
     while as if I could _not_ have one of my long sicknesses just
     at this juncture, as if I was for once too important a person
     to be laid upon the shelf, and I never was more truly thankful
     than when I found myself relieved by the first applications. I
     have not yet been down stairs, but expect to ride to-morrow, if
     it is pleasant. The breaking up will be severe, I know; but I
     think I am prepared for it. It is not the first time that the
     strong ties which bind me always to my _home_ have been
     severed. And although I have never before felt so much that my
     home was indeed my own creation, the thought that it is _right_
     to leave it, and the oppression of spirit which the last two
     years have witnessed here, reconcile me to all the suffering in
     prospect. Don't think me a romancer, that I can feel joyous
     when I know not how we are to be fed and clothed. If God gives
     me strength, I am willing to work, and prefer that my children
     should be obliged to; and I have no fears but that, _if we do
     the best we can_, God will take care of us. He has many agents
     of mercy."

Mr. Ware was able to remain in office the rest of the theological term,
and to carry through the graduating class, with whom his last exercises
were deeply affecting. Very soon after this, in the summer of 1842, the
family left Cambridge; having fixed upon Framingham, Mass., as their
place of retreat, after looking at many places, and weighing all
considerations of position and expense.

Of the last days in Cambridge, we have obtained the recollections of
their oldest son, himself a member of the class just spoken of, as the
last that enjoyed the instruction and benediction of his father. We give
the account in his own unstudied words.

     "That last summer was a very pleasant one, as I remember it.
     Things were very much as ever; if any thing, the little social
     gatherings of neighbors were more frequent, as all felt they
     must be few. The drives with father to find a place, the
     selection of Framingham, the pilgrimages there, occupied a good
     deal of the time, as also the gradual preparation, and the many
     adieus. The 'breaking up' was one of the gravest trials of
     mother's life. Thoroughly convinced of its necessity, looking
     forward to it as a relief in all ways, yet the whole summer was
     tinged by the thought of it. I remember long talks; one in
     particular, in which she drew nearer to me and I to her. I
     think that, feeling obliged to keep up before father, she
     yearned to confide in us. When it came to the last, it was
     hard. The children and all were gone. Mother, father, and I
     were left, and I was to be left, for I was just going into the
     world myself. The wagon was at the door. Father got in, merely
     wringing my hand, but most deeply moved. I could see it and
     feel it. If he had spoken, it would have been more than he
     could bear. I never till that moment imagined, so feverish had
     been his desire to get away, how much his heart was in that
     spot. Mother was behind, and had got down one step, when she
     turned round and threw her arms about my neck, and there we
     stood. It was one of the _moments_ of life. 'God bless you, my
     child!' I have heard her say it many times, but it never meant
     more. Father could not bear it. He urged her away; the horse
     started at his quick word; I was alone,--and that chapter of
     life was ended! We never all three of us entered Cambridge
     together again, until the night that mother and I brought with
     us from Framingham 'the last of earth.'

     "Since writing this, I have chanced upon father's first letter
     afterward. He says: 'The struggle at the last moment was a hard
     one; but we got composed after a while, and then found
     ourselves excessively overcome with weariness.'"



It is no cause of regret that the narrative of a married woman's life
cannot be separated from that of her husband. The biographer may regret
the necessity of referring to familiar facts, and sometimes using
materials already in possession of the public. But more sorry should we
be if the history of the _wife_ could be drawn out by itself; especially
that history of every-day life, and idea of the inner being, which we
are attempting to give. Few women, in our community, and with "troops of
friends," have been more thrown upon themselves at an early age, or have
led a more truly single life until life's meridian, than did Mary
Pickard. But the moment she became Mary Ware she lived for another,--as
unreservedly and devotedly as woman ever did. Principle and affection
alone would have prompted this, as a pleasure; the circumstances in
which she was placed, from first to last, made it a duty, and still a
delight. And more and more, as years passed, did the duty and the
delight grow, tinged only by the sad thought of _his_ premature failure
and sore disappointment.

It, is a small trial to be summoned from one sphere of duty to another;
even if it cost the disruption of many ties, still if it be a call of
duty, with continued power of activity and usefulness, it is not to be
called a hardship. It surely is no evil, but rather a privilege, for the
faithful laborer to die at his post, with his harness on. But to die and
yet to live, to have one's chosen work broken off for ever, and the
strong, disinterested love of labor forbidden all exercise, with the
prospect of years of helplessness at the best, perhaps protracted
suffering and a dependent family,--this is trial, calling for as much of
fortitude and faith as humanity often requires. It may be partiality
which leads us to doubt whether there was ever _more_ of fortitude and
faith, in similar condition, than in the hearts of Henry and Mary Ware,
as they turned their back upon the fond scenes of their labor, and, with
the unavoidable consciousness of high qualification as well as
affection, withdrew from all public service and peculiar trust. Nor is
it too much to assume, that, while on him pressed most heavily the
burden of responsibility and the grief of incapacity, it was to the wife
and the mother that there came most loudly the call for exertion, for
cheerful courage, a wise diligence, and unfaltering trust.

The village to which they retired was chosen partly for its seclusion
combined with convenience, and partly for economy. In relation to the
last, their anxieties were now relieved by a generous contribution from
friends, whom it would have been wrong to refuse; though similar offers
had been made and declined before, as we ought to have said in referring
to their embarrassments. So long as there was the power of exertion, or
a reasonable hope of it, Mr. Ware could not bring himself to accept any
mere favors of this kind,--seldom so grateful as a fair requital for
willing service and acknowledged ability. But now that the power of
exertion was suspended, duty to those nearest, as well as gratitude to
persevering benefactors, made him more than willing. "I have got rid,
through the kindness of excellent friends, of all distressful anxiety
for the living of my family; I can leave them in comparative peace; in
that sense, my house is set in order." Thus did Mr. Ware write to his
brother John, in that earnest letter in which he begs him, as a
physician, to deal frankly with him, and tell him the whole truth as to
the probability of his recovery or decline. And this was the state of
mind in which the life at Framingham began, and continued to the end,--a
state of suspense, entire uncertainty, unwillingness to be idle, but
inability to enter confidently upon any plan, or engage vigorously in
any employment. There is little, therefore, to be told of this period,
in regard to occupation or incident. We can only show in what spirit
Mrs. Ware met this new trial,--to many minds the hardest of all,--living
without an object, yet striving to live cheerfully, busily, and

This may be shown best by giving brief extracts from her letters,
written during the first season of their residence there.

     "_July 30, 1842._ My dear Mrs. F----: You will be glad to know
     that we find ourselves very comfortable here. The house is
     exceedingly well adapted to our purpose; and though the
     externals of life are comparatively small matters with respect
     to happiness, in health, there are cases of sickness in which
     they must be of importance. It is a great comfort to me, in the
     present case, that our outward appliances are such as will aid
     the chief object for which we have made this change. I feel
     deeply that it is an experiment, and, like all human plans, has
     some disadvantages; but I will 'hope on, hope ever,' believing
     as I do that it was _right_ to try it. Yet you know (none
     better) how much one has to feel in the detail of life, when so
     much is at stake. O, why can we not, with full faith and
     perfect peace, cast all our care upon Him, who indeed careth
     for us more than we can care for any being? I can for the most
     part feel this, but it is not easy to keep always on the
     mount.... Although I realize the change, and fully appreciate
     all I have left behind, I am perfectly amazed to find how
     obtuse my feelings are. I could almost fancy I did not love my
     friends as well as I thought I did, so entirely do I find
     myself absorbed by my new duties and occupations, with scarcely
     a thought for any thing but the best accomplishment of my
     immediate business,--my husband's comfort and improvement. What
     a blessed power of adaptation is given us, to enable us to meet
     the varieties of life! The fact is, in our case, never could so
     great a movement have been made under more favorable
     circumstances; and, with so many blessings about our path, it
     would be strange indeed if we could find place for regret."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_August 21, 1842._ My dear N----: I begin to think I shall
     not gain much in the way of _leisure_ by this change. For
     although there is not the same necessity for attending to
     extraneous matters that there was in Cambridge, so much more of
     the detail of affairs necessarily passes through my hands, that
     I find the days all too short to accomplish half I should like
     to do. I cannot give up the hope, and indeed expectation, that
     the mode of life we have adopted will prove good for Mr. Ware;
     and as I view it nearer, so many of what I had anticipated as
     hindrances vanish into thin air, that I am more than ever
     satisfied with the form of the experiment. Of course, I expect
     to put my shoulder to the daily wheel in a new line of labor,
     and have fully calculated the cost. I only hope my health and
     strength will continue as good as they now are, and I shall do
     very well. I never shrink from labor of any kind.... Our
     children are much pleased with the place and its occupations;
     and I hope to give them by the change the opportunity of
     acquiring the knowledge of many things, and exercising some of
     the virtues for which they had no chance in their former mode
     of life.... I have a treasure of a woman, who has been with me
     nearly two years, bound to me and mine by the strongest
     affection, kind, capable, and refined; particularly pleased
     with being 'monarch of all she surveys' in the kitchen, and so
     well informed and respectful, that it is a pleasure to me to
     associate with her as I am obliged to in work, and a comfort in
     the perfect security I feel in her intercourse with my
     children. It is not the least of my blessings, that just such
     an one should have been with me at this crisis."

This mention of the faithful domestic, "our Margaret," as she was always
called, who lived with Mrs. Ware seven years, discloses another trait of
character, more rare than it should be. The complaints that we
constantly hear of the selfishness and "plague of servants," demand more
consideration than they usually receive. The whole matter of domestic
service is becoming a serious one. Even where it is wholly free, it
affects materially the comfort of life, and exerts an influence on the
character of both the employers and the employed. Are the employers or
the employed most in fault? This is the one question which should be
deliberately weighed, instead of being dismissed with a burst of passion
or a smile of self-complacency. There are women who have little or no
trouble with their servants,--who retain them long, secure their
confidence for life, obtain from them better service than many who pay
more and exact more, and repose in them the most important trusts. To
this class we believe Mrs. Ware to have belonged. And the secret of her
success we suppose to have been simply this: she looked upon servants as
of the same species with herself; creatures of like passions and like
sensibilities; as liable to be selfish, unreasonable, and easily
offended, as those whom they serve, but not more; having equal claim
upon kind consideration, and a perfect _right_ to feel wounded and
wronged, if dealt with unjustly. On this subject Mrs. Ware seems to have
asked herself these two questions: Why do so many people, who are never
harsh or ill-natured toward any one else, think nothing of being harsh
and ill-natured toward their domestics? And why do many sound and
zealous religionists forget to carry any of their religion into their
intercourse and dealings with servants? It would not have been easy, we
think, to discern any difference in _her_ treatment of the highest and
the lowest, the affluent and the dependent. Nor did she think it her
duty to visit iniquity even upon the vicious, by withdrawing from them
all confidence, and turning them into the streets to sin and suffer
more. Not in words alone, or of one sex only, has she said, as we find
her saying in an aggravated case: "I see not why a man's sins should for
ever cut him off from the charities of his kind, if he is truly
penitent. What are we that we should condemn, if God forgives?"

In continuing our extracts from Mrs. Ware's letters at this period, we
shall draw freely from those which she wrote to the son who had been
left in Cambridge, and was now entering upon the work of the ministry,
feeling painfully the separation from his father, and the loss in part
of his guidance and counsel.

     "_Framingham, August, 1842._ At last, dear John, the great
     crisis has passed, the great movement is made. We have changed
     our home, and are no longer to live together under the same
     circumstances. The change is indeed great to us all, but I feel
     that for you it is greater than to any one else, and therefore
     it is that I am impelled to use my first quiet moment in
     expressing my deep sense of the trial of your present position,
     and most heartily sympathize with the soul-stirring emotion
     which belongs to it. To you it is indeed a very important
     turning-point in existence, and when one looks only upon the
     momentous responsibilities which it involves, it is not strange
     that the heart should sink, and the question should
     involuntarily arise to one's lips, 'How can this change be
     borne, how can such duties be met?' I have felt sometimes, in
     looking at the singular combination of events, by which you
     should be separated from your father, just when you were
     commencing the most trying and important period of life, as if
     it were almost too hard; and as if it would have been not only
     easier, but safer, to have been able to feel your way a little
     before you absolutely floated off under your own sole guidance.
     But a second thought has always satisfied me that the
     arrangement of Providence was the best, although for the time
     the most painful. Standing forth in your lot, as an ambassador
     for Christ to the world, you cannot be too soon led to rely
     solely on his teaching for direction, and it cannot but be best
     that you should be compelled, by the removal of earthly succor,
     to go only to Him who is 'the way, the truth, and the life,'
     for strength in the hour of need."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "My dear John: You are now passing through that ordeal which I
     have long looked forward to as inevitable at some period,
     sometimes with an almost irresistible desire to avert it by
     opening to you pages of my own painful experience in
     self-education; sometimes with an uncontrollable impatience to
     hasten it, that, being past, you and I and all might be
     enjoying the happiness it might produce. It is one of the most
     difficult questions to decide how far, and when, to make
     opportunities, or wait for them to come in the natural order of
     things; we should very decidedly wait, if we were sure they
     would come at some time,--but there is the rub....

     "It is a common and very natural idea with young people, that
     older ones cannot understand or sympathize in their feelings;
     forgetting that we have all been young, and that the struggles
     by which the soul is exercised in youth are never to be
     forgotten. The experience of different natural characters of
     course varies, but the fact of struggle is common to all. And
     upon no spot in the review of the past does one's memory dwell
     with so much intense emotion, as upon that thorny and tangled
     labyrinth through which the spirit wandered, 'bewildered, but
     not lost,' at the period when the necessity and duty of proving
     its own character first roused it to a sense of its
     responsibilities. You say most truly, that it is good to look
     at things at a distance, from new and various points of view. I
     have always advocated this, for my own changeful life forced
     the conviction upon me; and for the same reason, I would
     advocate free, confidential discussion of inward and spiritual
     experience. The mere clothing our thoughts and feelings in
     words sometimes places them in a different position. We take
     them out of the atmosphere of our own perhaps morbid fears and
     anxieties, and can therefore see them more clearly. Then, too,
     we have the advantage of another's observation, and, may-be,
     experience of the selfsame difficulties, to aid us in our
     judgment of their true character. At any rate, we have the
     certainty of that warm kindling of the affections which to a
     loving heart is always a help in bearing the burden of life.
     Believe me, dear John, there is ample reward for all the effort
     it may cost in unclothing ourselves, in the consciousness that
     however the outer world may think of us, at _home_, in that
     sanctuary which God and nature have alike appointed as the best
     resting-place for the spirit upon earth, we are understood and
     appreciated and loved. Let us not suffer any factitious
     thoughts or circumstances to cheat us of this privilege, but
     with trusting, confiding hearts take the good which Heaven
     designed for us when the family-community was established in
     the world.... I could write more than I should care to give you
     the trouble to read, if I attempted to write half that I have
     in my heart to say."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_December, 1842._ The going forth into the world for the first
     time _alone_ is, it seems to me, the most trying point in the
     existence of any one of any sensibility. But does not the very
     difficulty of the case indicate the value of the experience?
     Are not almost all the most valuable results of effort those
     which require the greatest efforts for their attainment? The
     higher the summit to which we would arrive, the more toilsome
     must be the ascent. When by a prayerful, self-surrendering
     spirit we have sought to learn the will of God concerning us,
     shall we not believe that, into whatsoever path we may be led,
     it must contain for us the discipline we need,--treasures of
     experience, hidden perhaps at first, which will amply repay any
     toil, any suffering, in the aid we shall derive from them in
     our Christian progress?... We admire, we reverence, the spirit
     which actuated Oberlin and Felix Neff, and many others of the
     class of missionary spirits who have left all to do their
     Master's work in the field he has appointed for them; but we do
     not easily realize how much of the same spirit of
     self-sacrifice is called for in what no one would think of
     calling missionary ground, and which yet requires as much
     surrender of earthly desire as their situations could, which
     none but the All-seeing can know."

An event which all felt, at this time, was felt by none more than by
Mrs. Ware. We mean the death of Dr. Channing. The reader will remember
how much he had done for her in early life, not only as a public
teacher, but as a private friend, with whom her intercourse had been
frequent and perfectly free. For several years she had seen little of
him. And now, in her seclusion and comparative solitude, the unexpected
intelligence of his death moved her deeply. To a friend in Cambridge,
she writes: "You cannot imagine how trying it is to me, to know nothing
of Dr. Channing's sickness and death, except what the newspapers can
tell me. You know not the peculiar relation in which I have stood
towards him. Do in pity tell me what you know about the event. I cannot
realize it, I can scarcely believe it. There is so much to be thought of
in relation to such an event, that my mind is perfectly bewildered. I
cannot arrange my thoughts enough to give them utterance. But my heart
goes out toward those many dear friends who will feel his loss as I do.
One is tempted to say, 'What a loss to the world is the death of such a
man!' But such a man cannot die. How will his words have new power over
the hearts of those who read them, from the consciousness that the
spirit that uttered them already sees behind the veil, that his light
can never be put out, but will penetrate still more and more the inmost
recesses of men's souls! How will that last eloquent, touching appeal
for the Slave gain access to the coldest hearts, when it is remembered
that it was the last effort of the departing saint for the rights and
sufferings of the oppressed! The impulse which such a mind gives must be
felt for ever. Who can measure its power?" A fact is here suggested
which there seems no reason for withholding, showing the estimate which
Dr. Channing himself put upon the character and power of Mrs. Ware. A
lady intimate with both of them when they were most together, says: "Dr.
Channing talked with her on religious experience, to learn as well as to
teach. I have known him to request her to make visits of instruction to
a disconsolate person, whom _he_ could not awaken to religious
hope,--trusting that her gentle sympathy and clear views might shed a
ray of light that would point her to the day."

The first season at Framingham was a busy one, though tranquil. Mrs.
Ware's bodily as well as mental labor must have been unusually great.
"It is true, I do not see how we are to set all the stitches which will
be necessary to prepare eight people for a winter campaign in a cold
house; but I have faith that we shall find a way." They were much more
free from interruptions than ever before. Their new neighbors and
friends were not only kind, but considerate,--one of the best forms of
kindness. Gratefully does Mrs. Ware acknowledge this. "How much there is
in human life to interest our hearts! One cannot go anywhere without
finding some cases of peculiar interest. We are here cut off from
general knowledge of those around us, by having come expressly for
retirement. Our neighbors, understanding this, do not call. And yet we
have already happened upon some most interesting people, from whom we
cannot in conscience hold back."

Thus the year closed; a year of as great outward change as any that had
preceded it, and leaving them in as great uncertainty as to the future.
Yet Mrs. Ware could say: "The prevailing emotion in the retrospect is
one of gratitude at having been enabled to escape from the burden which
before oppressed and weighed me down. The consciousness that we were
spending all our strength, mental and physical, upon a vain attempt for
an unattainable result, was worse to me than any degree of labor for an
attainable end, or even any uncertainty about the future means of
support. I rejoice that my husband is free from that incubus upon his
spirits; and still more do I rejoice, that it is given to us both to
feel, in the uncertainty that lies before us, such a tranquil trust that
all will be well, that we have no fear, no wish. Still there is room for
much mental and spiritual discipline; and I must acknowledge that there
are times when the weakness of the flesh overcomes the willingness of
the spirit, and I feel for the time entirely depressed by a sense of
inadequacy to meet the demands of duty. I have not the power to do all
that ought to be done, and I feel as if the effects of my incapacity
would be grievous. I know that one has no _right_ to suffer from this,
because we ought to have faith to believe that the trials even of our
own insufficiency are designed to accomplish some end. But the
consciousness that others are suffering from our deficiencies is just
the very hardest thing to bear in life. It is my cross, and always has
been; and I fear I do not learn as I ought, to bear it in meekness and
humility,--I need not say 'fear,' I _know_ I do not."

To those familiar with the life of Henry Ware, and with its close, it is
unnecessary to recount the events of the year 1843; the year that
brought into stern requisition all the trust and endurance of a devoted
wife. She had long seen that this trial was approaching, and had
fortified herself to meet it, not by putting the thought of it aside,
but by keeping it before her, and making it familiar, that it might
never take her by surprise. And long had she thus disciplined her mind
and her affections. For during the sixteen years that she had lived with
Mr. Ware, she could never, for any long time, have failed to see the
great precariousness of his hold on life. At this very period, she says:
"In such alternation of hope and fear do I live, and indeed have lived
for the greater part of my married life." Yet how much had she enjoyed
life! and what an amount of happiness, labor, and usefulness had she
_extorted_--if we may use the word in a grateful sense, as she
would--from every year and every position!

In the spring of 1843 she accompanied her husband to Boston, for a short
visit at his brother's; and there occurred that severe and alarming
illness, which confined Mr. Ware for ten weeks, and from the effects of
which he never recovered. Of this attack, and of all that intervened
until his death, we will not give the particulars, but would only trace
Mrs. Ware's own thoughts and feelings, as she expressed them from time
to time in letters and fragments of letters to those most concerned.

     "_Boston, Thursday, May 11._ Since writing to you, dear N----,
     I have had a season of intense anxiety. Sunday, Monday, and
     Tuesday, Mr. Ware suffered extremely, and it was not clear what
     was the nature of the difficulty that produced this suffering;
     one thing only was certain,--that he was very sick, and too
     weak to bear such distress long. It must be a long time before
     he is free from the effects of it, even if he have strength to
     hold out. So end my hopes for the present, and I must give up
     all thought about any thing but the care of my husband, for I
     know not how long. God's will be done! HE must know what is
     best,--but it is not easy to understand how it is so in this
     case. And if it were easy, where would be room for Faith?...
     These are trying, but blessed days, for the cultivation of the
     spirit of faith and trust; and I know I need much to make me
     feel that this is _not_ my home. God grant that I may
     effectually learn it, so as to be not only willing, but glad,
     to give up all that belongs to me here, confident in the
     prospect of a reunion in a better state! I shall write again if
     I can, but I have few minutes unoccupied."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Boston, May, 1843._ My dear child: Father continued very much
     as you left him, yesterday. He does not suffer as much as he
     did, but his disease is a very tedious one, and it may be many
     weeks before he is able to get home, if it pleases God still to
     restore him to health. Let us pray to Him to look in mercy upon
     us, and spare him to us yet longer. The circumstances of our
     lot in life are just now very trying, and no doubt are arranged
     for us in order to our improvement. It is a great trial to
     father and me to be separated from our children so long; and to
     you all, this separation brings the greater responsibility to
     watch over yourselves, that you do in all things right,--not
     what is most pleasant, not what we wish, but what is _right_ to
     do, without regard to self. Next to my anxiety about father,
     now, is my anxiety about you; because I feel that you are at an
     age when the habits are formed, and the principles of action
     settled for life; that your whole future, for time and for
     eternity, may depend upon these years. And I cannot feel happy
     unless I see you gaining from day to day more and more of that
     self-discipline and self-control, which can alone, by the grace
     of God, make you what you ought to be."

Mr. Ware was able to return to Framingham in June, and afterward took
several short journeys among friends, one as far as Plymouth, and thence
to Fall River (where his son was then settled in the ministry), and home
by Providence,--his last visit to those places. In August, another and
still more violent attack upon the brain prostrated him completely; and
the remaining five or six weeks of his life seemed only a vacillation
between earth and heaven,--yielding transporting glimpses of the latter,
but constantly drawing him back to the former,--and creating altogether
as hard a trial for the sufferer, and those around him, as can easily be

     "_August 17._ We feel, in father's case, 'how vain is the help
     of man.' His system is so delicate, that he cannot bear the
     administration of any potent means. Our reliance must be upon
     our Heavenly Parent, in whose hand are the issues of life and
     death. Let us pray to Him, that, if it be consistent with his
     wisdom, this cup may pass from us; but let us be ready to say,
     and feel in our inmost hearts, 'Not my will, but thine, O Lord,
     be done'!... We do not feel it to be impossible that dear
     father should recover from this illness; but we know that his
     repeated sicknesses must have weakened his power of reaction,
     and we strive, therefore, to be prepared for any result. The
     very uncertainty is appointed for our good; let us use it, my
     dear child, for our spiritual advancement.... God bless you! be
     submissive, be patient, be _grateful_, if it so please God that
     dear father should be released from the burden of his earthly
     house, to be transported to his heavenly home, where there is
     no more pain."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_August 21._ It is all in the hands of Infinite Love and
     Wisdom. God will order all well; let us be willing and be
     thankful to place our trust in Him. What a mercy it is to us,
     that He has not given us the power of foreknowledge! But
     whatever may be the event, let us not lose the benefit of this
     discipline to our souls; let us strive to increase our faith in
     God's goodness, our trust in his love.... I cannot write much,
     for I cannot leave father many minutes at a time,--and all the
     time I can get, I am bound to devote to sleep."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_August 23._ ... Thus you see we are vibrating between hope and
     fear. But it is a question whether we have a right to allow
     either; for we know not what is best for him or for ourselves."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_August 29._ My dear Emma: I must say a few words to you, to
     thank you for your most welcome letter received yesterday. How
     much I have longed for some intercourse with you, during the
     last two months, you can judge better by your own experience
     now, than by any words of mine. I have wished, as you do now,
     to know all that was passing within the deep fountains of your
     spiritual life, and nothing but the absolute necessity of the
     case has kept me away from you. Now, I say, come, whenever you
     can; you will be most welcome to us all, and to me your
     presence will be a real benediction. I feel at times as if I
     should be overpowered by the tumult of feelings to which I dare
     not give utterance here, where the composure of all around me
     depends so much upon my calmness. This last fortnight has
     shaken to its very foundation the whole fabric of my spiritual
     being,--thank God! not to displace a single fibre of the
     fabric. But there has been such a heaving up of all that was
     hidden in the depths of past experience, as has wellnigh
     conquered at times my self-control, and I have felt that I must
     utter myself, or be lost; yet to no one have I dared to speak.
     John's sickness here has made composure with him peculiarly
     important.... Happily, we cannot lift the veil of the future;
     we can only be ready for whatever may be in store for us, and
     this I trust we are.... I have been prevented from writing in
     the daytime, and now, at eleven o'clock, I am compelled by
     weariness to shut my eyes, and rest."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "_August 30._ My dear Lucy: I should indeed rejoice if you were
     able to be here, for I long for some communion with one who
     could so enter into all my views and feelings at this time as I
     know you would. But I bow in submission to all the discipline
     which God appoints for me.... In some respects the bitterness
     of the stroke has passed. I felt that the real separation came
     with the conviction, that that mind with which my spirit had so
     long communed in the truest sympathy was clouded for the
     remainder of its sojourn in the body. The sense of solitude, of
     isolation, I had almost said _desolation_, was for a time
     nearly overpowering; and there are moments when life looks so
     like a blank, that it is not easy to restrain the wish to go
     too. But the necessity of calmness for the children's sake,
     feeling that their state of mind would inevitably be influenced
     by the tone I should give it, has aided me in preserving a
     quiet exterior; and so we have had the great comfort of peace
     and entire freedom from agitation and excitement. God give us
     strength to preserve it! But this weary waiting from day to
     day, alternately hoping and feeling that there is no reason to
     hope, wears upon the nerves,--the days seem interminable, and
     the nights ages.... Long as I have looked forward to this
     change, it seems like a dream from which I must awake,--as if
     it could not be! No wonder;--for fifteen years, his health,
     _he_ indeed, has been the first, almost the sole, object of my
     life. It will be long before I can turn even to my children,
     with the consciousness that they can now be attended to without
     neglecting him."

The struggle was over. Henry Ware died, at Framingham, on Friday
morning, September 22. A Sunday intervened before the body was removed
for burial, and that day Mrs. Ware went, with her children, morning and
afternoon, to their accustomed place of worship; desiring it for their
own sacred communion, and believing it most in accordance with _his_
feelings. To her faith, with her habitual view of duty and death, this
was probably no effort. To many it would be impossible, even with the
same faith; for, unhappily, association and custom are allowed to check
our highest aspirations in the holiest seasons, so that many would
consider such an effort unnatural and strange. Is it not more strange,
that it should ever seem unnatural for a Christian mourner to go to the
house of God, in the most solemn hours of life,--especially when that
house is completely identified with the life and image of the departed?
Mrs. Ware was grateful also for the power of associating the idea of
Death, in the minds of her children, not with restraint and gloom, but
with the place of prayer and praise, and the cheerful presence of devout
worshippers. It was a beautiful exemplification of her high trust, in
harmony with her whole character. We honor the principle, and thank her
for the act.

True, it was an altered and saddened house to which they returned, yet
saddened by no gloomy aspect, disturbed by no busy preparation. There
was less than usual of care and hurry, instead of more. "It was a holy
season," says one of the daughters, "those days after dear father left
us; no bustle, no preparation of dress, no work done but what was
absolutely necessary; it was like a continued Sabbath." Then, on Sabbath
evening, after a simple religious service, the "precious remains" of the
husband and father were taken in their own carriage, by the wife and
eldest son, to Cambridge; where, the next day, the more public ceremony
of interment took place.

But of this whole experience it is right to let Mrs. Ware speak in her
own letters, several of which we add. The first was written the day
after the funeral, to an absent child, and the others to different
friends after her return to Framingham. We take them from among many
written at that time, either in answer to offers of sympathy, or as a
relief to a burdened heart. Of necessity, they contain some repetitions
of the same thought, in similar language; but it is best to give them as
they are, that we may see in them how great was the bereavement and how
deep the anguish of one whose countenance was always cheerful.

     "_Cambridge, September 26, 1843._

     "MY DEAR CHILD:--

     "I use my first moment of repose to write to you, for I know
     you will long to hear what we have been doing, and as far as
     possible to enter into all our thoughts and feelings. I want to
     have you know all that has taken place since you left us, and
     shall therefore send you a minute detail of every day, when I
     shall have time to write it; but now so much is pressing upon
     me which demands attention, so many duties which must not be
     neglected, and which belong to this time, and must be performed
     at once, that I confine myself to the last two days.

     "After dear father's death, I told Uncle John that I wished all
     arrangements with regard to his funeral should be made in
     accordance with grandfather's feelings; and I gave it wholly
     into his hands to arrange. He came up again on Saturday, and it
     was decided that we should come to grandfather's on Monday
     morning, and have a service at his house. On Sunday we all went
     to meeting; we felt it was good to go to the house of God, and
     find peace to our troubled souls in the act of worship. About
     six in the evening Mr. and Mrs. Barry came to us, for I felt
     that I could not have father's body leave that house without

            'the voice of prayer at the sable bier,
     A voice to sustain, to soothe, and to cheer.'

     He read to us some passages of Scripture, and offered for us
     and with us a prayer to Him who alone could give us strength,
     that he would aid us in that trying hour. We had no one with us
     except Mr. and Mrs. W----, whose kindness was most valuable to
     us during the last days of father's life.

     "Then John and I brought dear father's body to Cambridge in our
     own carriage; we could not feel willing to let strangers do any
     thing in connection with him which we could do ourselves. We
     reached here about half past ten, having had a season of
     precious intercourse upon our way. We found that, in accordance
     with the wishes of the College Faculty, it had been decided
     that we should go to the College Chapel, for the service, at
     half past three on Monday.

     "On Monday morning the rest of the family came down, and all
     the aunts and uncles, so that grandfather had all his children
     with him. At three o'clock we went to the Chapel. The students
     attended in their places, and the pews in the gallery were
     devoted to us. The service commenced by a voluntary, and the
     anthem, 'The Lord is my shepherd.' Dr. Francis prayed; Dr.
     Noyes read some passages from Scripture; then was sung the 463d
     hymn. Dr. Parkman then prayed for us, in his most touching,
     heartfelt manner,--so elevating, so soothing, so full of faith,
     gratitude, and hope, that it subdued all earthly emotion and
     took away all earthly desire. Although very minute and
     personal, it seemed as if one might have listened for ever
     without a thought of self. He loved father most sincerely, and
     all he said came from the depths of his heart. I had shrunk
     from the thought of publicity at such a time, in such a
     connection, but I found that the circumstances about me were
     wholly lost sight of; it made no difference to me where I was,
     or who was near me. I felt raised above all minor
     considerations. The services closed with 'Unveil thy bosom,
     faithful tomb!' We all went to Mount Auburn; that is, all the
     family, even grandfather and dear little Charlie. The weather
     was misty, but the light which it threw around was in keeping
     with the occasion, and I thought I never had seen the place
     look more beautiful. One only thing I wanted which I could not
     have,--the sound of the holy hymn at the consecrated spot.

     "Father was laid in Mr. Farrar's tomb,--the first inhabitant;
     and I felt, as I looked once more upon him as he rested there,
     that it was indeed but his body from which we were to be
     separated; his spirit is still, and will ever be, with us. He
     seems to me nearer to-day than he has for many weeks, and the
     thought of his freedom from the burden of the weary flesh is
     sweet indeed."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Framingham, September 29, 1843._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "I cannot write you more than a few words, I am so much pressed
     on all sides by matters which cannot be put off; but I must say
     these few, to assure you of the peace and repose which are with
     us, and have been, I may say, ever since you were here. O that
     you had been with us longer,--that you could have been with me
     at that still hour when the spirit was freed from its
     prison-house, the weary body left to its rest! And it was rest.
     Could you have seen the very 'rapture of repose' depicted upon
     that face, which had so long been disturbed by the pressure of
     disease that its very expression had been changed to a
     character foreign to the whole man! All continued of the same
     peaceful character which pervaded our atmosphere when you were
     here, with the exception of a few days of a little temporary
     uneasiness about the time C---- R---- was here. And the last
     fatal attack, coming as it did at a moment of rather unusual
     brightness, was so sudden and so soon over, that there was no
     time for change. Dear little Charlie, who had just returned,
     was at the moment bounding, in the height of his joyous
     spirits, from one side of the bed to the other, exclaiming,
     'Sall I buss the flies off you, father?' He was taken at once
     to bed; and when he came down in the morning he found his dear
     father lying just as he had left him the night before, looking
     only more peaceful, more beautiful, and he took up the same
     thought,--'Sall I buss the flies off father, now he has gone to
     heaven?' I felt it a peculiar blessing, that all the
     circumstances of the event were such as to make any movement or
     change in any external respect unnecessary, so that the
     children might have their first associations with the fact of
     death without any horror, and their recollection of their
     father uninterrupted by any repulsive details. He lay in his
     bed just as he had when talking with them, until he was
     removed from the house, and that process the little ones did
     not witness. I doubt not it will give a tone to their view of
     the subject through life. But why should I dwell upon these
     externals? Simply that you may dismiss from your mind any
     thoughts of distress connected with us at that moment; and you
     know all that I can tell you of the spirit _within_.

     "You know how I have suffered in anticipation of this
     separation, but all the worst agony connected with it is yet to
     come. It is comparatively easy now to be calm and firm and
     thankful; the first thought cannot but be of him and his
     present happiness; and the sense of relief that the sufferings
     of that blessed being are over, that he has gone to his
     Father's home, 'to the house of his rest,' is so great, that no
     other thought dare intrude. I long to see you, and hope to do
     so soon. I go to Cambridge to-morrow, to be in Boston on
     Sunday. I could not deny myself the luxury of going once more
     to that house of his religious affections, in connection with
     him. That spot has most sacred, most tender associations to me,
     so full that it would be enough to sit there in silent
     meditation; and if I feared any thing, I should fear that it
     would be too overwhelming to be borne, to go there in public.
     But I have found by my experience on Monday, that the
     surroundings of such a moment are of no consequence. I have a
     quiet faith that the strength will come. O, may improvement,
     elevation, come also!... John leaves us soon. He and I had a
     holy season, as we went, in the stillness of the night, to
     carry those precious remains to Cambridge.

     "I find it is as I anticipated,--I feel a greater nearness to
     my husband than I did when he lay on his couch in the next
     room. I am separated from that _form_; I look back to it only
     as the associate of the spirit in health; I do not cling to it
     now. Yours in all love.

     "M. L. W."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Framingham, October 6, 1843._

     "MY DEAR MARY:--

     "The first moment I can call my own since my return from
     Cambridge, I turn to you. I know no one to whom I can so freely
     pour out all that is in my heart, as for the first time I pause
     a little from the pressure of necessary action, and realize the
     change that has taken place in every thing about me.... I
     wanted you at my side, when I stood once more at that sacred
     spot where we had laid our dear sister's image. You and I can
     never forget that moment. And, though not near, you were in
     close communion with the spirit in that holy hour.

     "As I glance back at the period which has elapsed since you
     were here, one single thought takes precedence of all the rest.
     It is astonishment at the power of the soul to sustain the
     pressure of circumstances, the tension and excitement of
     feeling, the necessity of positive, energetic action, when the
     very heart-strings seem riven asunder,--and the capacity of
     sustaining a tranquil, and even cheerful aspect, when 'the
     dull, heart-sinking weight' of a vital grief is bearing us
     down, down, down,--one can scarcely believe there are any
     soundings to that _deep_ gulf. Yet so it is; and does it not
     open our vision to the glorious truth of the alliance of the
     soul with its divine origin? What but that inexhaustible,
     fountain of strength could sustain us, when the waves of
     trouble thus threaten to overwhelm us? Rich, blessed, indeed,
     is the experience which brings this conviction to our minds;
     holy is that season in which we can live as it were in the
     light of such a faith! And holy indeed has it been to me.

     "I feel that my danger now is, that I reluctantly do any thing
     that shall remove me from the influence of the atmosphere which
     it seems as if death had created around me. Death? transition I
     would rather call it. And yet let us strive to disabuse that
     word of some of the horrors in which education has wrapt it. O,
     could you have seen how mercifully it was stripped of all its
     terrors to us, how calmly that spirit left its earthly
     tabernacle, how sweet was the impress of peace and rest it left
     upon that face which had so long almost lost its own expression
     in the veil that sickness had thrown over it! Its last
     expression would have rebuked the slightest wish to recall the
     spirit, had we been so selfish as to have indulged one. We
     could scarcely be willing to be separated from that image of
     him we loved, so powerfully even in death did it express his
     character. Even the little children preferred being there,
     rather than anywhere beside; and will, I think, all, including
     even little Charlie, remember this first knowledge of a
     death-bed as a beautiful experience.

     "The first part of Henry's sickness he seemed quite unconscious
     of what was around him; torpid, and at times wandering in his
     expressions. But the last three weeks, although still unable to
     exert himself to talk,--for it tired him, he said, 'even to
     think,'--his mind was perfectly clear; indeed, I had reason to
     suppose his mind was never as much clouded to himself, as it
     appeared to be to us. The pressure upon his brain was so great,
     as to produce great difficulty of action of any kind; his ideas
     were often clear, but the power of finding words to convey them
     was paralyzed. He said little at any time, and yet I find, in
     surveying the whole period, that I have many satisfactory views
     of the whole state of his mind in relation to the change that
     he was making. He never had but one view of his own situation;
     he felt decidedly that the time for going home was come,--'the
     fitting time,' 'the best time'; and he was grateful that the
     toil of sickness and inability was at an end. And so convinced
     was I, that, if he should revive from that attack, it could
     only be to continue to suffer still more than he had done,
     from inability to do what he had hoped to, this autumn, for the
     good of his fellow-men, that I too felt that it was indeed the
     fitting time. And so intense was my suffering from the
     apprehension of his continuing, for years perhaps, in the
     half-paralyzed, half-torpid state in which he lay for so many
     weeks, that it was not only with resignation, it was with a
     sense of relief, that I saw the doubt was at an end, the
     prisoner was released. So strange is it, that that event to
     which I had ever looked forward as the one thing that could not
     be borne in life, came at last under circumstances which made
     it welcome! Do I live to say it, to feel it? But O the chasm
     left in my lot, in my heart! Who can estimate it! No one. No,
     'the heart knoweth its own bitterness'; no human being can
     enter into it.... But I must stop. I hope to see you, or at
     least hear from you.

     "Yours with much love.

     "M. L. W."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Framingham, November 5, 1843._

     "MY DEAR EMMA:--

     "This has been a day of peculiar trial to me. At no period,
     since the commencement of Henry's last sickness, have I found
     it so difficult to adhere to my determination not to trouble
     those around me by the want of self-control. This first
     communion service since that sacred occasion, when we together
     witnessed that celebration of the rite by him who can now be
     present only in spirit! I feel as if I needed the relief of
     utterance; and to whom can I go for this relief so naturally as
     to you, who are strongly associated with the remembrance which
     so deeply agitates my spirit? It frightens me, when, upon such
     an occasion as this, I am led to probe the nature of my
     feelings, to find how much the reference to him in his
     spiritual state is becoming to me a substitute for all other
     thoughts of heaven. Great as was my absorption in him while he
     was with me here, I find it is so far from being lessened by
     the removal of his visible presence, that it has only changed
     its character into an idolatry of a more alarming nature. It is
     so much easier for me to conceive of his presence than of that
     of any other spirits, that it is the thought of his inspection
     of my inmost soul that dwells perpetually on my mind, whatever
     I do, or say, or think, to the exclusion, except by an effort,
     of the idea of even a higher presence. What shall I do, if this
     grows upon me? How shall I root out this enemy to Christian
     improvement? It may be only the first effect of the blow. Time
     may modify or rectify this infidelity,--I trust it will; but at
     present it is overwhelming. O, how deeply do such seasons of
     strong emotion make me realize my loneliness, now that I have
     no longer that ever-ready sympathy, that composing,
     strengthening counsel to turn to, with the certainty of comfort
     and peace in the turning! I do indeed feel his presence with
     me, but my heart calls and he 'answers not again'; there can be
     no response to my application. How deeply, how tenderly, is he
     associated with all the holiest hours of existence! It seemed
     to me to-day I could hear his voice in the hymn which had so
     often been read by him on the same occasion; I could anticipate
     the words which would fall upon my ear as we should leave that
     service together, rejoicing, as he was wont to do, that such a
     service had been ordained for weak, sensual mortals, to take
     their souls sometimes away from flesh and sense to the
     unfettered contemplation of heavenly love. Fully do I realize,
     that the sense of loss is to grow with every added day of my
     existence; nothing can come near enough to supply it in the
     least degree; nothing else can become so a part of one's own
     self. This consciousness of desolation must press perpetually
     like a weight upon my heart, as long as life lasts. And yet
     how strange! I go on, and every thing goes on outwardly as
     before. I eat, drink, sleep, talk, and laugh with others,
     whenever it is important for their comfort to do so, as if
     nothing had changed. In the midst of all, I stop and ask
     myself, 'Am I dreaming?' Or is it really true that I am
     alone,--that that point has been actually passed, which in
     anticipation had always seemed impossible in the possession of
     any power of action? I have thought that the trial could not be
     borne and sense left!

     "But why indulge myself in this strain? I find I cannot write,
     or even think, connectedly; so I will stop.

     "Your own MARY."

Language so strong as this, from a nature so calm as Mary Ware's, means
a great deal. Nor can we marvel. For what a change is that through which
a true woman passes,--from wife to widow! Is it not greater than even
the first change? Often has Mary referred to the difference, which few
could feel as she had, between her former isolation as to natural ties,
and her adoption into a large and united family circle. But _now_ she
felt the change through which she was passing still more,--inasmuch as
she had a more profound and pervading sense of all that is comprised in
conjugal affections and parental responsibilities. And while none can
have a higher standard of duty and obligation, very few have a meeker
estimate of their own powers; particularly as regards the care and the
training of Children. This was to be now her great work,--the chief
object and anxiety of her remaining days. And unfeignedly did she
shrink, not from the task, but from the vastness of the trust and the
burden to be sustained _alone_. "When I think of this large family of
little children to be left to my care, instead of _his_, it requires a
process of thought to feel so assured that God can bring good out of
seeming evil, and work out his purposes by the weakest instruments, as
to be able to calm the throbs of anxiety, and say, 'Peace, be still!' to
the troubled spirit." True, her ideal was high, and she could never be
satisfied with that which would more than satisfy many parents. Years
before had she said of one of her children: "For her intellectual
progress I have no anxiety, that is, so far as the acquisition of
knowledge goes; but how to cultivate the moral, so that it shall govern
and guide this intellectual progress into the right channels, and
establish the supremacy of the _spiritual_ in the character, I know
not." Again, she exclaims: "And these are Mary Pickard's children! When
I go back in recollection to Pearl Street days, to its long hours of
lone watching, when my mind dwelt upon the deficiencies of my condition
until it had exaggerated to a more than earthly possibility the
happiness of having something to love which would satisfy the desires of
my mind and heart,--and then compare that longing with the present
reality,--is it strange that I can scarcely realize my identity with
that same lone one?" The time had now come when she was again a "lone
one." And this is what we would say,--that the loneliness which
_follows_, is far greater than that which precedes, the knowledge and
enjoyment of such communion and coöperation as she had known. Nor is
there any thing inexplicable in the fact, that the most conscientious,
even the strongest in character and highest in aim, suffer most from a
sense of their own deficiencies, and use language which seems to many
exaggerated and hardly sincere. "I am so perpetually oppressed," writes
Mary at this time, "with the sense of nothingness, it is so very
difficult for me to realize that I am to be regarded even by my children
as the leader in any matter, that it all but frightens me to have any
one look to me as one who is expected to have some influence. This is no
mock humility; I think as well of myself as I deserve. I am aware that
it grows in some measure out of the newness of my position, and know
that time and habit may bring somewhat different feelings; but it is
only these which _can_ do it, and I must suffer for a long time yet from
this as well as from the other effects of isolation."

We are the more willing to disclose such feelings, in connection with
such character, from the fact that the world is severe in its judgment
of those, whose affliction is not worn as a garment or an altered
visage, but whose whole aspect and demeanor, even their occupations and
apparent enjoyment of life, are nearly the same as at other times. At
the time of her writing the words which we last quoted, Mrs. Ware had
just exerted herself to collect in her own desolate home a little circle
of children and youth for their social enjoyment, in which she freely
mingled, and doubtless seemed cheerful and happy. And yet she said of it
soon after, that at no moment since her trial had she felt so intensely
or suffered more poignantly. "Every word was an Herculean labor; and I
was conscious that all were disturbed by it. For once, I must say, _I
could not help it_. And shall I tell you all my wickedness? I have in
vain tried to look at life with sufficient interest to care about
living. It has seemed to me that my children would be as well without
me, as they could be under my imperfect guidance. I could not excite in
myself any of that zest in the pursuit of an object which alone could
satisfy the heart. I felt _homesick_ when I waked up in the morning, and
would fain shut my eyes and forget that there was any thing for me to

How much she _did_, particularly in regard to that which we see was most
upon her heart, the care and culture of her children's minds, will
appear in larger extracts which we make from letters of this and the
previous year, brought together as referring to the same great subject
of education and domestic discipline,--the first having been written to
her husband, the others to her children.

     "My dear Henry: ... When I am left to the sole care of my
     family, there is nothing that exercises my mind more than the
     right performance of family worship. It seems to me that it
     ought to be more peculiarly adapted to the capacities of
     children than we are apt to make it. For the older and
     well-educated part of a family, other means of instruction and
     communion with God are open and acceptable every day; but the
     children and domestics must of necessity depend upon this
     exercise for nearly all the religious influences of the day.
     The simplicity of diction which would fix the attention of
     even little children, would not be too plain for the generality
     of domestics; and we all feel that the most simple is often the
     most sublime and affecting expression in relation to the soul's
     connection with its Creator. I think, therefore, that the main
     object should be to excite in the minds of those present some
     clear ideas, which will be likely to stay in their minds
     through the day, and work there to some definite result; and
     that the choice of subjects should grow as far as possible out
     of the peculiar circumstances of the family,--not merely the
     general, but particular circumstances. For instance, if they
     are about separating, to dwell upon the use to be made of such
     an event, reminding us of _final_ separation and the tenderness
     which should grow out of that thought towards all that are
     left. Is one child peculiarly out of humor? It will do no harm
     to any to be reminded of the importance of governing our
     passions; and, if done in the right way, subdue the rebellious
     spirit more than any arguments. So, too, with regard to reading
     the Scriptures; it seems to me the time is all but lost if a
     familiarity of the words only is gained, and that the book
     should never be closed without having the attention fixed upon
     some one at least of the useful passages read, either in the
     way of explanation or application to duty.... I have not time
     now to put into shape half that is in my mind, but I really
     feel that we do not do justice to our children in not acting
     more directly upon their religious characters every day. In
     many instances, I believe a wayward spirit might be checked by
     having a useful current of thought opened for it, which would
     take off the mind from the subject of irritation."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dear E----: ... Looking at affairs at home from a distance, I
     see many points in which we need improvement, and I want to
     talk and read more with you upon the subject of education.

     "When we look back, and see and feel how much the circumstances
     by which we were surrounded, and the treatment of those about
     us, affected our views, we must bring it home to ourselves that
     what _we_ are now doing is having the same influence upon them.
     God has set us apart in families to mark out for us a specific
     line of duty; and however we may wish that our path had been
     different, or our duties less arduous, as they are of His
     appointment, we have reason to believe they are the best for
     us. The longer I live, the more I realize the value of love,
     affectionate interest; and I think that many things, which we
     are apt to consider of moment at the time, ought to give way
     whenever they interfere with the cultivation of the affections
     in children. Disagreeable manners, childish though annoying
     ways, may be remedied in after-life, and are, after all,
     matters of very secondary importance in comparison with the
     growth of love, which is often sacrificed to them. To children
     the perpetual irritation of a check in trifles keeps the temper
     in a turmoil, and, by their standard, makes small things as
     important as great ones. Fault-finding is blame to them, be the
     subject what it may, and they will have an association of
     jarring and displeasure with those who keep it up, let the
     cause be ever so small, as lasting as if it were larger. We
     need change in this thing; we want a more cheerful atmosphere,
     a more affectionate, interested one, in which the affections
     may grow, and have room to expand. I do believe in Mrs. ----'s
     doctrine to a great extent, that _virtue_ thrives best in an
     atmosphere of love. We should gain our object better, if,
     instead of finding fault with an action, we set ourselves to
     produce a better state of feeling, without noticing the action.
     Children imitate the manners of their elders, more especially
     of their elder brothers and sisters; for of course they feel
     that they are similarly situated, not always making the
     distinction of age which is expected of them. And I have always
     observed that the younger members of a household take their
     tone from the character and ways of the first in their rank,
     more than from their parents. I could name many instances of
     this which have come under your notice, as well as mine, and it
     does, as you say, make the responsibility of an older sister
     great. But do not feel that it is too great; be contented with
     doing all that you can, and not discouraged because you cannot
     satisfy your own conceptions. It is best for us, it is said, to
     aim at perfection; even if it is not to be attained, it keeps
     up our efforts for something higher and higher."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "My dear E----: ... The old saying, that 'children will be
     children,' might be improved by the substitution of 'should'
     for 'will.' I mean in the sense, that their natural characters,
     which are as different as their faces, _ought_ to be educated
     gradually; not requiring of one child any thing because
     another child does it, to whom the thing may be perfectly
     easy, or more than we can in justice require of them at their
     age, in consideration of their peculiar circumstances. We are
     to judge and discipline a child simply in reference to its own
     individual character and circumstances, and deal with it with
     the single view to the improvement of its individual character,
     rather than to our own comfort or even its external
     improvement. Now, of course, the application of this principle,
     in detail, involves a great deal of thought, observation, and
     self-denial; but if we really desire to do good, and this
     opportunity of doing it is in our path, can we engage in a work
     of more extensive good, when we consider how these children's
     characters are to influence a still larger circle, and how
     great is our responsibility to future generations as well as
     the present, that we do all we can to prepare the way for their
     best instruction?... But to come down to our own case. We all
     take too much notice of mere _disagreeables_. The evil of doing
     this is obvious; if the child is dealt with in the same way for
     making a noise, or for carelessness, that it is for a moral
     delinquency, it soon learns to confound moral distinctions; and
     if it is fretted by being perpetually talked to about small
     things, it is easily worked up to a state of irritation which
     leads almost insensibly, and certainly without any design, to
     the commission of some moral misdemeanor. I think we may often
     see this with all children, and it is very clear, in such a
     case, that their sin is as much our fault as theirs. We should
     watch our own state very carefully, and see how far our desire
     to cheek them grows out of our own peculiar state at the time,
     and how far that influences our view of the offence. We all
     know that what at some times we feel to be a great annoyance,
     is of no consequence to us at others; and for the same reason,
     in a different physical state, it is sometimes easier for them
     to control themselves than at others."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dear E----: ... I think it is good for young people to have
     some variety in life. I suffered much from the want of it; and
     I trust that you have too much good sense and right feeling to
     be unreasonable in your wishes, or in any measure unfitted for
     the duties and enjoyments of home by the indulgence. I know it
     has formerly been a great trial of your patience to pass from
     the irresponsible position of a visitor, to the occupations and
     responsibilities of home. But I trust, as you grow older and
     look at life more and more with a clear appreciation of its use
     and end, you will take more and more delight in the
     consciousness of living for some useful object; and, despite
     unpleasant accompaniments, find, in using all your powers for
     the good of others, a pleasure beyond any to be derived from a
     mere indulgence of taste. We cannot, and we had certainly
     better not, if we could, choose our own lot in life; we know
     not in that matter what is best for us. It is happily under the
     guidance of a more perfect wisdom than we can attain, and we
     may rest in faith that our position in life is unquestionably
     the best one for us, or it would not have been appointed.
     Therefore, dear E., remember that He who appointed all 'knows
     what is in man,' and in wisdom and love adapts our trials to
     our wants; and the very fact that such and such things are
     particularly hard to bear, is a proof that we need to cultivate
     just those virtues which would make it easy to us to bear

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Most people think it as well that the young should 'fight
     their own battles,' as they term it, and find their own way out
     of their childish troubles. But I believe many a character is
     seriously injured by the want of _aid_ in its petty
     difficulties, at that period when the right principles of
     action are most easily taught; they are as necessary to the
     right adjustment of small matters as of great.... I do not
     think as much as I once did of the loss of constant intercourse
     in the daily routine of life, in cultivating family affection.
     I believe family attachments are sometimes increased by
     occasional separation. But I do think a great deal of the loss,
     to a girl, of all domestic education, for the whole of that
     period when domestic occupations can best be learned. Of all
     objects in life there is none more distasteful to me than a
     _merely_ literary woman; no amount of learning is a fair
     balance, in my mind, for the feminine graces of a true woman's
     character. It is not merely that she looks better, clean and
     tidy, or that a careful use of the needle is a preventive of
     waste in the use of means,--although these are considerations
     worth weighing. But there are internal graces connected with
     these external habits; and there is no higher object for a
     woman's life than the cultivation of those powers which make
     the comfort of a well-ordered household."[5]

[Footnote 5: A strong assertion; but it is evident that Mrs. Ware's idea
of a "well-ordered household" comprised all that the Scriptures mean by
the direction, "Set thine house in order."]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_December 31, 1843._ The last day of this most eventful year!
     Dear Annie, how many precious, solemn thoughts does the very
     writing its date suggest! In all the future years of our lives,
     be they many or few, no one, it now seems, can bring to us so
     great, so affecting a change in outward things, as this year
     which is just passing away. It is not only that the outward
     circumstances of our lives are to take a new course, because he
     has left us who was to us the leading and controlling spirit in
     all that pertained to our life in this world, but that we shall
     no longer feel the perpetual action of his character in the
     daily detail of the education of our souls....

     "Your expressions of discouragement and anxiety about yourself
     touch me very much. I can enter fully into all your feelings,
     for at your age I was not only separated from the loved circle
     and influences of home, for a time, but I lost for ever my
     chief earthly dependence for aid and happiness in my mother's
     death. Thus, being left to myself, I was led to a
     self-inspection and care of my own character, which do not
     usually come for many years after. I know all the trials that
     beset one's path at your age, for I have had deep experience of
     them; and I can say with confidence to you, that they may all
     be overcome by a resolute will, united to a true spirit of
     _humility_. Not, perhaps, in one year or two; but I do know
     that, by the persevering use of the means which God has placed
     within our reach, in reliance upon and earnest seeking of the
     aid which he will give, we shall make progress in the
     Christian life, the only life which can give us any
     satisfaction.... Seek the _truth_ in your own character, and
     see it in others. Fix for yourself a high standard of
     excellence, and never 'tire nor stop to rest,' until you have
     put yourself in the way to attain it. Stop not then; there is
     no stopping in this world (or in another, I believe).... Look
     your great difficulties full in the face; seek not to gloss
     them over, or find excuses for them. You have them as the means
     of excellence, by giving you something to do, a mode of
     applying Christian principle. Use them as such, and faint

     "One thing I would suggest. You have been in the habit from
     earliest childhood, and I trust are still, of praying before
     you close your eyes to sleep. I am not sure that you have
     always done the same when you first awake in the morning. I
     know that much good may be derived from thus commencing the day
     with some private devotional exercise. The time given to it
     must of course depend upon circumstances; yet there cannot but
     be, under any arrangement, opportunity for at least the
     offering of a petition for light and strength, to meet the
     duties and temptations of the day on which you are entering,
     and a thought and resolution in regard to some particular fault
     to which you know you may be prone. I cannot but believe, that,
     when the day is so commenced, there is less danger of yielding
     to temptation than if no such act were performed."

One is perplexed to understand how Mrs. Ware, who neglected no duty,
found time to write so much; for the letters here published are a small
part of all she wrote, and scarcely any do we publish entire. The
explanation is, that they were written after every thing else was done,
at night, and very late in the night. It shows the strength of her
frame, that she could follow this habit through life, till near the end.
We suppose it to have been very rare that she was not up and at work
beyond midnight. So was it particularly during the winter after Mr.
Ware's death; when her great solace and chief occupation were found in
reading and arranging the immense mass of his manuscripts and unfinished
works. She says in December: "The sense of the uncertainty of life,
which is always awakened by the circumstance of death, made me anxious
to do a great deal with respect to Mr. Ware's papers, which no one could
do as well as I; the day was too full of movement to allow an
opportunity of doing this before evening, and I found myself night after
night poring over manuscripts until twelve, one, and two o'clock, for
weeks together." This is not mentioned as an example to be followed; nor
is there reason to think that it is ever done with entire impunity. But
the work to which she thus gave herself, through that lone winter, was
one of pure and high gratification. "It was a touching employment, not
melancholy. This living life over again, when all its sands have been
'diamond-sparks,' not dazzling, but reflecting the bright hues of
heaven, cannot be melancholy; it is but a type of future blessedness."

But not for her own pleasure alone was this done. She had yielded to the
earnest desire of all the friends of her husband, that a Memoir should
be written, and many of his letters and private papers given to the
public. Not, however, without long deliberation and great reluctance did
she give her consent; for, as we have said in the beginning of this
work, it cost a hard struggle, and even "agony," to open to the public
eye that "sacred inner life" which seemed her own, and only hers. But
here, as everywhere, she soon conquered all selfish feeling, and, taking
the largest view of usefulness and duty, afforded every facility for a
faithful exhibition of such a character. To her son she says: "I know
that, if the picture of what he was is to be a true one, it must have
all those beautiful lights and shadows thrown into it which come from
the light of the soul; and I hope to be able so to lay aside all
personal consideration, as to do what ought to be done in this regard to
make the work as _useful_ as it can be. I trust you will feel so too. In
our horror of gossip, do not let us go to the other extreme, and be too
external and cold." In all such relations, it was a great part of her
principle and power of action, that she had entire faith in her
husband's knowledge of her motives; with the added conviction, that,
whatever had been his thoughts and wishes under the burden of the flesh
and of disease, he was now looking only at the highest and broadest
aspect, the spiritual and eternal issues of every act. Her communion
with his mind seems to have been as habitual and actual as it is
possible to conceive. Again and again does she refer to it, and
expresses regret and pain when a doubt is raised, or a check given to
the full, cordial assurance of the "fellowship of the spirit." And her
enjoyment of this thought was never troubled, but rather enhanced, by
the thought of _another_, with whom the sharer of her affections and her
existence was now reunited in heaven. Distinctly does she refer to it,
in writing to one of the children of those parents who were now restored
to each other. "I never experienced the sense of continued union as
fully as now. It may be visionary, but I know it is beneficial. Your
mother and your father are as much really present with me, to my
consciousness, as if Scripture had told me so, it seems to me. In his
case, it is but a continuation of perfect oneness; in hers, it has
always been the sense of accountableness, which has aided it."

We attempt no concealment of our wish to exhibit fully this rare and
beautiful feature of a Christian's faith and love,--less rare, we would
fain believe, in the reality of its existence, than in the courage that
avows it. We value it, not only for its own sake, in a connection where
it is needed and may be the source of peculiar happiness, but also for
the evidence it affords of the power and glory of our religion. We find
a letter written on the first anniversary, after Henry Ware's death, of
_her_ decease who had been the object of his earliest attachment, and
whom every later change, in life and death, endeared the more. The
letter was written to a child of that departed mother.

     "_Framingham, February 5, 1844._

     "MY DEAR JOHN:--

     "I always feel, when I get your letters, as if I wanted to sit
     down and write to you at once, so much have I in my mind that I
     wish to communicate to you, and so much do I enjoy free
     communication with you. You may thank your stars that I do not
     give way to my inclination, for you would have more prosing
     than you would care to read. I am tempted now to depart from my
     usual custom of writing only once a fortnight, because I feel
     so much the want of some one with whom to commune upon the
     subject which cannot but occupy my mind upon this day. It is
     the first time for seventeen years that I have not had a
     delightful conversation with your dear father upon the event of
     which it is the anniversary. I loved to hear him tell me of
     your mother, for it helped to strengthen the feeling which I
     have loved to cherish, the sense of responsibility to her in my
     connection with her children. And her character was so fine a
     one, and her early experiences so much like my own, that I
     always felt that I gained wisdom as well as pleasure in
     contemplating it....

     "I have often wished I could convey to your mind, without the
     intervention of words, what I felt to be the tenderness of the
     relation in which I stood to you; for my views and feelings
     have always been so different from what I find to be general,
     that it was not to be expected that you should understand them
     without such communication. From the very commencement of my
     connection with your father, I have realized the truth of my
     long-cherished theory, that the strength of one affection does
     not interfere in the least with the strength of another; we
     love not one brother or sister or child the less _because_ we
     have another to love; if there is any difference in the degree,
     it arises from other causes than number; and I know not why it
     should not be the same in all relations, where the soul is
     large enough to take so wide a range. I would thank God for
     this special blessing in addition, I might almost say above
     all others, for without it all others would have had a bitter
     ingredient. It has been one of the purest sources of happiness,
     that we could dwell together upon the memory of her who had
     gone, and feel an equal anxiety and interest in fulfilling her
     wishes towards _her_ and _our_ children.

     "With the love of your Mother."

One other letter we give from Framingham, addressed to the same son, in
relation to the first experiences and discouragements of the ministry.
Its plain good sense may be of use to some other beginners,--confirmed
as it is by the fact disclosed in it, that some of the strongest minds
and most successful ministers have suffered in the same way.

     "_Framingham, March 15, 1844._

     "MY DEAR JOHN:--

     "... I turn now to that for which I most wished to write,--your
     present anxieties in your professional duties. I cannot indeed,
     as you say, help you, as _he_ could have done, but O how fully
     can I sympathize with you! It is to my mind only the
     reiteration of what I have so often heard from him; even after
     the ten years' experience which he had had when I first was
     partaker of his joys and sorrows, he suffered at times as you
     do now; and the details he has given me of his trials when he
     was first settled would equal, if not exceed, yours. You may
     depend upon it, dear John, yours is a common experience of all
     young ministers who have feeling and sensibility enough to be
     really good ministers; and you must not be discouraged by
     thinking your difficulties grow out of peculiar disabilities. I
     remember hearing a parishioner of Mr. Buckminster say, that he
     felt so much his incapacity to administer comfort to the sick
     and afflicted, that it was distressing to see him in a
     sick-room. I wish you could talk freely with some ministers
     about it. I have no doubt you would find it more or less so
     with all, according to their natural temperament. As I have
     said again and again, it is well to keep one's conscience and
     sensibilities tender; it is well to realize one's deficiencies
     to the extent of making us humble and energetic to improve, but
     not to make us despond or be discouraged; for; 'faint heart
     never won' the prize of goodness, any more than of the less
     spiritual objects. I know what it is to feel that more is
     expected of one than _can_ be accomplished; and it is, I grant,
     of all things the most distressing. But we must shut our eyes
     to all such considerations, and go on, looking only to the
     standard we have in our own minds, striving with all diligence
     to reach that, and be satisfied with striving, if it be but
     real, hearty endeavor.... I remember there were some passages
     in Taylor's 'Holy Living,' which used to be a great help to me
     in your state of mind. I have not the book by me, and cannot
     quote the words. Fenelon, too, has much comfort for one thus
     tried.... We forget, in our familiarity with what seem
     'commonplaces,' that they really contain the great, fundamental
     principles from which all strength, all consolation, is to be
     derived; and of course, when the vision is quickened by present
     need, they all seem to be worth more than at any other time.
     And as to the other point, it is not you that speak,--you are
     only the medium by which the truths which _God_ spake are
     conveyed to the outward ear; you are only His instrument, and,
     while you are to seek to supply yourself with a full portion
     from the fountain of all truth, you are to be satisfied to
     present it as His, not your own; sympathizing as a
     fellow-Christian, not dictating as a leader and guide. I see no
     other way in which a young, inexperienced minister can have any
     comfort in that department of his duties. Many reasons come to
     me which may account for the greater difficulty in cases of
     sickness, than in bereavement.

     "Truly your Mother."

While looking for a place of permanent residence for herself and family,
with an opportunity of doing something for their support, Mrs. Ware
received an earnest invitation from a gentleman in Milton, to go there
and take the instruction of three little children, in connection with
her own, for two or three hours a day. On many accounts, she was
inclined to accept this offer at once. But she looked well at all sides
of it, and especially at its moral aspect and probable influence upon
character. One is struck with her plain and practical, yet comprehensive
and exalted view of the question, where so many would have looked only
at the immediate and tangible advantage. "There are many things to be
weighed before so great a step is taken. Expense is of course a great
item, but not the greatest. The influences upon my children must be the
first, usefulness the second, and the possibility of living without debt
a _sine qua non_ anywhere. Now I am not a very romantic person, and am
not disposed to live under any less refining influences than I can help.
But my children are destined to work for their living, and I wish to
have them as happy in doing so as right principles and a healthy tone of
mind can make them." The result of full reflection was favorable to the
plan; and the wisdom of her decision, while it affected all her
remaining days, became more and more manifest to the end. From that
moment she had a new object, demanding and creating new energies. "I
already see how I shall be a great gainer by this plan, in the strength
of the stimulus it will offer to mental effort. In fact, I begin to
realize that I am more exhausted mentally than I am physically, by the
anxieties of the past, and absolutely need the application of salutary
mental medicines, as my body would of physical, if it had suffered in

Thus another change was to be made,--and the last, in a life of change.
It cost an effort. "This first going forth alone, to bear new
responsibilities, to make a new experiment, unaided by _his_ strength,
unassisted by his wisdom,--this is indeed to realize the loss of his
companionship as I have not done before. But that blessed faith! that
faith in Him who is 'the strength of the lonely,'--I have a trust that
it will be sufficient for me, although I cannot now see how."

A few lines to one of her children, as the last record on that sacred
spot, closes the life at Framingham.

     "_March 26, 1844._ I think you will like to have a few words
     written from this room, consecrated as it is to us, by having
     been the last earthly home of dear father's spirit. This is the
     last time I shall sit in this spot; and I feel as if all the
     memories of the past were concentrated in this moment of time.
     How much do they tell of the peaceful and holy life which was
     here closed; how much recall of that triumphant struggle with
     the weakness of humanity! Dear child, may we never lose the
     influence of those last days passed in this place; may it
     strengthen, encourage, quicken us to all diligence in our
     Christian warfare; knowing that, if we strive as he did, we too
     may enter into that rest which we doubt not he has attained.
     _This is a holy hour_,--this leaving the things that are
     behind, and stepping forward into a new, untried scene of
     life's discipline,--alone,--and yet not alone, for the Father
     is with me."



     "Life in Milton is a very different thing to me, if you are
     here or elsewhere; but I warn you against letting me cling to
     your sympathy, as I may if you give me so much of it. I have
     such a sense of vacuum in life, that I am in danger of leaning
     upon any one who will let me lean upon him; and my sense of
     impaired powers is so constant and oppressive, that I need to
     be driven to action, rather than spared it, to rouse my
     energies. This is no false modesty; I am sure that I am not
     myself; I have not yet come to act freely in my new position in
     life; I am not 'at home,'--shall I ever be in this world?"

Thus did Mary Ware write to a friend and true sympathizer, whose
residence in Milton was one of the great inducements that had drawn her
to that place. She had been there but a short time, and had not yet
risen from the complete exhaustion of body and mind--the effect of years
of solicitude, exertion, and suffering--for which she made too little
allowance. She had been more than mortal, if she had not felt the
effect, especially in the inevitable reaction when the great anxiety and
demand ceased. She would not allow that or any thing to plead for her;
and her danger was, as we have seen, that of forgetting the designed
and necessary sympathy between body and mind. She did not always forget
it. Her balanced mind led her to suspect the true cause of the change
that had come over her; and she confessed that what she had called "a
stroke of mental paralysis" was only physical, though affecting for a
time all the powers. Still she was inclined, through its own unconscious
influence, to give it a different name. "I doubt not you will smile at
my quick sensibility to every thing which is likely to injure myself;
and I am deeply convinced that I am growing more and more selfish."
Selfish in moral sensibility! May we not be instructed by this, as by
the other aspects of her eventful life? There is good sense in the
pleasantry of her words to Emma not long before, in regard to power. "I
sometimes wonder whether you and I are doing ourselves or our
constituents justice,--whether we do not attempt too much, to do any
thing as it had best be done,--whether we secure sufficient repose of
mind to keep our judgments clear, our thoughts bright, and the supply of
mental food what it ought to be to enable us to have the best influence
of which we are capable."

The first letter which we find dated at Milton discloses much both of
the inward and the outward state.

     "_Milton, June 11, 1844._

     "DEAR N----:

     "You have no doubt expected long ago to hear from me. You had a
     right to do so, and must have wondered at my silence, as I
     could not but know how much you must wish to hear of our new
     life. But I have purposely forborne to write; I could not have
     addressed myself to you, without uttering all that was passing
     in my mind and heart; and so perfectly chaotic has been the
     state of my feelings, that I was sure it was best to wait until
     time and experience had arranged and quieted them, before I
     trusted myself to the slightest expression. It was as if the
     fountains of the great deep of my soul were broken up, and the
     waters were overwhelming every power and faculty. I thought I
     had anticipated the whole amount of suffering which my
     isolation was to bring to me, and vainly imagined that I was
     prepared to meet it with a firm mind; but nothing but
     experience can picture the agonizing sense of desolation, which
     entering upon a new life, unaided by the sympathy that has been
     so long the light of life, brings to me. Nothing in life can
     come near it, unless it be the homesickness of a little child,
     when for the first time it finds itself in new scenes without
     its mother's presence. At Framingham I was but living out the
     plan of life which we had formed together; the sense of
     association was not for a moment lost, and it was comparatively
     easy to realize the continued presence of the spirit. But on
     leaving that home, I seemed for the first time to be cast upon
     the world alone, and every moment's experience in Boston and
     elsewhere only increased this feeling, until it reached its
     height in the necessity of forming here a new plan of
     existence, under circumstances of great responsibility,--alone.
     I used to think I felt all of loneliness that could be felt, in
     that little chamber in Pearl Street, and that humble cottage in
     Osmotherly; but that was nothing to this. I had then never
     known what perfect sympathy was; I could not understand as I
     now do its loss. I have been a puzzle to myself; but I still am
     sure that I would not change, one iota, the decree of

     "We came hither the last week in April, and find everything
     pleasant, and every body kind. As far as I can yet see, I think
     I anticipated very truly the pros and cons of the case, not
     excepting my own incapacity for the employment. One would laugh
     at the idea of a woman of forty-five doubting her capacity to
     teach children their letters; but the intellectual is the least
     part of the concern to my view, and I still think I have no
     tact for the education of children. The little I can do for my
     own is through the connection which nature has established, not
     a power of my own acquisition. I have determined to try the
     experiment for a year, and the result only can decide the
     question of the expediency of pursuing it another year. I must
     consider the good of my own children first, of course.... My
     time is entirely filled, from early rising to very late
     sitting. The only time I can take for writing is at night when
     all are in bed, and I ought to be; for the constant bustle of
     children wearies my head much.

     "Yours, as ever, lovingly.


So far from mental infirmity or loss, the mind of Mrs. Ware was never,
we should say, more active or energetic than at this time, as soon as
she was wholly rested. It is obvious, indeed, that the growth of the
mind had kept pace in her, as in many, with the growth of the affections
and higher aspirations. In such a character and life, mental and
spiritual are nearly synonymous. The spiritual had been always in
exercise, sharply disciplined and expanded. And thus chiefly, thus only,
we may almost say, had she advanced mentally. For she was not a student.
No period of her life had permitted her to be an extensive or habitual
reader. Persons, and not books, events and experiences, were her study.
She lost no opportunity of direct instruction, but she made it
subservient, or rather concomitant, with other engagements and positive
duty. And no better mental discipline, perhaps, could she have had, in
connection with the communion she enjoyed with the best minds, and the
lessons of her lot. We see the effect, and the progress, continually.
There is a striking difference between her earlier and later letters. We
have felt, in fact, that injustice may have been done, in giving so many
of not only the early, but the unstudied and hurried, productions of one
so pressed and unpretending. But they all serve to show her as she was.

If we mistake not, vigor rather than feebleness will be seen in her
remarks upon that vast and inexhaustible subject, which now engaged her
most,--education. She had always thought herself incompetent to teach;
and no burden or responsibility did she feel more painfully, than that
of opening, furnishing, and guiding the minds of children. This can
never seem a light or easy task, unless to the superficial in
self-knowledge and conscientiousness. Where the religious principle and
the moral aim are like hers, we can understand any confessions of
humility or distrust, in view of such a work; and we do not doubt the
entire sincerity of the fear she more than once expressed, that she had
almost done _wrong_ in giving up the reluctance she at first felt to
assume the office of a wife and mother, on account of her
disqualification for so great a charge. And now that it had become an
undivided charge, now that her children were left to her alone, and she
had engaged to be their teacher and sole guardian, she felt that the
duty, the solicitude, and the happiness of her life were centred there.
"O my dear child!"--she exclaims, in addressing one of them, and
referring to all,--"when I think of what you _may be_, my heart beats
almost impatiently to stretch forward; for if life is ever again to have
any zest to me, ever to seem like life, it must be through the
successful struggles of my children. On them I now must rely for all I
can enjoy of this world; their affection, their character, must be my
sole dependence."

In a letter to Emma, a little later, she speaks of her suffering from
the real or imagined loss of power, particularly in reference to the
young. "I sometimes think that some strange change has taken place in my
'physical'; for I cannot otherwise account for the torpor which hangs
over my mind. All the little animation I ever had seems to have
departed; and, although my mind is crowded with thoughts, they are a
dead letter when I attempt to use them for purposes of conversation. I
feel this to be a great evil in my intercourse with children. To be
sure, their own inexhaustible spirits are mostly sufficient to their
happiness; yet they need sympathy, not formally expressed, but existing
in the atmosphere about them. I think I have felt the want all my life
of a more cheerful home in early childhood, a fuller participation in
the pleasures and 'follies' of youth. I want to have my children
remember their home as the happiest spot, because the most sympathetic
as well as the most loving."

Of Mrs. Ware's seven children, all, excepting the oldest son, made part
of the family circle, with occasional absences at school. To one of the
daughters who was absent most, there are many letters containing
well-defined thoughts on intellectual and moral discipline, and
disclosing more fully the fact of her own trials of temper in early
life, to which we have before alluded, but which many find it difficult
to believe. From these letters we take the passages that follow, the
first relating to a visit to Framingham.

     "_Milton, October 1, 1844._ O, I did so enjoy being upon that
     sacred spot, living over again, as we can scarcely do but by
     the power of association, all the details of the holy time of
     which that day was the anniversary! I felt that it strengthened
     my faith and trust, that I could recall there something of the
     gratitude which I felt when that weary spirit was just
     emancipated. I had needed this; for as the cares and
     responsibilities of life have pressed more and more upon me
     every day I have since lived, their accumulated weight was
     beginning to keep down and obscure that brighter vision which
     faith then revealed. I had a delightful walk alone in the
     woods, recalling the sweet words which I had had with dear
     father when we strolled through those woods together. How
     strong is the power of association! I found that particular
     spots revived thoughts which he had uttered when there, which
     perhaps I should never again have recalled, elsewhere."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_October 18, 1844._ ... I have determined, as a fixed
     principle, not to go beyond my income, for any thing short of
     necessity, and it is a delicate question to settle what
     necessity is. I choose to take it for granted that there never
     can be a question in any of our minds, that taste is to be held
     in subjection to principle, and I am not only willing, but
     desirous, to indulge taste, _within that limitation_, to the
     utmost bounds of my ability. I think a refined taste has an
     indirect, but certain influence upon morals; and I never can
     believe that one of my children will ever for an instant be
     pained at any restraint put upon them by a necessity which God
     has ordained.

     "I have great sympathy with the struggles of young people in
     this matter. I well remember how often I had to school myself
     (for you know that many of my associates in early life were of
     the wealthy classes), when I saw my companions gratifying every
     wish for amusement, instruction, and dress, while I could only
     just keep decent enough not to shock them, and had to give up
     all my longings for expensive amusements and accomplishments.
     But I had this great advantage, by mixing familiarly with the
     rich,--I soon discovered that neither goodness nor happiness
     were dependent upon these adventitious circumstances, and I was
     so fortunate in the characters of those whom I thus dealt with,
     as to be made to feel very early in life that my own position
     among them was not in the least degree affected by externals. I
     soon began to look upon my oft-turned dress with something like
     pride, certainly with great complacency; and to see in that,
     and all other marks of my mother's prudence and consistency,
     only so many proofs of her dignity and self-respect,--the
     dignity and self-respect which grew out of her just estimate
     of the true and the right in herself and in the world. I can
     distinctly remember coming to this conclusion upon the occasion
     of wearing an old-fashioned, stiff, purple silk dress, with a
     narrow plaited tucker in it, to a party at Colonel P----'s,
     about the year 1808; I have never had any trouble on that score
     since. I did shed some tears, when I found I must give up my
     long-cherished hope of learning music, some years after, but
     they were 'natural tears,' and 'wiped soon.'

     "But I have become garrulous, talking about my youth (as old
     people are apt to), and have wandered from the case in hand."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_November 8, 1844._ I feel that I must have some free
     communication with you, for my heart is full to overflowing.
     That I can understand all your internal trials, I have often
     assured you; and, strange as it may seem to you, it is from
     _experience_ that I am enabled to enter into them. In the
     solitude of my early days, the consciousness of unworthiness
     preyed upon my spirit, until I persuaded myself that every body
     despised me, that I was nothing to any one, that nobody could
     care for me for my own sake. Many and many a night have I lain
     and thought of this, and looked at life through this medium,
     until I wished that I had never lived, and in my agony have
     cried myself into perfect hysterics. Even my mother's love
     failed to satisfy me, for I thought it was only an involuntary
     feeling for an only child, not depending upon or growing out of
     my own deserts. O, how many precious hours of life have I
     thrown away in uselessness to others, and in misery for myself,
     by this morbid sensibility! Would that I could recall them!
     Would that my example might ward off from you like regrets! I
     had suffered many years from this cause before I discovered the
     true source of my trial, or caught a glimpse of its remedy. And
     when at last it flashed upon me, that it was the want of true
     Christian humility, not the real conviction of inferiority,
     which led to all this, I could not at once credit my own
     consciousness; and many and severe were the mental exercises by
     which I was led at last to understand and _feel_ the truth. I
     believe this to have been a constitutional tendency; and
     however much the demon may have been brought under subjection,
     there have been times all along life, that it has so striven
     for the mastery, that I have feared it might conquer. But
     knowing one's danger is more than half the security against it,
     and I have gained in happiness more than a compensation for the

     "... When we find ourselves disturbed in spirit, we very
     naturally refer to the exciting cause as an excuse for it; and
     however we may blame ourselves, we still feel that those whose
     wrong-doing irritates us are really the most to blame. But we
     must get away from this view of things, if we ever hope to
     improve ourselves. As long as we live in the world, we are to
     live with those who do wrong. We can never be perfect, nor can
     we find others who are; and our care should be, to learn so to
     control ourselves, that not only shall we cease to be tempted
     to do wrong by their wrong-doing, but also cease to tempt them
     by our own. And who can doubt that the best hope of improving
     them is by showing them the advantage of self-control?"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_December 12, 1844._ I feel that you have begun the great work
     of self-education with a resolute will and I pray God to give
     you strength to pursue it without faltering. I do not expect,
     and you must not expect, that all can be done at a stroke. A
     whole life is too little for the attainment of all we desire;
     but having fairly set ourselves at work, let us go on
     hopefully, cheerfully, laboring diligently, 'knowing that we
     shall reap, if we faint not'; and remembering that, as we
     ascend, the prospect widens before us. And although we may be
     tempted to be discouraged, as we see more and more to be done,
     we are to look back upon the path we have trodden, and measure
     the steps we have taken, and find comfort and encouragement in
     the past, for the future. Go on, in the fear and _love_ of God,
     in the path which he has marked out, the path of right
     principle,--and fear not,--all will be well."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 1, 1845._ ... I can scarcely realize that the year has
     come to an end, so little have I marked the progress of time
     during its passage; and yet it has witnessed a great change
     outwardly. But how little does mere outward circumstance affect
     the life within,--how do we carry _ourselves_ with us
     everywhere! Does not this fact of experience help us to
     anticipate something of future retribution? The past year has
     been to me one of such constant, tremendous struggle, that in
     looking back upon it I seem to see nothing but the heaving of
     the waves upon which my spirit had been tost. And yet I cannot
     lose sight of the many bright spots, the many and great
     blessings with which my life has been cheered. How should we
     praise and thank God that our circle has not again been
     broken,--that we are blessed with such kind friends, and the
     means of improvement and usefulness! As I look forward into the
     uncertain future, I sometimes feel as if I longed to know how
     it will be with us at this hour next year; but a glance at the
     possible picture makes me ready to exclaim, 'O blindness to the
     future, kindly given!' I feel as if some great change may come,
     but I can leave the whole to Him who will direct it right....

     "How fully do I respond to the feeling you express of desire to
     see dear father once more. Sometimes,--I know not how,--for an
     instant an oblivion of the past comes over me, and the feeling
     of his temporary absence returns as of old when he had gone a
     journey, as if I could not wait, but _must_ see him soon. Why
     is not our faith in the unseen sufficient to satisfy these
     longings? Why do we not realize more fully the presence of the
     spiritual? Let us remember his almost dying words: 'Body and
     spirit may be separated; _spirit and spirit, never_.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_June 26, 1845._ ... No woman can be a true woman, whatever may
     be her intellectual acquirements or capacity, without that
     womanly knowledge which will fit her for domestic life, and
     enable her to fill 'home,' that appointed sphere of most
     women's duties at some time or other, with all the comforts
     which alone can make it happy. I do not mean merely the
     knowledge of the daily routine of outside domestic employments;
     but the cultivation of the domestic affections, the habits of
     concession and self-sacrifice, of delicate attention to the
     little things which go so far to make up the sum of domestic
     happiness, and the mechanical facility with respect to a
     thousand minor matters,--all of which nothing but practice in
     the atmosphere which calls them into exercise can possibly
     teach. I will not deny that I think a great deal, too, of
     education in 'common domestic employments,' as a means of
     happiness and usefulness. I hold that nothing can compensate
     for a wilful neglect of what may be made the means of so much
     comfort to others, as order, cleanliness, and a facility in
     administering to the human wants of our friends, which is
     peculiarly woman's province. Now, for this part of education,
     home ought to be the best place. Of course it is impossible,
     while attending school constantly, to find time for these other
     matters, and all theoretical learning upon such subjects can be
     of little use without practice."

Mrs. Ware had found another, new home,--a pleasant cottage built for her
use by a friend after she went to Milton, and entered by her and her
children toward the end of the year,--her last removal. And highly
favored did she feel, both in the society around her and the local
situation. No heart could be more alive to the beauties of that glorious
"Milton Hill" than was hers. Its rich landscape, its gorgeous sunsets,
and ever-varying hues, she enjoyed intensely, for their natural beauty,
and not less, if not more, for their moral influence. The thought of
her enthusiasm comes over us even now with subduing power, as we stand
again at her side on those beautiful heights, to which she longed to
lead _all_ her friends, and see the emotion, if we hear not the
utterance, of her glowing, admiring spirit. We catch again the earnest
words with which she urged a visit there, even in the freshness of her
widowed grief. "O this glorious view! I do hope the weather will be
good, that you may see it in all its glory. I had no conception of the
moral influence of the sublime and beautiful before. I really think one
must be _very_ wicked to be troubled about little things, within sight
of such a display of the Divine love; even children feel it."

The time had come when she might be pardoned, had she been "troubled,"
not indeed by "little things," but by some of serious import. A hidden,
insidious disease, which seldom leaves its nature long doubtful, had
begun its work, and the quickened spirit caught the first whisper of
monition. Even two years before, she had a sort of presentiment, if not
a distinct warning, of her fate, and in a pleasant way signified it to
her husband, who answered as pleasantly, and probably thought no more of
it. How much she thought of it we cannot know. But as early as the
summer of 1845 she prepared her mind for a painful operation; and, when
relieved of the immediate necessity, wrote thus to a friend: "You may
imagine the depth of my gratitude; for I could not doubt that an
operation, even if successful, would disable me for a long time; and I
could not look upon the fact of being taken off from my duties, without
much anxiety as to how my place was to be supplied. Still I have a
strong conviction that ultimately this is to end my days. But I am not
troubled at the thought, otherwise than that it is a mode of decay
distressing to others. But God's will be done!"

Mary Ware was not only to suffer, but to _do_ God's will, to the end.
And for four years longer we may follow her, and see her so busy and so
cheerful, that we might think her unaware of danger,--except that we
cannot fail to perceive in her letters how clear was her consciousness
of all that was impending. But very few knew it. The work of life went
on as usual. Her small school in the house occupied much of her time,
and interested rather than satisfied her. She does not appear to have
ever felt that she accomplished much in the way of teaching. She entered
upon the task distrustingly. "I begin my little school to-morrow, and I
doubt if any girl of sixteen, making her first essay at school-keeping,
ever felt more dread of the thing. I am ashamed and almost amused at my
own cowardice. The difficulty is, I have a great idea about a small
thing, and cannot feel fully that it is 'little by little the bird
builds his nest.'" There may have been another difficulty,--that
children so young exercised only her patience, and could not call into
action the higher powers, nor make her forget herself as she always
wished to do. But there was another and absorbing work of mental and
moral training in which she was constantly engaged,--that of her older
children, for whom, by communion or correspondence, she was striving to
do all that was possible in the time that remained to her.

About this time Mrs. Ware received from a friend, who knew her whole
condition, the offer of a "home" for either of her children that she
would be willing to spare, and for any period. She felt deeply the
kindness of the offer, as will be seen in her reply to it,--where we
also see her views of the wisdom of separating children, and giving them
unequal advantages.

     "_Milton, December 18, 1844._


     "As I read over again your precious letter, I wonder if there
     is any pardon for one who could have delayed so long to answer
     it. There could not be, were it possible that such delay
     proceeded from indifference, or want of just appreciation of
     the feelings which dictated the letter. To neither of these
     charges can I plead guilty; and can only say in my excuse, that
     I have not had, since it was found safely rolled up in a bale
     of carpeting, the command of one hour of daylight, and that my
     eyes have been so troublesome that I could not use them at the
     only time when my mind was free to write. Thus have I been
     compelled to put it off; until now, on the eve of leaving home,
     I dare not put it off any longer, and am compelled to take the
     hour of midnight to tell you, as I may be able, almost without
     eyes, how deeply grateful I am for it. You have indeed shown
     yourself the true friend by your benevolent proposition; what
     more could a friend do for another? But delightful as is the
     thought that any of my children could have such a home in the
     heart of one I so truly love, I dare not lift a finger, or say
     a word, which would decide such a question. I feel my own
     short-sightedness so much, I believe so fully in the
     circumstantial leading of Providence, that I could not venture
     to anticipate the future expediency of any arrangement, the
     advantages of which must depend upon a fitness of things _when
     the time comes_, of which we now cannot know any thing. How
     little we can tell what a child may be at any future
     period,--what its tastes, or its adaptedness to any particular
     position in life,--and how great may be the embarrassment which
     might arise from any arrangement made in anticipation of
     results which are never to be reached!

     "I have always had a strong objection to giving one member of a
     family any great external advantages over the rest. I had
     rather all should stand upon the same level, as a better
     security for the cultivation of that family affection and
     sympathy which I believe to be a valuable preservative of
     virtue. I should much prefer that all my children should live
     together, if it were possible to find any one to act as a
     judicious head to such a community, than risk the growth of
     separate interests and a feeling of superiority from any
     outward cause. This, you will say, is impracticable, as, in the
     common course of events, one is likely to gain for himself a
     better position than another; but when a strong family
     affection is established by early dependence, I have no fear
     for after influences,--I am willing to risk them. Yet this is
     only an idea, and I have no hope of its accomplishment; both
     the means and the person would be wanting, were I taken from
     them now, and I should leave them to their fate with the
     delightful confidence that there are many instruments in God's
     hands ready to do for them what may be best. Bless you, for the
     satisfaction of knowing that it is in your heart to be one of
     them. I have much anxiety about my children, not from any
     peculiar difficulty in their original characters, but from my
     deep sense of incapacity to guide any child in its progress
     through life.... I want Faith, I want Hope,--O, I want a great
     deal which I ought to have gained, by this time, to make life
     bearable. And yet, when I think of the possibility of being
     soon taken, I can hardly say, 'I am ready.' Pray for me that it
     may be otherwise when the time comes.

     "Ever yours, most truly.

     "MARY L. WARE."

As the months advanced, Mrs. Ware was more and more occupied and active,
evidently feeling that her time was short. And yet we see none of that
anxiety about the future which such a conviction is apt to create, in
reference either to the present world or another. As regarded another
world, and her approach to it, we doubt if she ever felt the slightest
dread or unwillingness to go. Not from any sense of fitness or
self-sufficiency, but with the deepest humility there mingled the
firmest trust; and a trust that refused to separate the exercise of
justice from mercy, in God. She could trust the one as much as the
other, and she could not distrust either; but, assured that a perfectly
righteous and omniscient Being would do exactly that which was needful
for her purification and perfection, she rested there,--and left all
else. We say this of the peculiarity of her faith, if it be peculiar,
from personal knowledge of her mind on this point, and from her own
explicit declarations at a later day. And we refer to them at this time,
to say that the same convictions sustained and tranquillized her in
regard to the future of this life for those whom she was to leave
behind. From the earliest moment of the expectation or apprehension of
death, a mother's mind must turn strongly and fix intently on her
children. And to most mothers this is the great struggle. Who can
wonder? Who will reprove, even if the struggle be bitter, and the vision
dim? HE will not, who has given a parent's affections, and likened to
them his own. Many a mother, who could leave the world without a pang
for herself, will suffer and fear for her children. It is only the
highest faith that prevents all this suffering and fear. Such, we think,
was Mary Ware's. Not in commendation do we say it,--we know not that it
deserves that,--but as the simple fact, that while she was always
doubtful of her power to guard and train her children in the best way,
she never feared to leave them with God, in reference either to things
temporal or spiritual. Even when she could see no sufficient provision
for their temporal comfort, she seemed unable to believe that she was
essential to that comfort, or that her life would be better for them
than her death. She _knew_ that that would be best which God appointed.
Does not this belong to the highest faith? No one could induce her to
make any request, or express even a wish, as to future arrangements, the
outward condition or fortune of any child. Many wishes, many prayers,
did she offer for the inward condition and the spiritual preparation for
both worlds,--but only the spiritual. "I could write a sheet," she says
to a mother who was herself anxious,--"I could write a sheet upon the
text your letter gives me, with regard to the preparation of our
children for life. But I can only say, Why should we feel anxious for
them when we are gone? Do we not see that the finest characters are
those which are formed by the necessity of acting for themselves?" And
again: "I have felt so grateful for having had health and strength to do
for Henry what I was sure no one else could do, that I had nothing more
to ask, and could submit to any thing. I hope I shall not find my faith
fail, come what will. I do _not_ feel that I am as essential to my
children. I do not feel that I am competent to train them."

If we have given of late none of Mrs. Ware's "annuals," it has only been
from the abundance of other material. They were continued without a
single failure to the end of life. From two of them at this period, we
take such parts as will help to show the state and progress of her mind.

     "_Milton, December 31, 1845._

     "MY DEAR N----:

     "Twenty years ago at this hour, I was writing my annual upon a
     pair of bellows, crouching over a small coal fire, in poor old
     Aunty's chamber at Osmotherly. What changes, what a variety of
     weal and woe, does a glance at the intervening space present to
     one's mind! It is all too familiar to you to make a
     recapitulation necessary, and you can understand, without any
     explanation, the wide difference between the nature of the
     loneliness I then felt, and that which I now experience. Have I
     not gained that which can never be lost, a bond of union with
     an immortal spirit which can never be broken? O that I could
     realize more the perpetuity of this spiritual union! then
     should I suffer less from this merely earthly isolation. But I
     have gained a little since last year, dear N----; either I have
     become more wonted by time to my condition, or the increasing
     care and anxiety about my children have taken my thoughts away
     from myself; be it what it may, I am more able to turn my mind
     from that one idea of change, and have acquired a more tranquil
     state of mind, under the consciousness of it. So far, so good;
     but God knows there is still enough of sin in me, to keep me
     from that state of quiet trust which, as a believer in
     Providence, I ought to have. I cannot get away from the
     terrible sense of insufficiency for the great work which lies
     before me in the education of my children, and I cannot learn
     to rely, as I should, upon the All-sufficient, for the supply
     of that deficiency. It is a living, acting Faith that I want;
     how shall I get it?...

     "It is long since I have written to you, but I have little of
     variety to detail. I spent a fortnight in November, and another
     in December, in Boston, helping Dr. John in the completion of
     his work, and since my return, three weeks ago, I have been
     very fully employed as nurse and maid of all work; for I found
     C----, W----, H----, and my Margaret, all sick. E---- too has
     not been well. Help is not to be got here extempore, and, with
     the exception of two nights from a nurse, I had no aid, until
     within a few days I have had a little girl of thirteen. You
     know something about such concatenations, and need not be told,
     that under such circumstances one finds no time for anything
     but supplying the bodily wants of those about us. Add to this,
     that I have been more than half sick myself all the time with
     one of my tedious coughs, keeping me awake at night and tiring
     me terribly in the day.

     "Only think of Emma's trip to England,--and, good soul, that
     she should go and see 'Cousin Jane' for me, and George Lovell,
     too! Does she not always do more than any one else?

     "Your faithful

     "M. L. W."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_Milton, December 31, 1846._

     "Thirty years, is it not, dear N----, since I began to make you
     my mother-confessor upon this anniversary? A long life, as some
     people would have used it; a long life it seems to me, as I
     look back to that first hour of consciousness that there was
     one being in the world to whom I could be as egotistical as I
     pleased, with impunity. A long life it has truly been to me,
     not so much in its usefulness or improvement, as in the variety
     of its experiences, internal as well as external. In fact, it
     seems like many lives; and as I survey different portions of it
     in retrospect, I can scarcely believe in my own identity with
     the being who appears upon the stage in each. How has it been
     with you? I am anxious to know whether others are as sensible
     as I am of a change of character from the influence of
     circumstances. We are wont to say, and I think I have seen
     strong proof of the truth of the assertion,--that 'the child is
     father to the man.' In truth, he is the future man, in all the
     leading traits of his character, as well at five as at fifty
     years of age; and yet I do feel as if I were not the same being
     that I was three years ago. Whether it is that I am growing old
     and losing my faculties, or whether the responsibilities of
     life have paralyzed my mind, or that the loss of that
     refreshment to the spirit which comes from the reciprocation of
     an affection for which there is no substitute, has exhausted my
     strength by depriving me of my spirit's resting-place, I know
     not. But certain it is, that from being a person of some
     decision of character, some energy, some judgment, I feel as if
     I were reduced to a mere child, ready to lean upon any body's
     judgment but my own, heartsick and homesick at the sense of
     incapacity to meet my duties. Is this want of actual power, or
     want of faith to use the power that is left? I don't know. All
     I know certainly is this: that I find myself utterly inadequate
     to the duties which belong to me, and am in consequence in a
     perpetual state of anxiety, which incapacitates me from doing
     or enjoying. This is a new strain, you will say; for me, truly
     it is a new state of mind, and whether remediable or not, I
     cannot tell; can you tell me?...

     "... How strangely various seem to be the means appointed to
     bring about the same end in life; and it is not easy to see how
     our various lots can all be brought to bear the same fruit of
     holiness and happiness. The greatest evil to me in life is the
     perpetual hurry, hurry, to get through the business of the day
     without leaving any necessary duty undone,--without a moment
     for quiet thought or intellectual improvement,--while here is
     my neighbor, it may be, at a loss how to fill up the vacant
     hours, thankful to resort to sleep to dispose of some of them.
     Does it seem as if we were both destined to the same end? The
     more I look upon life, the more I feel that the outside has
     less to do with improvement or happiness. And dissatisfied as I
     sometimes feel with my own position, I know not how I should
     improve it, on the whole. When I look calmly at my
     deficiencies, I see that they are not so much the effect of any
     outside cause, as the weakness of my own character. And if at
     times this brings a feeling akin to despair, it makes me less
     restless than I should otherwise be.

     "Dear N----, I have a strong feeling that this is to be a year
     of change to me; not from any present indications, but that it
     seems presumptuous to expect that the trial which I believe
     hangs over me should be long averted. Pray for me, that I may
     be prepared for it. I fear I shall never be any better. And so
     I begin the year, not wishing to look to its end, but with more
     indifference as to what that end may be to me, than I ever felt
     before. I fear this is not a right feeling....

     "Yours always.

     "M. L. W."

From the many letters of sympathy which Mrs. Ware wrote, we have drawn
little. They were sure to be many, from her position, her large circle
of intimate friends, the unreserved confidence reposed in her, and her
warm affections. How warm and tender those affections were, how prompt
to go out to those who suffered, and how sure to do something to soothe
and cheer, many of us could tell. Or rather, it is not to be told. But
the want of it is felt. There are those of that family and acquaintance,
who will never weep, without the remembrance of her ready and wise
sympathy. The power of sympathy is not given to all. The feeling may be
in all, but not the faculty of so expressing and adapting it as to make
it truly sympathy. It requires one to be "acquainted with grief." It
requires a quick discernment and deep insight of character. That which
is sympathy to one may not reach, or may offend, another. Mrs. Ware
understood this so well, that she always accepted, for herself, most
gratefully, all attempts at condolence, and at the same time adapted her
own to the character and case of the sufferer. "In my intercourse with
her," says one, "I felt the difference between feeling _for_ and feeling
_with_ another." There is nothing belittling or weakening in such
sympathy. It appeals to the highest, and not, as is often done, to lower
motives and affections in the mourner. It does not condole merely, but
rejoices with him. To a friend in sorrow she writes: "My confidence
makes me rather rejoice for you, than grieve, that you should be called
to such suffering. There is so much of sublimity in these _great_ trials
of faith, that one feels raised by them to a nearer approach to the
Infinite, to a clearer vision of the realities of the spiritual world, a
nearness, almost oneness, with the Father of spirits. Who would desire
to avert any thing that will do this for us?" There is, too, a
self-respect and decision, with which even her humility clothes itself.
"Your case is much upon my mind, and I cannot help wishing there were
some mental daguerreotype, or magnetic communication, by which I could
transfer to your mind, without the intervention of words, all that is
passing in mine concerning you. 'Vain mortal!' whispers Humility, 'what
could you show her worth her seeing?' I was not thinking of the _worth_,
but of the sympathy and love. I know that is worth something even from
poor me. You say, 'Why do you not talk?' I have no habit of talking
about the internal, and I have so little love of discussing the
external, that I have no free use of language in any way; and it always
seems to me, when I make the attempt to utter what my mind is full of,
as if my thoughts all came wrong end foremost; and the idea of taking up
a person's time to listen to me seems so foolish, that it embarrasses me
by making me feel in a hurry to get through _for their sakes_."

But if she could not or did not talk much, in the way of solace, she
wrote freely; and her letters, though not original or remarkable, are
drawn from the depths of experience and faith. We offer none entire, but
only the parts that indicate her manner of urging upon others the great
truths and principles on which she herself relied. The extracts that
follow are not all of one character, but such as were called forth by
different experiences near the same time,--all showing the serious cast
of her own thoughts, and her deepening interest in others' moral
condition. The first was written to her son in the ministry.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_February 9, 1846._ Dear John: Oh! you are but just beginning
     to know what life truly is in its solemn discipline. The great
     book of religious experience is now but opening to you; and,
     believe me, you will find in it treasures of happiness of which
     the heart of man _cannot_ conceive without such experience. You
     say you feel something of 'fear' coming over you. I will not
     say, put away all apprehension; uncertainty does hang over you,
     but let it not produce fear. I would advocate a courageous
     contemplation of possibilities, for in this way, I believe, the
     benefits of all trial may be made greater. But let it be with a
     quiet trust and hopefulness, such as we as Christians have a
     right to feel; let it be with a steady faith, that whatever God
     permits has a beneficent end and object, kindly to aid us in
     the great work for which we were placed in this world of
     trial,--the preparation of our souls for that spiritual life
     which may be lived even while we are still in this world. Does
     not our Father love us with a perfect love? Does he not know
     better than we can what is best for us? Has he not power to
     fulfil all his designs of good for us,--and shall we not, if
     with childlike faith in that love and power we surrender our
     will to his, find a peace which cannot be moved? I was once
     most forcibly checked in some fruitless attempt to obtain peace
     under great difficulties, upon false principles, by happening
     upon these verses of Watts (I believe):--

     'Is resignation's lesson hard?
       On trial we shall find
     It makes us give up nothing more
       Than anguish of the mind.
     Believe, and all the ills of life
       That moment we resign,' &c.

     And I never find myself trying to argue myself into
     acquiescence to any dispensation by reasons other than those
     implied in these lines, that they do not rise to my memory as a
     rebuke. But still the struggle,--O, that struggle is great, and
     we must not be discouraged that we find it so; that is part of
     the discipline. Strength comes by effort; and only think what
     precious teaching this is for _your_ work."

All who have read the beautiful Memoir of Robert Swain will feel the
greater interest in the following, written from his favorite
island-home, to a son in England, about the age of Robert, when he died.

     "_Naushon, September 13, 1846._ I am glad, dear William, to
     write to you from this place, not only because I am happy in
     being here, but because it must remind you of him with whose
     memory this place is so strongly associated, that one cannot
     hear its name without having his beautiful character brought up
     before the mind. I have thought much of you since I have been
     here, in tracing Robert's life by the memorials which are
     everywhere around me, in hearing his parents talk of the
     formation of his character, in reading the record of his death,
     and contemplating at his grave his present life. O, I have
     felt, dear William, that to have such a child was the highest
     happiness this world could give; and however great must have
     been the pain of parting, and dreary the void which his absence
     made in the earthly pilgrimage of his parents, it was all more
     than compensated, by the satisfaction of having begun here such
     a relation to so pure a spirit, which can never cease while the
     soul lives. And how earnestly I have prayed, that my child,
     too, might so understand the true object of existence, as to
     make his spiritual progress the first aim under all
     circumstances! We see in Robert's case how beautifully he was
     training himself for heaven, while he lived the simple life of
     an active boy, following all the common pursuits which belonged
     to his age, but doing all with a conscientious reference to the
     law of right. With the most devoted love towards his parents
     and friends, he loved his God above all, and sought first of
     all to obey Him. His grave is in one of the sweetest spots on
     the island, in a little opening surrounded by trees which he
     had named his 'mother's parlor'; and upon a seat which he had
     made there for her I have spent some holy moments, with which
     the thought of you was tenderly mingled. Dear son, may I have
     the same satisfaction in your life, which these parents have in
     that of their son! and should God in his providence call you
     also thus early to himself, may I have reason to believe, as
     they do, that for you the work of life was accomplished!...

     "I trust you will come home ready to _begin_ the work of life
     in earnest. When you look forward and consider that you must
     depend on your own efforts for subsistence, that you have a
     gift of mind for the use of which you are accountable to your
     Maker, and that the person with one talent is equally
     responsible with him who has ten, you will see that nothing
     short of physical inability can excuse you from beginning at
     once the work of self-education. All that can be done for you
     is nothing, all the advantages with which you may be surrounded
     are as nothing, if you do not set yourself to a conscientious
     improvement of all. I care little what path you follow as to
     external life, if you only follow it upon the basis of right
     principle, which shall produce in you a manly, disinterested
     regard to the accomplishment of all the good you may have it in
     your power to perform."

A letter from England informed Mrs. Ware of the death of an excellent
kinswoman, who may be remembered as "Cousin Bessie," the wife of George
Lovell. And she wrote of it to Emma, then in New York, who had been her
fellow-traveller in England, and whose own health was gently but surely

     "_Greenhill Cottage, December 18, 1846._ ... Dear Bessie's pure
     spirit passed away in peace, the 22d of November. Her mind
     remained perfectly clear to the last moment, calm and cheerful.
     Hers was a sweet spirit, and I love to remember the intimate
     intercourse I had with it in times past, for there was more in
     her soul than appeared to the casual observer. Her departure
     has added one more attraction to that spiritual state in which
     I hope to renew the interchange of kind affection and holy
     thought. How beautifully is it arranged for us, that, as we
     approach nearer and nearer to the exchange of worlds ourselves,
     our interest in that to which we are going should be so
     increased by the removal of so many loved ones before us.

     "It can be no new thought to _you_, that all sickness must be
     of uncertain result, and you understand too well the object of
     all the discipline of life, to shrink from any form of it which
     Providence may appoint. To you and me, strength and power seem
     so much our birthright, that we hardly know how to understand
     ourselves when they fail; but it certainly is not difficult to
     see why we peculiarly need the gentle monitions which sickness
     brings to us. It would seem as if some of the capacities for
     the enjoyment of the purely spiritual could not be formed in us
     without them; we should be too self-dependent, too confident in
     our own strength, to learn how to be the meek and lowly
     disciples, to whom are promised the fruits of faith and trust.
     I am sure that the sense I now have of liability to the
     development of fatal disease at any time, is the source of some
     of the most exalted moments of my present existence. So far
     from its lessening our enjoyment of all that we ought to enjoy
     belonging to life, it gives a keener sense of it, inasmuch as
     it puts in their true position all the trifles which are so apt
     to mar our comfort under common circumstances. I cannot but
     believe that you will derive great relief from this experiment;
     and if it does not reach all the difficulty, it certainly will
     do this good,--that, by removing some of the causes of
     irritation and consequent exhaustion, it leaves you more
     strength to contend with what may remain of disease,--and,
     after all, that is the main thing.

     "... I have had a very kind note from Miss Sedgwick, inclosing
     a letter from Madame Sismondi after reading Henry's Life. It
     was a most gratifying testimony to the influence of the truth
     upon a mind which had been educated to undervalue every thing
     proceeding from our form of faith."

The younger son, to whom Mrs. Ware had written from Naushon, had now
returned from England, where he had been for his health, and was placed
at school in Exeter, in the well-known Phillips Academy. From his
mother's letters to him while there, we should be glad to borrow
largely, but must abridge. The number and fulness of these letters, when
we remember the state of her health, the care of her family, and all
else that she was doing, would surprise us, if we had not seen the same,
virtually, in every period and position of her life. The letters
themselves are written without effort or ornament, and contain much that
would be called "common-place," because they aim only at those simplest
truths and counsels which lie at the root of moral character.

During the time of writing the extracts that follow, Mrs. Ware went
herself to Exeter, alone and at the shortest notice,--finding that some
questions in regard to the course of study to be pursued by her son
could be best determined by her actual presence. It was one of her last
journeys, and, being in mid-winter, must have required resolution, if it
did not cost suffering.

     "_January 1, 1847._ The clock has just struck one, so I may
     fairly date 1847. And with the recollections of the old year
     which has just passed away, and the anticipations of that upon
     which we are entering, come many thoughts of you,--affecting
     thoughts, for I remember my own experience at your age, and I
     feel that this year must be to you one of the most important of
     your whole existence, in its influence on your character and
     happiness, both for this life and for that long future which
     can be measured only by one word,--Eternity. It must bring to
     you many trials, both of feeling and principle; it must bring
     to you many deep spiritual exercises, and anxious thoughts with
     regard to your religious progress. You have come to that period
     of life at which one cannot escape from a deep sense of
     responsibility for the formation of one's own character; when,
     with every power and faculty in a peculiarly excitable state,
     every nerve vibrates to the slightest touch of joy or sorrow,
     and one feels perpetually in danger of being led by feeling
     rather than by judgment. It is a period of intense enjoyment,
     and for the same reason may be one of intense suffering; and
     while it must depend much upon circumstances which shall
     predominate, I believe it depends still more upon our own
     self-discipline, in enabling us both to avoid many occasions of
     suffering, and to meet with a calm spirit those which are
     unavoidable. You are in a new position of independent action;
     and while, with the deep sympathy which is the result of
     experience, I can suffer and enjoy with you, in anticipation, I
     feel the satisfaction of a quiet trust that 'all will issue
     well.' I believe that you mean to govern yourself by the
     highest principle, and in that faith I can leave you to the
     guidance of your own conscience; hoping that you will never
     forget, that principle, to do its perfect work, must be applied
     to small things as well as great; that then only is it true
     principle when it regulates even the tone of the voice, as well
     as the most heroic action. Your mother's prayers are for you,
     at this solemn turning-point of life, that, when this
     anniversary next arrives, it may find you, whether in the body
     or not, able to look back with satisfaction upon the past,
     conscious that a true progress has been made towards that
     perfection of the soul for which it was created....

     "You will say, you have much to struggle with in your own
     character, and that nothing can satisfy you while you have to
     contend with self so continually. But your greatest temptation
     is to dwell too much upon your internal trials, leading you
     almost insensibly to that most insidious and deceptive form of
     self-love, a too constant thought of self even in regard to
     one's faults. You will find your intellectual occupation a
     great help in preventing this. Do not think too much about your
     own deficiencies, be content to live along in the constant
     thought for others' good, and you will find that you have done
     more for yourself by your disinterested action, than you could
     have done by all the thought you would have given to the
     subject in twice the time."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 24._ ... Cultivate in yourself a religious spirit;
     read God's word to learn what he would have you do; pray to Him
     for power to do it,--and you _will_ succeed. Here lies the
     only sure foundation. Religious principle is the rock upon
     which alone you can build any superstructure; all other will be
     like the sand on the sea-shore,--the next tide of temptation
     will sweep it away. And do not think that it will interfere
     with any of the pleasures of youth, or restrain the spirit of
     mirth which belongs to your age. So far from it, it will
     promote all enjoyment; for when we engage in that which we have
     decided by the standard of principle to be right, we go forth
     with a free spirit, to enjoy to the utmost,--without any of
     that under-current of misgiving which is a perpetual check upon
     us when we are engaged in a matter of doubtful expediency.
     Experience must have already taught you this in some things,
     and, believe me, it is equally true in all. You will have many
     temptations in your little world, composed, as well as the
     great world, of various characters. But if you once establish
     it with yourself to pursue only the right, and to have a strong
     moral courage to say 'No' to any measure of even doubtful
     character, you will find that you not only gain peace of mind,
     but win the respect even of those who may at first laugh at
     you. Never fear for the result, if you only do _right_."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 26, 1847._ Well, it was an event for me to go to
     Exeter. All my associations with the place are of the most
     interesting kind. All the romance of my youth was connected
     with it; my first knowledge of your father was during his
     residence there, through the medium of the admiration of that
     brilliant circle of young ladies, in whose society he found
     poetical inspiration. It was the home and the death-place of
     the first specimen of the highly intellectual and spiritual
     form of humanity that I had ever known intimately, in the
     person of your father's dear friend, John E. Abbot; and the
     very name of Exeter was sacred to me, from its connection with
     the daily details of his last sickness, which I received from
     Mrs. P----, then residing in her Aunt Abbot's family. I had
     been there, however, only once, twenty years ago with your
     father, when together we visited John Abbot's grave, and gave
     ourselves up to the emotions connected with his memory. You may
     believe that it was with no common feelings that I went alone,
     upon such an errand, to that spot. The sense of my sole
     responsibility in the care of my children presses upon me at
     all times; but it bore with peculiar power at that time and at
     that place, reminded, as I could not but be, how little
     qualified I was to decide the question, in comparison with a
     father's knowledge and experience."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_February 2._ ... This has been an intensely interesting day to
     me. What a thing is this _gift_ of life,--this strange, first
     union of the spiritual and the material! How closely such an
     event brings one near to the great Origin of all, and in what
     an interesting, affecting relation! The tender Father, watching
     over, protecting, sustaining, a feeble, mortal child in the
     greatest work of creation, the introduction of a new heir of
     immortality to the path which is to lead it to receive its

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_March 3._ ... Do not for a moment lose sight of your dear
     father's example. He was what he was, not by the bestowment of
     great natural powers, but by the religious industry with which
     he used his powers, the high standard of moral and religious
     character at which he aimed, the disinterested devotion with
     which he labored for others' good. _He cultivated his
     conscience_, and by its light he cultivated his intellect;
     marking out for himself that path in life in which he felt
     himself most likely to be useful. And this was the secret of
     his great success. He was willing to do any thing he could; and
     he regulated that 'could' by the most unwearied industry. What
     cannot one do, with such a lever?"

We have not thought it necessary to speak of Mrs. Ware's peculiar
interest in the public ministrations of religion. Such an interest, in a
woman even of practical good-sense, is a matter of course. She could
not, in any possible circumstances, think lightly of public worship, for
others or for herself. Nor was she dependent upon the form and medium of
worship; since, whatever her choice or taste, she thought more of the
spirit than of the letter or manner. Either from hearing her quote the
couplet, or from a knowledge of her feelings, we often think of her in
connection with the quaint lines of old Herbert:--

    "The worst speak something good; should all want sense,
    God takes the text, and preaches--patience."

Patient she was, even interested, in all preaching that evidently came
from the heart, however homely, and in all preachers who were sincerely
engaged in their Master's cause. But for the lukewarm and the selfish,
for those who preached not Christ, but themselves, and offered stones
rather than bread to the hungry soul, she found it difficult to maintain
her respect, or refrain from expressing a very different sentiment. Her
indignation at some kinds of preaching, and the abuse of sacred time,
was as strong and almost as terrible as that which we sometimes heard
from even the gentle spirit of her husband. It was to him that she once
wrote: "Mr. ---- gave us a philosophical disquisition on the nature and
properties of mind and matter, containing (I suppose) a conclusive
argument against Materialism, abounding in technical phrases and
abstruse quotations,--which, to a certainty, not one in fifty of his
audience could understand. What food for sinful, accountable,
half-asleep souls! If an inhabitant of the insane hospital had called
such a production a sermon, he might be excused the misnomer. But in a
minister of Christ to an erring world, it is nothing short of
profanation." She loved simplicity of manner, as well as matter. She
loved a fervid, but quiet utterance. Of one of the popular preachers she
says: "Such grand and momentous views as he brings together do not seem
to me--it is a matter of taste, I suppose--to need the factitious aid of
such a declamatory style of writing or studied mode of delivery. I want
to strip them of all this, and cannot help thinking, that in their
simple, naked sublimity they would be quite as effective,--to many minds
more so."

As life advanced, Mrs. Ware felt more and more the value of religious
connections; and both in Framingham and Milton she found great
satisfaction. Such a hearer and parishioner gives more than she
receives. Would that all knew how inestimable is the blessing to a
minister! We cannot withhold the testimony of one pastor to her
character in this single relation:--"None could be more candid, more
kind, more sympathizing, or more appreciating. Her seat at church
scarcely ever vacant, her interest warmly expressed by word and deed in
every event and place connected with our spiritual growth and
prosperity; reverent, and almost punctiliously faithful in her
attachment to the church, its forms and its order were cherished with a
true-hearted veneration and love,--while none could have exceeded her in
the spirituality of her religious views, or have risen more entirely
above a mere formalism.... On those occasions, too, of trial, which will
at times arise in a minister's service, when he may be called to speak
or act with boldness, or adventure upon untried experiments, she was
ever prompt and hearty in expressions of encouragement. Instances of
this nature occur to me, where she would stop at my house on her return
from church, and leave the benediction of a kind word of sympathy and
god-speed, uttered with all the emotion of her sympathetic nature, to
assure me that one heart at least was in unison with my own."

Of the "church in the house" we dare not speak,--except to say, that she
who was for so long a time its only head did not believe that all
religious service must wait for a priest, nor even for a man. Never will
the sweetness of _that_ voice, in devotion, Scripture, or hymn, die
away from the heart. Never will those cherished words, "To prayer, to
prayer! for the morning breaks,"--be so moving and uplifting, as in that
dwelling, where the thought of death, just past or just approaching,
served but to quicken the spirit of Devotion.

At the period now reached, 1847, the letters of Mrs. Ware continued to
be nearly as many as formerly, and quite as cheerful. There is a large
class of letters that have been scarcely represented in this sketch;
those which are filled with details of domestic life, personal and
private incidents, and playful communications. No absent child was left
in ignorance of that which occurred at home. Nothing that could
interest, edify, or amuse was thought too trivial to be recorded, if it
would tend to strengthen the bonds of family affection. "I believe the
love of _home_ to be the best safeguard to man and woman for life,"--she
once said; and she used every opportunity of cherishing that love, in
the hearts both of the present and the absent. She had no habit of
reservation or concealment with those about her, unless in regard to her
own pains and trials. And as those pains and trials increased, we find
no decline of general interest or free communion. More and more freely,
rather than less, does she speak of herself, her expectations as to this
life and another, her concern for her own strength and resources, and
the character and prospects of her children. The following letter to her
son was written some time in the summer of this year.

     "_Milton, 1847._

     "MY DEAR JOHN:--

     " ... I am not now as able to keep school as I was then, poorly
     fitted though I always felt myself. My head has been a very
     troublesome member for a long time, and I have had in the
     course of the last year and a half two distinct attacks, which,
     if not actually paralytic, were sufficiently like it to be
     considered premonitory symptoms of that affection,--amounting
     to loss of sensation, and giddiness, followed by a great
     oppression in the brain, for a long time after. Since this I
     have found that I soon get overpowered and bewildered in the
     bustle of the school, and, after a few days' trial, it is only
     by going at once to sleep, that I can get my head clear for the
     rest of the day. Besides that, the sense of hurry which I have
     from the daily pressure of the necessity of adhering to certain
     hours, in order to get through the necessary business of the
     day, keeps my head in a state of tension which I often feel
     must end in some sudden change. I work almost constantly
     eighteen hours out of the twenty-four; but this I could bear,
     were it not for the sense of hurry I have, in my anxiety to
     spare E---- every thing that I possibly can, while she has the
     labor of the school. Nor is this all. I am sensible that the
     trouble in my side does _not_ diminish or stand still; its
     progress is slow, but evidently sure; and though there are
     often weeks, in which I am not reminded of it by any sensation,
     there are times when it produces great discomfort. I know from
     the nature of the case, that this may be so many years, and
     also, that at any moment it may suddenly come to a crisis, as
     in many cases I have known.

     "And I feel that with the bare possibility (and it is much
     more) of having but a few years more to give to my children, I
     should be wrong to spend these few years in such a hurried
     life, that I cannot have time to give them an unfettered hour.
     This is the case now; whether from want of faculty, or an undue
     anxiety to spare others, or the necessity of the case, I cannot
     say. All I know is, that, of the eighteen hours in which I am
     awake, I have not one, commonly, free from the pressure of some
     necessary, imperative occupation. I may almost say, I _never_
     choose my employment; and as you find it, so do I with regard
     to my children at home,--I cannot give any of them a hundredth
     part of the time I would gladly devote to them.... You wonder
     that I cannot be more with you. You would not wonder, if you
     could see how little I have time to do with my children at
     home. This ought not to be so. But then comes the question, how
     am I to live, how educate my children, and pay my debts, if I
     give up so much of my income?

     "I answer myself in this way, and I feel satisfied with the
     answer. If I am not to live, what now supports me will help
     towards this end; and if I do live, I feel justified in
     creating a debt for my children to pay by and by, when they are
     old enough to work, in order to give them the means of working
     to advantage. I trust they will all find a mission to fulfil,
     which will keep them free from dependence, and do good to their
     fellow-men. I will trust that I shall be taken care of; for I
     think the case of duty is clear,--at least it is so to me, and
     I feel that I cannot turn from it.

     "Now do not think that this uncertainty of life troubles me, or
     makes me nervous, and unnecessarily anxious. I have never felt
     more perfect peace of mind, than I have for the last three
     years, with respect to death. I have felt it a great blessing
     to be thus reminded of the uncertainty of my life. It is a
     constant check upon me, and, moreover, makes all the pleasures
     which lie in my path greater blessings. There is an elevation
     in such an habitual state of mind, which takes one beautifully
     away from the annoying perplexities of life. I could write on
     for hours, but I have said enough. You will understand me, and
     that is all I desire now.

     "Affectionately, your Mother."

Another expression of a different kind was called out at this time, by a
case of bereavement in which she felt deeply concerned. We give the
letter entire as to its object and argument, because in none of her
letters, and in no others that we recall, is the question which is here
raised so well stated and answered. It is a question which comes to
every conscientious sufferer,--pertaining to the conflict between a
sense of duty to ourselves and duty to others, in the season of
affliction and secret communion,--the desire for repose and the call for
activity. We well know what conflicts both Mrs. Ware and her husband had
had, in regard to this question; and we follow her with the greater
satisfaction, as she offers the result of her experience and conviction
to one of another household, and of the other sex.

     "_Milton, 1847._


     "My visit to you this afternoon was so broken, so
     unsatisfactory, my thoughts are so entirely with you, and my
     desire to help you, at least so far as sympathy can do so, is
     so strong, that I must indulge myself this once in intruding my
     poor written words upon you, for my own relief. Very grateful
     do I feel to you for uttering yourself so freely to me: you do
     not mistake, when you believe that I can understand all your
     doubts and fears, misgivings and contentions. I have felt them
     all; and in the knowledge which I have of all my husband
     suffered, I feel as if I had a double power to sympathize with
     you. Well do I understand that strange elevation of spirit
     which comes to one in the first hours of bereavement, when the
     heart is strong to endure, and the mind seems to act
     spontaneously. It would seem, when one with whose spirit ours
     had become as it were identified 'passes on,' as if we too had
     entered 'behind the veil,' and were also raised above the
     weakness and suffering of humanity. But this cannot last long,
     and the necessity of a return to the occupations of life
     dispels the illusion, and then comes the struggle from which
     you are now suffering. Two opposing duties seem to present
     themselves,--one claiming quiet seclusion, the other impelling
     to great activity. We long for rest, we doubt if we have a
     right to risk the loss of any portion of the benefit which may
     come to us from the life of meditation and self-communion to
     which our state of mind _naturally_ leads us, by going back to
     the busy bustle of external life. We feel that our soul has
     been moved to its very depth, as it never was before, and we
     long to 'hold the fleet angel fast, until he bless us' with an
     increase of spiritual life, proportionate to the demands of our
     condition. But on the other hand, there lie the duties of life,
     appointed by God for _us_ to perform; in their performance lies
     our mission to the world; have we any right to neglect them for
     any object of self-improvement? How shall we decide, when two
     duties, apparently of equal importance, seem to us perfectly

     "But here, I think, lies our great mistake. We separate that
     which God has joined together; there can be no opposition in
     his requisitions, and if both duties are required of us, it
     must be that they may be united. What is spiritual progress?
     What is the benefit we believe to be intended for us by the
     discipline of bereavement? Is it increased love of God,
     reliance upon him, union of soul with him? How shall we gain
     these by any process of meditation, so entirely as when,
     contending against our desire for repose, conscious of our
     utter weakness, throwing ourselves with the reliance of filial
     affection upon a Father's love, we go forth to execute His will
     in the fulfilment of the duties He has assigned us, believing
     that His promises of strength will not fail? And did they ever
     fail? And do we not by this act of faith bring our souls into
     that union with God which we so much desire, more truly than by
     any abstract thought? How can it be nearer than when, in the
     consciousness of our human weakness, we feel that whatever
     strength we have is His,--that He is indeed present to us,
     acting in us,--and we know that, while we have this faith, He
     will never cease to aid us.

     "But you will say you have tried this, and strength does not
     come; you find yourself more and more averse to effort, more
     and more incapable of it. But are you sure you are not aiming
     at impossibilities,--that you are not requiring from the nature
     God has given you more than you have a right to expect, and
     that, by striving after more than you can reasonably hope to
     obtain, you render ineffective the power given? Do not
     misunderstand me. I would not bring down in the very slightest
     degree the high standard of Christian excellence at which you
     aim; but I would have you understand truly the nature of the
     means which the Creator has given us by which to attain it.
     'Deal gently with thine infirmity, wait God's time.' You desire
     at once to rise to the height to which you believe a Christian
     faith may elevate its possessor, and you are discouraged that
     the work is not accomplished when _you_ think it ought to be.
     Put aside, my dear friend, this desire to regulate the
     operation of God's providence. You say you have never for a
     moment felt that you were hardly dealt with, in the outward
     circumstances of this affliction. Apply the same faith to its
     internal circumstances; give up your own will as fully in the
     one case as in the other; go on, meekly relying upon Almighty
     wisdom, with your appointed work, not attempting too much at
     once, but selecting just that which seems most important,
     increasing your labors as you may find strength comes to aid
     you, and be content to use such measure of strength as God
     shall give, without repining that it is not more; and this will
     bring you that 'peace' for which you now sigh. Waste not one
     moment in vain regret that you cannot do all you desire. O, I
     could read you such a page of suffering from this source, as
     would make you weep for the sinfulness of your monitor! If I
     cannot be an example, let me be a warning to you. May I be an
     efficient one!

     "Ever your friend.

     "M. L. WARE."

How much is told in that last confession and prayer! She who thus wrote
was then in the midst of a fatherless and dependent family, bearing a
load of duty never discharged to her own satisfaction, wearing a face of
unvarying cheerfulness, and struggling with a fatal disease, whose
progress could not be hidden from herself, though hidden from others.
That equanimity, which had always been marked as a distinguishing trait,
came out now more and more, as the demand increased, and the difficulty
also. Every one knows the tendency of disease to produce
irritation,--sometimes imperceptibly to the sufferer, sometimes
unavoidably, and with a painful consciousness. In no duty or sympathy
for the sick is there more need of kind allowance; and in none, perhaps,
is it more wanting. Here, it was not needed. No irritation ever
appeared. We say this, not from that cursory and friendly observation
which so often mistakes, but from those who knew. One near her thus
speaks of her equanimity: "Taking her life through, as I knew it, there
were disturbing _causes_ enough. Neither the lesser nor the greater
seemed to throw her off her balance. I cannot recall a word or act of
harshness. Disturbed, moved, sad, I have seen her, but nothing of
irritation; and the first, where others were concerned, or some
principle, or morality, rather than where she was herself personally

Another _affliction_ came, and came nearer than any other could, out of
her own family circle. The decline which she had so anxiously watched in
"Emma" terminated as she had long known it must; and that true friend
had gone before her to a purer sphere. Deeply must Mary have felt this
at any time,--how deeply then! Toward the end, all the time that could
be spared, day and night, had been passed in that sick-room, where she
enjoyed a communion, and exerted an influence, that few could. Perfect
congeniality, perfect confidence, an intimacy of years and souls, a
unity of faith and hope, with an affection unreserved and undimmed,
bound them as one; and when the tie was severed, the world seemed
another abode,--fast passing away.

The letters in which Mrs. Ware speaks of this change are most tender,
and reveal as much of the character of the writer as of the subject. But
they are too personal to admit a free use. A brief account we may take,
from a letter which we ourselves received.

     "I do not remember that I have written to you since dear cousin
     Emma's death. I should love to tell you of the pleasant hours
     passed in her chamber after her return from Europe, the
     precious hours of her last week with us. Her state of mind was
     a most elevated one, but her words were few. She could not
     overcome the habit of reserve upon spiritual subjects, and it
     was only in moments of the most private intercourse that she
     would utter herself freely. It was a beautiful case of great
     humility, united with perfect trust. She never for an instant
     faltered in her faith, but laid down her almost unequalled
     power with as perfect readiness as if she had never loved its
     exercise. You may suppose that her loss is daily, hourly felt,
     by all who belonged to her. This is not the same place without
     her. We constantly miss her wisdom and her disinterested
     kindness. Do you know that she made this cottage mine,--and
     more? I never received any gift which was so unexpected, or so
     touching. It has made this place more beautiful than ever; for
     the very walls have now a sacred association."

On Christmas Eve, 1847, Mrs. Ware, with some of her children, joined a
family gathering at Cambridge, in the same house that they occupied
during those twelve eventful years. And many were the recollections
awakened there. "O, how strange it seemed to me, to be 'guest' in that
house, on such an occasion! I could scarcely help a sense of
responsibility, as if it were my affair. And my heart turned
instinctively to the thought of all my responsibilities there, and the
thought of how much _he_ would have enjoyed, and added to the enjoyment
of others. There was a sense of the want of his visible presence, such
as I never expected to feel again, so familiar have I become with the
idea of the invisible." On the last night of the year, she writes in a
tone more like sadness than was common with her, though with the same
tranquil trust:--"I live now so entirely among the young, who could not
comprehend the results of an old woman's long experience, that I am
unconsciously led to shut up the thoughts which mostly occupy me, lest
any should be annoyed by what they might not understand. And there are
consequently periods when it seems as if I should _stop_, from want of
the sympathy and counsel of some contemporary who knew the past as well
as I do myself. In the various questionings about my children, and the
many doubts which will come to an insulated mind, how have I craved your
ear!... It has seemed to me, since Emma's death, that every thing was
giving way around me. I cannot tell you what a sense, a perpetual sense
of uncertainty, appears to pervade every thing. It seems as if not
merely one strong being had failed by the way, but as if strength
itself, the very thing, had become weakness. And I find myself clinging
more than ever to the things that remain, and more and more impatient to
use opportunities of intercourse with those I love, feeling that the
time is short both for them and myself. Little did I think, at this time
last year, that I should be here now; and when I look back upon the
interval, and remember that, instead of the sickness I anticipated, not
one day of actual suspension of labor have I had, I am amazed at the
small amount I have accomplished, and wonder why it is I am left. The
year has been marked by less external change than usual, and yet it has
brought some important changes in the progress of my children's

And if Mrs. Ware had not expected to see the end of that year, she could
have little idea of seeing the whole of another. Yet this was granted
her,--and a little more. And whatever the inward change, there was none
outward, unless in greater diligence in duty, and a more earnest
endeavor to make others happy. This, too, was evident, in conversation
and in letters,--that while life in the present was still full and
bright, there was a growing conviction of life beyond and above. It was
seen particularly, as one and another of her friends departed,--when the
emotions expressed were more of joy than of sadness, as in the case of a
bereavement not long before. "O, how the holy band is gathering in that
other state! And how near does it seem to us, when those with whom we
have been wont to have daily intercourse enter it! I think, as I grow
older, no part of my experience satisfies me so much, as the
consciousness of an increasing _sense of union_ with a purely spiritual
state. Not that one loses all interest in this state, but there comes a
fuller sense of the reality of another."



Of Mrs. Ware's last months and days we have nothing remarkable to
record. They did not differ from the months and years that preceded
them, except that they _were_ the last, and she knew they must be. But
she did not on that account seek to impart to them any new aspect, or
new occupation. She had no formal preparation to make for a change,
great indeed and momentous, yet perfectly familiar to her thoughts, and
never dismaying. She had not left the work of life to be done after the
power to do it had gone, but had used that power as one responsible for
the use of all that was given her, and she continued to use all that
remained, diligently and tranquilly. Had she been asked, as another once
was, "What would you do, if you knew you should die to-morrow?" we
suppose her reply would have been the same,--"That which I am doing
to-day." And she was doing a great deal,--as much perhaps as she had
ever done, in all that pertained to family and friends, the destitute
and suffering. And she was enjoying a great deal, both at home and
abroad, with apparently more, instead of less, freedom from that sense
of "hurry" which had so troubled her. This she expresses in a note that
we received from her in the month of May, 1848, which shows likewise
how fresh and full was her enjoyment of the opening year. "We are
beginning to look lovely here. It seems to me the spring was never so
charming; but perhaps it is that _I_ am more charming than usual!
Certain it is, that I have seldom been in so favorable a state to enjoy
it, so free from the pressure of care and the sense of hurry, which has
been the bane of my life. I am more willing to leave some things undone
than I was. Is not this a great virtue in a housekeeper, whose
spring-cleaning is not done, or likely to be these three months? Our
school has not yet adjourned, and I shall not be quite settled until it
has.... Thanks for your letter; I shall answer it, if I ever have a
quiet hour that has no peremptory demand for other employment."

In those last words we see a trait which many have noticed in Mrs. Ware,
and which one of her own sex, who had seen her in many situations, thus
describes: "I never knew any one who had a more just idea of the due
proportion which various duties and interests should bear to each other.
She was never one-sided in her views, never lived for one idea alone,
but took a comprehensive view of all her duties and of all her relations
to her fellow-beings, and gave to each its due portion of time and
attention." This habit is not uncommon, perhaps, in health and active
life; but not every one attempts to maintain it in sickness and the
approach of death. That Mrs. Ware was fully conscious of that approach,
though yet in apparent health, appears from many circumstances. But she
did not talk of it, and few knew it. She preferred not to communicate it
even to her family until it was necessary, lest it should check the
freedom or disturb the serenity of a happy household, preventing rather
than promoting the performance of duties all the more imperative if the
time were short. From a letter to an absent daughter, we take the
following, so pleasantly written.

     "_Milton, May 2, 1848._ Dear E----: Have not I got some pretty
     little paper upon which to indite my loving thoughts of thee?
     It becomes me to have a fine pen, and to try and be rather
     refined than otherwise in my chirography! Alas for me, who have
     to write with quill-nibs without mending! But I have rather a
     fancy for these close lines, which remind me of the days of my
     youth, when I used to write as closely without lines. I am
     particularly reminded of those days, by having received to-day
     my own letters to Cousin Emma; and to decipher some of them
     would try better eyes than most people possessed in her days,
     so closely written, so crossed and recrossed are they. I read
     one of them, and have been living over again all day those
     singular Osmotherly experiences. I do sometimes wish that I
     could have had the leisure, while I had the power, to write out
     for the information of my children that page of my life. It was
     so powerful a lesson of faith and trust, that it could not fail
     of producing in them, in some degree, the same effect that it
     did upon me. In looking back upon it, I cannot but feel that it
     was a peculiar blessing to me, as preparatory to the trials
     which were to follow; without just such a teaching, it seems to
     me they would have overwhelmed me. I often wish I could convey
     to the minds of those who are coming upon the stage of life,
     the utter insignificance into which outward circumstances sink
     in retrospect, other than as the occasion for the cultivation
     of the inner being. One almost forgets whether outward things
     were agreeable or not. The spiritual, intellectual life is the
     most prominent; the progress of our own characters, the
     affection which met our affections, the satisfactions of the
     soul, are all that leave any lasting impression upon the

By the middle of that summer, her strength had declined very perceptibly
to herself, though not to common observers, and she felt that the time
had come for an explicit communication. And never can we forget the
perfect composure and natural cheerfulness with which she spoke of it to
some of us who had little idea of the whole truth,--showing a paper that
she had written to one of her children, and asking counsel in regard to
it. The paper is of too private a character to be given here, except a
few of the more general passages. "I have not thought it worth while to
trouble you, or any one else, with the knowledge of this, while I was
well enough to go on as usual, and had no reason to expect change. The
doctor has always said I might live, as many had, for years, and die
from some other cause, before this became very troublesome; and it may
yet be so. But within a few months the course of the thing has changed,
and I cannot but feel that it may come to a crisis at any time, and I
be suddenly prostrated. With these views, I wish not to hide from myself
my danger; and I thank God for the influence which this consciousness
has had upon my mind for a long time past. I have felt it good for my
soul to know that I carried about with me a disease which must be fatal.
It has helped me more than any thing else to put the things of this life
into their true relative position. And while it has not for a moment
lessened my interest or my enjoyment of any thing around me, it has
saved me from many painful moments and anxious cares, by showing me the
insignificance of much that I once cared too much for. The only evil I
have found in it is a sense of hurry; feeling that I may have but little
time to work in, I am tempted to work hurriedly, and thus with less
comfort. I cannot tell you the many thoughts I have of the future
destiny of my children.... I need not tell you how inexpressibly nearer
and dearer all the children are to me every day I live, or how earnestly
I pray that they may be such as their father's children ought to be."

In the early autumn, she spent much of her time at the house of her son
in Cambridgeport, in whose family there occurred a case of sickness and
death, which engaged her deepest sympathies and tasked her strength.
Once more she became a nurse and laborious helper. After it, she sank
for a time, but again rallied, and through the greater part of the
winter continued strong in spirit, with great energy of will and action,
interested in every thing, grateful for every thing, busily and happily
occupied. Of the accounts given us by others, beside what we saw and
heard of her whole bearing and conversation that winter, we can use
little, lest it should seem like eulogy,--which we desire to avoid,
particularly in connection with her death. But should this prevent all
freedom of expression? If we may not speak from our own mind and heart,
may we not from the testimony of those who were near enough to
understand the whole, yet with no relation or interest to mislead them?

A lady writes: "It was my great privilege to pass a few weeks with her
in the sanctuary of her own home, in the early progress of the malady
which terminated her natural life. Words fail me to convey my impression
of her at this period. Always serene and cheerful, there was yet a
seriousness in her manner, and a depth of purpose in her words and acts,
that were to me very impressive.... Every duty was to her always a
religious duty; and hence we saw in her the same fidelity and
perfectness in every household care, however humble or distasteful, as
in employments of a more congenial character.... While her life was to
me highly inspiring, it was also deeply humiliating. She seemed to me
always sufficient to herself in her great resources, and I felt that I
could be nothing to her. I once told her so; she smiled, and said, 'You
don't know how weak I feel, and how I long to lean upon some one, and be
caressed and petted like a child.'"

A near neighbor and privileged friend says: "When we learned that her
days were numbered, as we did some months before her death, we of
course looked upon every thing connected with her with a more subdued
and chastened interest. She seldom, almost never, alluded to her
condition. But there were little valedictory acts to be remembered when
she was gone, that showed her thoughtfulness and love. The last time I
saw her at church was on Thanksgiving day, the great family festival of
New England. During most of the services she was in tears, doubtless
thinking of those whom she was soon to join, and of those now with her
who must spend their next Thanksgiving alone. But her tears were tears
of endearment and tenderness, more than of sorrow.... Gradually her
walks were given up. Some unusual calls on her sympathy and strength may
possibly have shortened her sufferings. 'But if I had foreseen it all,'
she said, 'I should have done the same.' There was no shrinking from
what lay before her, but that entire humility which neither presumes nor
fears, and is content with what God appoints."

But we need not rely on others for a knowledge of Mrs. Ware's condition
and temper at this time. Her own words still speak for her, and speak
with the same clearness and calmness as ever. Letters and notes were
written to all who had any claim, through the winter. The year was not
suffered to close without one more "annual,"--the last seal to that firm
friendship. Portions of these letters and notes will serve as the best
index to the progress of her life,--for we cannot call it the decline.

     "_December 26, 1848._ Dear John: You must wonder why I have not
     written to you in all this age of a week since you were here.
     In truth. I have not been able to do so, for I had to give up
     and go to bed. I should have been wise had I done so when I
     first came home, I suppose; but I was so sure that I had no
     right to expect to feel better, that I could not think it worth
     while. I am better now, and am going to venture to town
     to-morrow. I have had but one hour yet for accounts, and as my
     arm is becoming more and more useless, I dare not put off doing
     what that arm alone can do. I desire so to arrange matters that
     I may have only tranquillity,--no hurry, no bustle, no
     irritation anywhere.... I have none but cheerful views for
     myself, and I desire to be spared anxiety about the outside to
     mar that cheerfulness.... I have promised to go into Mr.
     B----'s, New Year's eve, and can do that with little fatigue.
     Kiss Henry boy for his grandmother, and wish him a 'happy new
     year' for me when the time comes."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_December 31, 1848._ Dear N----: Once more I will make an
     attempt to write to you, for I cannot let this season go
     without giving you some record of what is passing,--as my
     reason tells me it is in all probability my last annual
     missive. Do not, my dear friend, shrink from this idea, as if
     it were some dreadful fact which you wished not to realize. I
     can write it, I trust I can bring it home as a truth, without
     the slightest quickening of the pulse, without a wish to decide
     my own fate. I would bless God, that in His tender love He has
     so gradually brought me to the consciousness of the great
     uncertainty of my own life, that all connected with that
     uncertainty has been familiar to me through the softening
     influence of distance, and my vision can now bear the strong
     light of the nearer presence without dismay. In recalling the
     various circumstances in which I have written my many annuals
     to you, I cannot remember one in which I have had less anxiety
     about the future. I feel strangely perplexed sometimes at this;
     I know that while it is _possible_ my life may be prolonged
     many years, yet they would be years of suffering, of
     comparative uselessness, and perhaps of great discomfort to
     those around me; and still more, that the more probable
     prospect is a rapid, if not sudden, annihilation of life. I
     have children for whose welfare I have lived, and cared only to
     live for the last five years; and of whose fate when I am gone
     I cannot even guess. I have felt that my life was important to
     them; and when the idea of being obliged to leave them first
     came to me, I thought I must be a great loss to them; but now I
     cannot make it seem so by any process of thought. Why is this?
     how is this? I cannot tell. I do not love them less; on the
     contrary, my tenderness of feeling towards them increases every
     day. I never cared so much to have them with me, I never
     enjoyed their various powers more. Is it that I am under a
     delusion,--that death is not the reality to my mind which I
     conceived it to be? I confess I cannot answer satisfactorily. I
     seem to myself, as I did at sea in a dangerous storm, quiet,
     confiding, sure that no human help can aid, and not anxious to
     look beyond the present. But it may be that it is only because,
     while we are able to exercise both mental and physical powers
     in some way all the time, it is impossible to bring home the
     conviction that all may stop at any moment.

     "One solution of the mystery comes to me sometimes. You know I
     have felt, ever since my husband's death, that it was the most
     inexplicable mystery that my children should have been left to
     my sole care instead of his, when I was so deficient in the
     power to do for them what a parent should. I could only satisfy
     myself by the fact, that the All-wise, All-powerful, could
     overrule my mistakes, and I had no right to ask why. This
     consciousness of inefficiency has never left me, and I cannot
     therefore feel that my withdrawal will be to them an essential
     evil. I have seen many instances of children left, as mine will
     be, to their own guidance, who have evidently made much
     stronger characters for that self-dependence. And though they
     may suffer, perhaps, as I did, from the loss of that affection
     which a parent only can give, we see so many suffering quite as
     much from the misdirection of that affection, where the tie is
     not thus broken, that we dare not say, in any given instance,
     which fate would be the best for a child. Of one thing we are
     certain; we are short-sighted, finite beings, our minds can
     fathom but part, 'one little part,' of the plan of Providence;
     and we cannot tell but what the most adverse circumstances may
     be made instrumental to the education of the soul, by that
     overruling Power which sees the end and the beginning. We
     understand so little of the true character of each individual
     mind, that we know not but that what seems most adverse is in
     reality best adapted to its wants. Why, then, can we not be
     content to give up our own desires, our own judgments, all
     anxieties, all plans, and trust that all will be ordered right?
     Not certainly to sit down passively and do nothing; but,
     carefully watching the indications of Providence, to exercise
     our best judgments in trying to further its designs, and be
     content with the issues."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 21, 1849._ Dear Louisa: I send the above just as it
     has lain in my desk these three weeks, to show you that I have
     'made an effort.' I devoted that last evening of the year to
     writing to you and N----, and began your letter first; but my
     arm was so painful that I soon found I could not accomplish
     both; and I laid aside yours, because I was reluctant to omit,
     for the first time in more than thirty years, my annual to her,
     feeling as I did that it would probably be my last. This you
     will pardon; but, in justice to myself, I must go back and tell
     you why I had not before even commenced an answer to you,
     because I consider the mere fact of _seeming_ neglect of such a
     letter ought to be fully explained, for the credit of human
     nature in general.... I have been greatly blessed in finding,
     that, as the reality of what lies before me has become more and
     more distinct to my consciousness, I have lost nothing of the
     tranquil faith which made me willing to acquiesce in it. My
     nervous system is not touched yet in a way to affect the
     firmness of my views of the future. My great study now is, how
     to do my part towards making this experience of most value to
     my children. While I wish not to withhold from them any
     benefit they may receive by free and full knowledge of my
     condition, I am sure it must be introduced with a judicious
     reference to their different casts of character. I am feeling
     my way, and earnestly pray to be guided aright.... As to my
     visiting you, I have not been a mile from home for many
     weeks,--can only ride a little in a very easy vehicle without
     suffering for days after it. But I am content to be quiet.
     After such a life of activity, I enjoy the right to be still,
     more than I can tell; and I have home employment enough to fill
     all the time, if it prove ten times as long as I think it will.
     I hope to see you here when the weather is warmer, if God
     should spare me until then. God bless you, dear L.! I love to
     have your letters, but cannot promise to answer them very

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_January 28, 1849, Sunday Evening._ My dear Lucy: Strange
     indeed must it seem to you, that your kind, sympathizing
     letter, written more than two months since, should not have
     received an answer long before this; and if you have not,
     through some of your mutual friends, heard something of the
     progress of things with us since then, you must think it
     perfectly unpardonable. But in truth, dear Lucy, I have thought
     much of you, and longed to write, and still more to see you;
     and nothing short of physical inability has prevented me from
     long ago reporting myself to you. It is not worth while now to
     go back to the various causes which at first prevented my

     "I have lost ground greatly in the last three months, and
     should I continue to do so for the next in the same proportion,
     I shall be a mere burden; but no one can form any calculation
     about it, and I desire not to attempt it. I have no wish to
     penetrate the future. I know all will be ordered as it had best
     be. What more can I need to know? I feel that I have special
     cause for gratitude in the length of time given me to make the
     subject familiar to my mind; and not less so, that the disease
     so far does not disturb the perfect tranquillity of my mind, or
     take from me any of the advantages of this long preparation. My
     faith is strong that He who has been the Father of the
     fatherless, and the widows' God, will protect and guide the
     orphans I must leave behind me. It is not in vain that I have
     had an orphan's experience. HE guided me in safety through the
     many perils which beset the lonely one; I may surely trust Him
     for those to whom He has vouchsafed the aid of kindred so near
     and dear. My only care now is, how to do my part in giving them
     the full advantage of this discipline, and I earnestly pray to
     be guided aright.... I should love to see you, and hope to do
     so in the course of the winter or spring. I sit quietly at
     home, but have seldom a day without visitors, sometimes to
     weariness; but I love to see my friends, and they are many; I
     cannot say nay to them. I have not been to Cambridge since I
     first came home, and to Boston only twice for two months, and
     could not do it now. But perhaps, when I can take more air, I
     may gain a little more strength, and stay a little longer than
     seems probable now. Of this you may rest assured, that, come
     when it may, I can say with perfect truth, 'Not as I will, but
     as Thou wilt.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "_February 3, 1849._ Dear Friend: I know you will be glad to
     have a word directly from us of our welfare, and I therefore
     gladly avail myself of a kind offer to take a note to you,
     though I have time only for a short one. I have had my ups and
     downs since you were here, but on the whole do not think there
     is any material change;--some days of great suffering, and then
     again days and nights of perfect ease. So I have had much for
     which to be grateful in the alternation, for the days of
     suffering made the seasons of relief more delightful, and the
     rest enables me the better to bear the suffering. Much indeed
     have I to be grateful for. Never was kindness bestowed upon
     mortal, I believe, such as is every day showered upon me, and
     nothing yet has come to disturb the serenity of my mind. I find
     myself as free to enjoy all that is passing as ever, and the
     'daily duty,' small though it be to me now, interests and
     satisfies me.... I have an almost incessant influx of visitors,
     which sometimes wearies me; but then I love to see them, and I
     enjoy the occasional quiet hour all the more. My wakeful hours
     at night are the most precious, being happily free from all
     nervous restlessness; and often do I wish I had some other
     wakeful spirit at my side with whom I could commune of the
     passing visions. But enough of self."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dear Maria: I did not like, in your short visit, to occupy any
     time with self; but I should love to tell you of the blessed
     peace which is given me in relation to the trial which lies
     before me, and of the faith and hope which shed their tranquil
     light upon the future, even in respect to that most trying
     point, What will become of my children?... For while I feel
     that every day which is spared me makes them all more and more
     dear to me, I realize more and more that I _cannot_ be
     separated from them."

The friend to whom those last words were written, then a wife and mother
herself, and once a cherished parishioner of Mr. and Mrs. Ware, has
since joined their communion above. And her part of this correspondence
shows how beautiful had been the influence of the life whose close she
now witnessed. Indeed, the fact itself should be stated, if nothing
more, as belonging to the actual character of Mary Ware, that the many
letters and notes which came to her in these declining days, from
friends near and friends abroad, are filled, not with empty praise, nor
yet useless and distressing grief, but with expressions of grateful joy
for the power of her faith in the present struggle, and its power upon
_them_, in the past and always. If ever there was evidence of the
reality and influence of the Christian faith in itself, or of a peculiar
form of it, it might be shown here. The believer and sufferer thought
less of any peculiarities, than of the essential spirit and power. But
all that she had held, she retained, and found sufficient,--unfailingly,
abundantly sufficient. And it was a blessing to her in her last days, to
know that others of the same faith felt its sustaining power, and shared
with her in its peace and joy. The friend to whom we have just referred
writes: "Scarcely an hour passes in the day, that I do not think of you
with so much tenderness and sympathy as I have no words to convey to
you. The thought of you does me good. I know what is passing in the
depth of your soul, and it gives me strength to go on. Will you pray for
me, that while I live I may do what is right, cheerfully and
submissively, if not joyfully?" She begs Mrs. Ware to write down, or let
another write, some passages of her life. "Your experience has so
blessed me, that I long to spread its influence. I can never thank you
for what you and our sainted friend, with whom you seem now more than
ever 'one,' have done for my soul." Another, who was herself the widowed
wife of one of the best of men, writes to Mrs. Ware of their former
intercourse and communion: "There has been no alloy mingled in this cup
of blessing; we can carry it all with us to our Father's house. With my
whole heart I rejoice that you are able to act out your highest
convictions, that your disease so gently looses the bonds to earth, as
to leave your spirit free to bear its testimony to the last to the power
of your faith in the goodness of God, and the reality of everlasting
life. 'He that liveth and believeth shall never see death.' With you and
me death has lost its sting. Are we not willing to go where those we
have loved so truly are gone? Shall we not gladly make their home our
home? It is not the fear of death that ever presses upon me, but the
fear of not being worthy of the unutterable happiness of a reunion with
those that have gone before me; so I welcome pain, hoping it may purge
me of my sins, and make me more fit for heaven. Sometimes, when the
idea is very clear and strong in my mind of eternal life with the good
and great souls that I have known here, I gasp for breath, and, like the
disciples, 'cannot believe for joy.' And surely, dear Mary, the love
that has been perfect love cannot be quenched or turned from us in the
land of spirits to which we are tending,--in which you seem to me now to
be living."

These sentiments are the reflection of her mind, who had done so much to
form or invigorate them. They were some of the blessed fruits of the
faith that she and her husband had cherished,--the faith that still
bound her to him, and to all whom she loved. As such, she welcomed them.
But the moment the partiality of friends carried them beyond this, and
implied the least merit or power of her own, she was pained. "I thank
you for this note; yet--shall I say it?--it pained me. I do not like to
feel that my friends are attributing to _my_ efforts that which I feel
is the direct action of a higher power. Knowing as I do how great are my
deficiencies, how far I fall short of the 'perfect stature,' I cannot
but feel humbled by such expressions.... Please thank Mrs. ---- most
gratefully for her kind offers of aid. I seem to be so overwhelmed with
comforts, that I have nothing to ask for myself. O, how great is the
goodness of God towards me!"

It is a touching incident, that one letter came from England just too
late. It was from 'little Jamie,' the motherless boy, now a man, whose
life Mary Pickard had been instrumental in saving, during the dreadful
sickness at Osmotherly. She had never heard from him. But he now wrote a
long and grateful letter, thanking her for her kindness to his dying
parents and to himself, of which he had heard so much, as well as for
her continued remembrance of his aged grandmother as long as she lived.
Had the letter come a few days sooner, it would have rendered still more
fervent the thankfulness which filled and animated that deathless heart.

We offer nothing more from Mrs. Ware's pen. She used it as long as she
had strength, forgetting no friend, keeping her personal and domestic
accounts, and leaving nothing to others that she could do herself.
Attention to things temporal was with her not even secondary, but part
of religion, all of which was primary and essential. Essential also, in
her view, was the duty of cheerfulness, and of making others happy.
Thoughtfulness for others, and a participation in all their joys, were
among the latest manifestations, as prevailing in sickness as in full
health. She wished no household duty to stop for her, no happy face of
youth or manhood to lose its brightness. The song of the birds, and the
song of the children, were glad notes even to her decaying sense. "Never
did a sick-room have less of the odor of sickness than that," says one
of her children. "It was the brightest spot on earth. Nothing was shut
out from it, but the door stood wide for all the joys and hopes of all,
even to the last."

In this connection it deserves to be mentioned, that Mrs. Ware found a
true and most devoted friend in her physician. She knew the worth of
such a friend; and it was one of her last acts of thoughtfulness and
gratitude, to beg her children to remember the kindness of the

[Footnote 6: Dr. C. C. Holmes, of Milton.]

The last letter that Mrs. Ware wrote, or rather dictated, was in behalf
of an aged and destitute clergyman, whose family she had often taken to
her home, and for whose benefit the provision made by some generous
friends, partly as a solace to her own departing spirit, shed upon that
spirit a serener and brighter radiance. To him who told her of it, she
said, joyfully, "I hope to have some spiritual ministry given to me; I
have been able to do little here, but I hope to do more."

With great clearness, and in words that were retained, she had defined
to a friend and clergyman, a short time before, her views of the world
to which she was drawing near. "I find myself thinking very little of
the future world as to its 'circumstances.' I mean, I am surprised to
find how little _curiosity_ I feel about it. I trust myself with my
Father, both now and hereafter. Whatever is best for me then, as now, I
feel sure will be ordained.... If we suffer here, it is by a Father's
hand, it is in wisdom and mercy. If we suffer there, it must be no less
so. No, I desire to suffer in the coming world, as in this, if He
pleases, if He will that I should. I have a perfect trust and confidence
in God.... Ah, Mr. H----, it is the _self-surrender_, a renunciation of
our will for God's, which is the thing. If we can only do this truly, it
is all. But how much it means! It has relation to the whole of life. It
in eludes action as well as endurance. It is a perpetual act. At times
we feel strong to do it,--to do it in one great act. But in the details
of life we come sadly short.... There are some who seem to think of
self-surrender as implying and inducing a certain weakness of the
spirit, a giving up of power, a lessening of the soul's activity. But it
is not so. Far from it. It implies no lessening of activity, of energy
or power of character. It is that these are out of _self_, and in and
for GOD."

"The afternoon of the day before she died," writes her pastor, "I was
told that she had expressed a desire to see me. As I entered the room,
her face was perfectly radiant. She knew that her hour had come, and she
would say a few last words of kindness to us all. 'I wish to thank you,'
she said, 'for all that you have done,--every thing. And it is all
here,' placing her hand on her breast, 'it is all here. This peace, this
peace! it is all here.' 'Yes,' I replied, 'if we seek we shall find it.'
'I have not sought it,' she said quickly. 'It came. It was sent.' ...
'Come with a _smile_,' she said to one whom she had called to bid her
farewell. And her chamber then seemed to us more as a forecourt of
heaven, than a painful approach to the tomb."

On a lovely April day, the windows of her room all open that she might
breathe freely, she looked up at one who entered, and said with a smile,
"What a beautiful day to go _home_!" Near the end, one at her side said
to another, in tears, "How much stronger she is than we are!" "I am so
much nearer the Source of strength," she whispered. Her suffering was
acute, but her thought and care were more for others than herself, to
the last. Much of the time she held in her hand that sacred note which
her husband had written to her when he thought himself dying, at a
distance. And precious, very precious, must have been to her those last,
parting words from one to whom she was now going. "Dear, dear Mary, if I
could, I would express all I owe to you. You have been an unspeakable,
an indescribable blessing. God reward you a thousand fold! Farewell,
_till we meet again_."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the evening twilight of another balmy day,--GOOD FRIDAY,--that spent
frame was laid by the side of _his_, in the hallowed rest of Mount
Auburn. And as we turned away, we felt that another tie to earth was
broken, and heard another voice calling us to heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

With regret, rather than gladness, we lay down the pen which has
attempted to record the life of a humble Christian. Delightful has it
been to renew our communion, and extend our intimacy, with one whose
presence was always felt as a blessing. If we have transgressed the
bounds we set for ourselves in the beginning, and given expression to
feelings as well as facts, we can only say that we have repressed more
than we have disclosed of the recollections and emotions awakened by
this intercourse. A true portrait may seem to be praise, but less than
that would be injustice.

We draw no character, in the end, but only refer to the two facts which
seem most worthy of note. First, the amount of happiness enjoyed by one
whose life was passed in the midst of sickness and trial, and who for
six years felt that a fatal and distressing disease was consuming her
life,--yet could say of the whole, "It has been a beautiful experience."
"I have been so happy,--no one can tell how happy." And, next, the
illustration here seen of the large sphere, the vast power, and
imperishable work, of a woman who never left the domestic relations, nor
aspired to any thing that is not possible to every daughter, wife, and
mother. If this appear, it is enough,--that religion, with or without
rank, wealth, beauty, rare endowment, varied accomplishment, or any
singularity, can lift WOMAN to the highest distinction and confer the
most enduring glory,--that of filling well, not the narrow, but the wide
and divine realm of HOME.

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