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Dec. 30, 1876
"Retribution may come from any voice: the hardest, cruelist, most imbruted urchin at the street corner can inflict it. Surely help and pity are rarer things, - more needful for the righteous to bestow."
Interpreting all things [largely] like a mind ... possessed with high belief".
The worst drop of bitterness ... ver be moving on to ... ... from without. the lowest depth of resignation is not to be found in martyrdom. It is only to be found where we have covered our heads in silence and felt - I am not worthy to be a martyr, the truth shall prosper but not by me"
"And then the sunshine of thy Father's home"_
[My] new one - "born to the purple"
1. January 1, 1877.
We have come to it again - this first of things - We stop a moment to look about _ long enough to see how sure our footing is - and what of cheer or courage we have for those who are within reach - and then we hurry on - I've found out how the courage of me - is the courage of the souls that live near it _ How that good-cheer is nothing short of an atmosphere _ and even of a little patience the world has need! We are here at the top of our long hill - yet mother calls it "the pinnacle: The worries that we began last year with are most of them here to start out with us again - We dont get out of and beyond them very fast _ The currents of Folk have scarcely changed _ Grandma is a little stiller - in her chair behind the stove - [G]. a little surer that the storms are in the lower strata - We shall get above them by and by - I have reason to be more sure of a few things than I was a year ago. - "I tell you that One [knocked] while it was dark"
2. Tuesday, January 2, 1877.
The utter complete spell of silence is broken - and somebody has sent me a written communication - Huldah is noted for breaking silences _ Its her voice grim and insuspicious that comes summarily into dark mornings - Her alarm is that it is six and something and I am too nearly gone to contest the point _ usually _ Her letter crows some and cackles a lot _ They've been dressing up down there and playing they were people and I almost feel like going back to the V.C. The spirits that wrap you up and delight to fill your soul with uncomfortablenesses have possessed the girl with the "[oppydass]" to-day - none of us have known the way to break the spell - Dan comes up to supper whistling the shadow Dance - There's a certain twinkle in the boy's eye - I think he's got a cricket in his pocket - The rest are doubtful - He has fooled them too many times before - every few minutes he breaks out whistling - every few minutes we laugh - "Dan give it to her" Then he whistles - by & by he says - "Ag, who do you know in Cincinnati?" - This ...
[two lines of writing in left margin]
3. Wednesday, January 3, 1877.
This is an unexpected pleasure surely. I'm on a hunt after missing cards to fill out History sets - and I'm a finding them! "Who wants my History sets." _ did you say? _ A woman who flourished in the uninhabitable regions of Northern Vermont - Julia Miller knows her - Also Ella Mills knocks at my gates for "pamphlets" please. I find 38 pages - write up the rest - and [tool] them all off _ Its a nipping afternoon - my sister is dispatched for tea and sugar - and scolds - My letter from ... makes me feel rich - well-to-do in the world - I won't say that there were any bluish tendencies for her to counteract but anyway I view ... eight pages in the light of a "" - "nice itty voyage - nice itty voyage" - sing one "... day" This loses in translation
I want my boy to bring a letter from Laura Skinner - bless her - Isn't is a coming?
4. Thursday, January 4, 1877.
It was highstrung weather - a wild old J[e]hn day_ "You don't catch Mary out such a day as this" Mother's way of putting it. It might have been the mother _ it might have been her lord and master - whichever [way] it was - we on the pinnacle didn't say "Aunt Mary"- to-day _ We did say - "How do do, atie" - and "How do do, George"- Quite an invigorating circumstance. It came into this uneventful current of ours _ the fire in the Base burner No. 12 - starts up - very much quickened - and the curtains come up - There's easy chairs to it _ and ripples of talk. By a preconceived plan they [leave] me _ dealing themselves out in the greatest moderation. As early as three I am out again in the dining room - talking it over with Aggie and [muzzy] _ We say _ "[Dont] it seem funny to think of Annie Croft's being married. _ "Annie Marsh" _ Well that aint our...- Fishes aren't the only things that "[turn] over and over - and round and round."
[Evening] - Emma ... and a clatter clatter _ She says _ "how come ..." I [wish] I could -
[In left margin]
A further installation from atie - ...
5. Friday, January 5, 1877.
Mother said it was the nicest day we had had for four weeks. So did the milkman. We thought Aunt Mary would be up _ We laid out the day on that plan. Aggie was elaborate on her French twist _ Mother stirred up pancake batter _ (Aunt Mary's liege lord don't allow her to stir any in her own principality) I put a tie on - and a belt _ Grandma sat in her corner and wisely indulged in the remark that as for her part she didn't believe we would see Mary up here again this winter. Now this was not consoling but we live in a world where the thing that is the disagreeable one and the uncomforting - sometimes proves to be the one that happens _ The pretty new basque that goes with my cassimere dress is done - Mother's day was half button holes. It wasn't very inspiriting to say the least. I made a transparency - Then I hung it up - I didn't write diary nor study Latin _ I visited _ [Our] Folk didn't move us down street nor get Aggie a school in Albany _ but then we have to plan campaigns _ before we cross ... to the ... ...
6. Saturday, January 6, 1877.
When the baked potatoes were in their first glory mother called us up _ You will say _ "how nice" _ but goodnatured as you may be you will say it without half knowing - how nice! I piped up _ "I'm a going to Albany with you Aggie" _ Aggie said "She cant can she ma?" "Of course not" _ That settled that _ Frances attempts a feeble perserverance in de [Orative] "not an atom of sense" in the last well - any number of lines _ She brings up _ and "ties Flora" _ "Aggie's gone"_ She looks out for her long before its time for her to come!
Dannie says as he [starts] to shoot off - "O I nearly forgot"_ and hands me - why it was one of the loveliest things out of the ths. Laura's letter _ Another of the cherished surprises out of life's cket - whose full secrets we cannot know until we get to the top _ What a new face everything wears for to-day -
After all its the hopelessness ... home matters that is the dragging down _ To be among things just as the are - is to know how powerless you are to help them - I [wave] a hopeless [torch] - and -
7. Sunday, January 7, 1877.
"How she ever managed to have the things happen when she was doing such monstrous days' works to smite them all down" _ "..." wonders scarcely less than I _ who have rashly entered upon a diary for '77 - "Monstrous" Well _ I comprehend - This business is like rent _ never paid up
There is every assurance that a thaw is begun _ We get a little rain _ then a little snow _ then we take them mixed _ Dan remarks that the wind is in the northwest _ Mother speaks up _ she was "a good mind to move to Albany" Aggie's drawings are fiercely that way _ It begins to look as if something would be done about it _ as we gather up all the little "why" threads _ In the meantime there are "spaces between" _ I read Patience Stong's Outings _ picking at it here and there _ in the pauses of talk _
Aggie is wonderfully "chipper" A mighty helping
Cricket's determined little [sent] raves madly on _
8. Monday, January 8, 1877.
It can blow here - blow "great guns" on any and the slightest provocation! The world was sloppy in the morning _ a goodness gracious sort of things on the whole _ In the afternoon - nothing unusual only a shift of the wind and some freezing _ but the night came raining and pitching in - and your hair could easy stand on end! And there we'd a party on our hands _ The day was sort of [drefful] _ a rasping away on some of the soul strings _ I am sorry Aunt Mary came now _ The place of green contt the "ch grass" in to-day was the time I was writing to Susie _ Our rocking chair insisted this evening on some general exercises of its own _ I've already promised it out several evenings ahead _ it has such enlivening abilities. There was shouting to it - (our party-) _ a staying up late, and spirit!_
9. Tuesday, January 9, 1877.
You go to bed feeling that the world is rocking in ... fashion - You feel perfectly sure that it will be rocking in the morning _ You sleep on past everything _ When you get up you find a long ... of sunshine has gone and a ... lovely little lull over the world. You don't know whether you have an idea of marching, ... P _ or not _ On the whole your ideas are mixed up That sick headache all night won't let you be strong to-day to dare - You'd rather have the pretty blue comforter over you one day more _ "Tell her I'll go" ... worry" Mother [makes] some of my dress [barrels] more conversations _ and brushes
a couple of dresses _ and when its after supper and nobody there but us - we fold up the things and dear me what immense bundles. It will ... sublime management to get them to the ... parlor on the [first] th !
We must be "chipper" Fannie It will be summer when we come again _ We go to come back richer _ "isnt it ?"
10. Wednesday, January 10, 1877.
You are waiting for your story you say and the years are bringing it _ Have the chapters so far been so full of dark surprises that you stand on the home side of the threshold and fear to cross? _ What have you not gone out to that was beautiful or a joy to have?
And [muzzy] and I went down to Albany in the cars _ which you see was lovely for me _ Then we clambered up a fierce array of steps _ and ... bundles ... for aches and ... - and stings at finger ... - That man that stands in the door at the depot to marshal us out will never see these pages but I honor him - He had regard ... my look of beseeching - & let mother go to the very car door with me - Her last words were something about seeing Dr. Web _ and letting her know - and then I moved on to felicities or infelicities I'm in the dark as to which _ sitting up straight as if I had lived a beyond the sorrows of my time and had nothing to dread! No. [I] smiles up at me - Polly and the girls come at me. - and - well there's an example in Trig, with two solutions - six answers ... ...
(Line of text in left margin)
I spend silent ... with [Laura] Bless her
I think it was self renunciation of a lofty type for me to ask Huldah deliberately last night to spring the trap that should make my eyes bounce open at 6-30 this dreadful morning - and then leaden-hearted and leaden-footed to crawl up - and right about- for whatever there was of it! In the first place a match had to be struck which meant twas dark out doors What if you do know that by & by the world will light up - and there'll be help in the hills _ It is nevertheless a strangely real & bitter fact that you are standing with your feet cold - and your eyes swelled almost shut - buttoning a cotton flannel waist - that pinches you - it was a very small alleviation when you found there were "[saratogas]" for breakfast _
Then you were no. 6 in Trig and you lifted up your voice and said "Not prepared" ... did ... ... ... ... to ... how ... the white snow looked with its ... and ...! How you and Laura did ... ... that old example is the ... of - It makes me double all up to think of it!
Maria, our chamber-maid of yore is lost to us. The new one the girls say is able to be endured! One cheerful thing - Arletta brought some cookies from home _ 324 _ She lays it down to us thus _ "No one must ask for a cookie unless she is faint Then she positively refuses to let us get faint _ The moment the bell rings for meals she [whews] us all off to take in provision _ The designing girl! I haven't seen a red ant yet! Our girls put .. a great deal of "I know all about it" _ to me and say its the man " what man!" You see I'm not up in college news _ "The bug man" _ This is all I can elicit _ but I venture to add here that he's some wild kind of pied piper - who exists as a terror to all the Formica* race!
At half past seven Letty sent us all out & told us to knock _ We did. Then she said - You must take hold of hands and [go] [around] the table lock-step - & if you see a bundle with your name on it, grab!
*Formica is a genus of ants ubiquitous in the temperate region of the northern hemisphere.
13. Saturday, January 13, 1877.
... approve of this - The new blue and white in your room ([grabbed] last night) is a pure sensation The [givers] are the girls who room across in a Sophomore class meeting - You leave it with your usual uplifting of spirit _ You thank heaven for [pluck] and don't feel bad but a few minutes. You're in Laura's room when the twelve strokes sound _ ing up the mysteries of Book II - chapter 34 _ trying to make sense! Mrs. Livermore* gives a talk in chapel on "Superfluous Women". Blessed are we among girls to have heard it! _ It is like her to stand and push apart the briers and bushes - and show us glimpses of the glorious upland winding ... _ The way that is the only royal way - ... be ... by those who shall be kings and priests unto God _ when the time comes _ We need to have such as she push back the thick grown shrubbery now and then. She begins - We who are about to die salute you!
(right margin) Laura's birthday ...
*Mary Ashton Rice Livermore (1820-1905) founder member of the American Woman Suffrage Association and president of the organization between 1875-1878
14. Sunday, January 14, 1877.
To-day comes too soon after yesterday for you _ You wanted the dear Sunday stillness to take up yesterday's legacy in and ponder the things in your heart _ What you did get you could have waited for _ [and] put into some Sunday morning when the President was explorative _ and talked on conscience _ We dont have things our way _ Prof. Backus talked to us out of the deep places there are in him. There was heart and soul and feeling in his sermon and the hearts God had touched [felt] their way to the cross with him _
A severe talk on the married state - all there - Laura too - comes to the [wo]ful summing up - "Its a [wu]zzly world" Laura thinks the right [ones] get joined - not often to be sure _ but now & then - Huldah sets her foot down _ "None whatever" We are [sure] the projection of the great circle of hopelessness crosses our celestial equator - both in and as we turn reverently to Matthew in Greek - There's no hopelessness there - no dragging down sensations "Come to me" it says - [Well] we are tired children & He knows!
*But men must know, that in this theater of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626).
It did have streaks of disaster in it _ You were handled a little rough to be sure _ but then _ how do you expect you are going to sing "Increase my courage, Lord" if there isnt ever anything a happening _ to make courage and lots of it _ the thing to have _
You were torn up by the roots when you got out of bed _ and you lay around loose on top - for all good you were to any subjects necessary to be contemplated _ Its my stopping to be so wise for a little _ I suppose there's a cold at the bottom of it _ but how or where _ this is unsnarlable
Its Laura that packs up 82 and brings it down stairs for my present comfort
I howl all the night through (this may properly belong in to mourners recital) howl as if the evil genius of the stormy night which is in its fierceness upon us - had gotten hold of me -
We arent going to have any mournfulness about this business You've got it in hand and we see you wriggling it through - Trot right along _ You march up to Prof. Braislin* and stand there gladiator fashion _ What you're to impress her with is that you embraced a [jug] last night and not Trig _ aches and not cosines _ She doesn't act as if you were confessing incendiarism to her - and you sit down meekly as is your wont. You perservere through a half a chapter thoughtweighted Thucydides _ with Laura _ and then her good angel comes suddenly down _ It enlivens the world by keeping you up from tea _ causing you to sit at a famous little supper in 82 _ and letting the blessedness there is hovering in loose places in this world _ make an open place before you
You go to bed at seven or so and ache the dreadful all night - but then _
(left margin - and Aggie's precious little ... [is dead] _)
*Priscilla H. Braislin, Vassar College mathematics professor, 1865-1887
Notes from Dr. Wag's talks _
"Too far east is west,
Too far west is east"
The Greek is the author of everything beautiful in the world _ now as in the days of Pericles. (Don't believe it). Rome gave the cupola_ the upper Rhine, the dome, The spire is dominant in Eng. "Hic, haec, hoc" in the textbook; but [gum]ption is a rare thing. Egyptian obelisk is a sunbeam in ... _ Greek Doric temple is a master-piece of human art - solidified beauty, ... out come and not a put-on _ ornament constructed _ Talent is the agent of science - art the product of genius - The Greek created, the Roman constructed - Greek temple has its decorations in its moldings, its [fea]tures _ moldings sections of curves - Gr. Segments of circles _ Roman What can be done with a tool - talent by brain & hand - genius. Arched architecture Roman - Lintel - Greek palaces of glass & iron exact types of modern society - Benedictine - the schoolmasters of the world
You thought you would treat yourself to a day on the bed _ as if there were something to be got out of it_ You could just be there you know _ or you could take yourself into "Annals of a quiet neighborhood"* _ How lucky you were to get it last night. The girls all came in at twenty minutes to 12 _ and you properly hoisted up and propped, read to them arlyle's Hero Poet.+
After dinner Huldah came in and brought her sewing _ As for things to rejoice over _ the jug of hot water was one It stood for _ and emphasized larger givings _ Then your shoulders couldnt be cold any more _ for why? Polly's comforter _ Yes, yes, things have worked round _ given time enough _ you judge that now the massive pile that confronts you will crumble _ You are tired to the very centre of you - of [toting] the acropolis around! ... in such a sense - how uplifting!
*1867 novel by George MacDonald
+ May be from Thomas Carlyle's Heroes and Hero-Worship, 1840
The President preached to us on the unity of the church _ Text _ "One Lord, one faith, one baptism - one God and Father of all"_ It was a better sermon for the intellect than for the heart. The dear, great-hearted tender-hearted man. Why is it he don't take hold of us further down and stir the deep places? One word from Prof. Backus* _ with a ... in his eye _ and the feeling in his voice _ and we are all melted down.
The sun is shining on us and though we are a good ways from spring and in the midst of a biting air _ the very brightness will make us think of days long and bright - when promises of blessedness shall be again fulfilled! When I said _ "You were [real] good, Laura, to come and stay with me so long" _ she told me very soberly that it was not good of her to be good to herself" It may have seemed an hour a little dear to her who has so many here that ... bright in her shadow _ To me indeed it was a great deal_ more than an hour a little dear. The [opening], [sweet] life with the hard question _ Did you [ever] have a year when everything that you had [discarded] came all at once?
*Truman Jay Backus, Vassar College professor of Rhetoric and Literature, 1867-1893
Well _ another worry has slid down and out of sight _ The history work did arrive at Chipman's Point whither it was marshaled forth _ and the upshot - outcome - of it is three dollars and ten cents. This is an event! The 36th chapter is hard. Yet _ a bliss for every plunge down the shaft we come up with a shining grain! This pays ...! We are all down at the end of the table together _ I didn't tell you, did I? Life at meals is less a nemesis [a] theory _ ... even are something - even in a world we soon go out of!
Coasting is still the rage _ 'Why what do you slide on?' the innocent say _ the people who don't "compreney-vous"! "On what? why on what nature has provided to be sure" You perhaps don't know _ that this last came from Laura's Polly _
Moonlight - moonlight and nothing to call me out in it!
23. Tuesday, January 23, 1877.
Let me see _ The home letter had to be attended to as I thought, on the spot. I went at it at the 6th period - but didn't pull it through. It lays over: The transports of a half an hour out doors on Paddy Hillard's sled I could not forego _ The half hour, the sled, the transports were held out to me - I took them - and grew happy _ thre!
There was a world of enjoyment _ lying open to us in that masterpiece of Pericles! Not open in any sense without Liddell and Scott and a good deal of C and Hadley _ but there to be worked for - just as most everything else is _ if its worth having _ We were in magnificent ... for it _ and the night came up our sky _ never with a sweeter blue - or lovelier gray borders - or pink touches and suggestions _ ... all these .... lately I ... ... the blue - I can't get the Trig example - I ... sat and stared at it two periods and about made up my mind that it is Frances versus example!
To be sure you didn't have your Trig example _ but as Laura says _ "That's nothing"_
You proceed along the halls up to class - wishing you had it _ though you are awfully dumb on the subject. Some example for Friday says the sharp-eyed professor in drab. You may get it!
There are ... in the other ends of the world, pieces of stories _ prayers for light upon the path _ Rhoda has ... me again _ and her perplexities knock at my gates and say "May we come in?" _ No - little ... - I cannot straighten you out _ I haven't hold of the end of the thread you see - that's in better hands than mine! Another little supper in Laura's room with her _ You peep into "Sights and Insights" while Laura lays the cloth and brings out the cunning little china cups _ she buzzes about and you call it "being out to tea" _ and forget that you are a sophomore with aspirations _ and trigs _ a minute to forget in.
25. Thursday, January 25, 1877.
For steady help from outside give me a day of sunshine _ It is impossible to feel that you are fighting single handed and alone _ as long as there is sunlight that will not forsake you - Well _ we have begun and ended the day of prayer _ There's a good sound in the name.
Why all our days are not called this _ is no fault of God's - Prof. Upson of Albany - a short man with a keen eye - and a beard growing gray _ Those awful words _ they [run] about with me - they stamp the day with an oldtime fearfulness - "And those Capernians who are exalted to heaven shall be brought down to hell" _ "Culture without Christ" _ How quiet we are living knowing believing these awful things - How still we keep_
The exhilaration of my hand sled ride is still fresh upon me _ A touch of the pleasantness that lives out doors of things -
There are lots of things you wanted to do _ that are left over _ left over for when - We will see - meantime we are glad _ glad for life just as it is this minute!_
As a parlor we are in disgrace_ Miss Hiscock saw a light from the outside at an hour altogether unseasonable! Letty not disrobed answered her knock_ Polly was just holding up a lamp-lighter to light it from the gas in the parlor_ Letty says- "She didn't light it _ I don't know why I didn't ask Miss Hiscock in _ I don't know why" _ Miss H. was determined on a ... - and gae it.
Laura - periods 1 and 2 busy with Trig _ It grows uncompromisingly dreadful ... the ... of her and she says _ "Himmel" "What is Himmel?" "Himmel," says Miss Laura - is Heavens _ a very bad swear whatever There's anotice a new one in masculine handwriting - posted in the water-closet _ to the effect that persons using the water-closet shal hold the knob up half a minute. Letty comes in, sits down and counts up - half-a minute twice a day - a minute a day _ half an hour a month _ 4 1/2 hours in a year _ pretty hard in ... really ... Huldah we get the proposition that each of us do it all up at once - a proposition well worth thinking about _ Laura bids me farewell for an indefinite period. anticipatory of water tanks _ and a Freshman essay - Miss Hay has a cold - dreadful of to kind ... has a hall-meeting ......there!
27. Saturday, January 27, 1877.
Undermining forces are at work again _ and you are not in any sense enjoying the satisfaction of our up-grade
You've heard about such days before - You and Trig journey to room D _ and hold communion with each other _ Two [weeks] ... of such _ Our reading circle has got rid of considerable of its much needed enthusiasm in the march of time. We took Swift's "Tale of a Tub" very hard _ and now that we are making off - and going into Carlyle for a brief space - it takes the ... of a most dilapidated [wardrobe] to get us together - and even then we insist on supplementing the author with a few asides _ These things ought not [so] to be. It comes to me by a circuitous route that Laura is no longer dangerous - it is ready to be copied! I finish "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood"
This week though it ends with a full ... has had its hard places - but which one would I have had left out, if I could. It has been given ... the quiet little story to help me on in mine!
It was good to you - so good to feel that whatever there might be before or behind - to-day you were in the pause _ It was a day to be remembered out doors _ Snow and sunlight make lovely combinations _ and such sunlight! Can it be we are yet two months from April? The President gave us plenty to think of in his sermon "Without faith it is impossible to please God!" I ran in after dinner a few minutes to see Miss Reynolds in 13. She has a great many sick days _ but what I started to tell you was this: - "If I could go home, she said, "and stay a year or two years I could get entirely over this sickness _ get perfectly well. but I can't! I mustn't _ I must work or get ready for work" Here's another to add to my calendar of - shall I say saints? I was in 82 _ considerable _ It happened through the worthy getting it done - Miss Lord's letter ...
Laura says _ "My heart goes out to Fanny Bromley_"
A Monday morning without the Monday morning dreadfulness _ not so much fun in getting up as there will be when the sun comes early - and sends loving goodmornings - but _ well brought up _ and good to promise . So we ... and walk up to breakfast pliably!
I threatened to put Laura Skinner in my "memore" so I'll have to _ I hoped to see that she got a little sleep - not having taken any lately - so I put her to bed - did it well too _ Presently she appeared at the door with her cloak and hat on _ It was a hopeless case _ and I could be in dismay _ There was nothing else to do _ I went determinedly at Trig review _ 80 pages _ I felt around for Spartan blood _ [Well_] results aren't firm - I got together some grit - and it answered every purpose! - Night - a quiet soul resting sky - the sun going down in no flashes of glory - no ... of kings - but in soft shades - and [hints] of peace -
Parlor ... don't talk much to each other - we are all having a hard ... over something for to-morrow -
"There are passages in my history" remarks [Earl] at dinner "when I feel like taking you Fanny Bromley by the heels and throwing you over into the lake" We will not say what called this forth _ but you were mild in your reply. You meekly suggested a ... be tied around your neck and you be allowed to drown This might have come from your preeminence in fizzling this morning! It pays so to fizzle when you've studied Trig and nothing else for three days _ nights included! You take [refuge] in the shadow of a few thoughts greater than the thing that cast you down! Laura _ and then there comes up a great big "bless her" - from the soul to me! _ Pericles grows enchanting - with her to read it with _ We stick on the 89th _ Laura says she's a sleepy cat so she takes to the bed and tells me about the "row" - in Phil [n]ight _ gets through - say - half of it _
Another lovely little "..." up in her room _ "I am you bet"
The way January leaves us is through the deeps _ There's some sun and some fog _ I guess twas ten minutes before dinner when the girls came in and sat down in my room for a "between time" _ All but Huldah - she never has any between times. Laura proposed a burial of herself in Trig _ Probably accomplished as nothing has been heard of her _ I did too _ Twas kind of comfortable - the hot bath and getting into my brown dress for tea _ Earl is wrought up on a "philogical[sic] research" to wit - the difference between subjective and objective - She comes to the door "to ..." (Greek ...) in a felt skirt & striped stockings - wants to know if the slop-pail the most prominent object visible is subjective or objective _ Our logic is not [mighty] at life P - about:
32. Thursday, February 1, 1877.
Well - how's things? If you've got anything comfortable to boost us up with _ how very wrong of you to withhold it optimism! I have ..." _ Farmer Bassett's Romance* with Trig digs tagging on behind and calling out of the deep. Before that story was a pure delight _ Out door exercise accomplished to-day by means of the cart _ trundled up and down the gym-path _ Its a sloppy day _ It took you the whole previous afternoon to make out your wash list and to see the Dr. The latter object unattainable! How do you feel by this time? We live in a world of illusion. There's one reality about it at present that never fails to impress you - Prof. Braislin's martial spirit in going at things - We quake but we live!
* Story in Saxe Holm's Stories by Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, 1874
33. Friday, February 2, 1877
The snow-storm you want doesn't come yet _ There's a smoky look in the sky like the April mornings _ If anybody wants to look and particularly don't want to see sloppiness and griy snow - she will have to look off _ to the tops of the hills - You feel as if you must look to-day _ as if the way lay out _ and yonder:
It has not been an overwhelming day _ It has been freedom in one sense - leaving out for one day that pain that has not left you for weeks _ That has made all you did so hard _ You almost know for a little [breath] what the better day will be! Prof. Hinkel does not find himself very fond of you _ He picks _ but there you don't mind long _ Laura and I read the whole of chap 89 and talk in between. We feel properly ...
Alphas hall meeting was ... some - Polly and I enter into it with spirit -
By the way - when operettas are good you have quite a fancy for them -
You don't propose to look upon this Saturday in any light of pure utility_ This is not a cheerful standpoint. The Sophomores are wise - For President Miss Teel* 25 _ Miss Blake* 9. Quite as it should be you remark. You have not yet outgrown the cares & responsibilities of Trig. There's a week more of it _ You sit by your big window with the blinds all thrown open _ and Huldah comes in _ and with your eye [imagined] at the end of an axis _ the infinity end _ you begin _ What matters Trigonmetry to the strong? The aptness of this loses in getting to Huldah in the rocking chair. You again don your wrapper for a dreaded interview with Dr. Web which was purely mental wrestling - no Dr. no interview!
Senior essays _ Do you suppose that E. D. could drop her E. [Deduces] _ Dont think it! "The ...of those who live with quiet people"
* Jessie B. Teel, Sallie T. BlaKe
35. Sunday, February 4, 1877.
Titus II - 4.* Severely practical _ An exposition of the dangers of mirthfulness _ in short a sermon from the President on "giggling" "The animal that is a perpetual [grinerer] is not a man" Other passages with tendencies similar _ Proverbial gigglers in ... to church _ mostly _ "its a lovely day Fannie _ wish you could go out" _ Have not attained unto any such paradaisical borders _ yet nights I dream of walking. It is as if the one blessing that the day desires must not be wholly lost to me.
"Edith is going to read some of Edward Everett Hale's Christmas Stories - dont you want to come up?" _ Inclination needed proofs _ supplied by the maiden who wanted to know _ "a very young Freshman" _ Four verses of Greek mixed up with a good deal of people that [roam] in and out!_ I have finished Ida's letter _
*That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, King James Bible, Titus 2:4
36. Monday, February 5, 1877.
There are spots of bare ground in sight - a thaw has started -
No ride - no cart - or to be logical - no cart - no ride!
Moreover it was an entreating apres-midi! A review of Herodotus is about to be entered upon. I like this way of [t]aking it _ viz_ me on the bed _ pillowed _ Laura with dic. ... and most of it _ mind _ [given] me exact meanings - and explain the optatives with or without " ... the purely receptive _ Then we had crackers and beef tea and jam up in her room!
Evening _ Corridor meeting and then absorption _ I'm taken to studying in my room nights _ with the door shut. Laura came down and read Herodotus to me until Freshman prayer-meeting. Myself in an uncomfortableness to-day _ If I only could feel better -
* attributed to Martin Luther, 1521
37. Tuesday, February 6, 1877.
You surely haven't lacked for sunlight _ It has been about you every where _ " A beautiful vast window is yours _ where the morning" can come in :
There's nothing very inspiriting in the home letter _ but my heart don't go down _ It can stay up when its helped _ God cares even for our sparrowy troubles _
Laura called my attention the first thing this morning to the tense of the Greek verb in the verse "I will come to you" * It is present in the original "I come to you". It was sent to me - this _ I needed before the day was over _ to know it _ not that anything hurt that had not been here to hurt, but it did me good to have the troubles ... together and let me cry a little while. It was good to have Laura's shoulder to cry on - The dear child.
It seems as if I could endure hardness as a good soldier - for a long time now.
* John 14:18, KJV
38. Wednesday, February 7, 1877.
"The swelling thereof" You needn't think about it quite so much only I spose you can't quite help it _ when you feel so pussed up _ inside _ ... pussy-willow _ its a grief that will make itself known.
Trig examination for to-morrow _ Huldah knowingly _ "what do you spose she'll ask" I give it up _ The student's association send in petitions _ "Give us _ O give us Friday" _ The shortest speech we ever heard the President make was on this occasion _ " I have received a request from the student's association which is granted _ There are so many tired girls lately . ... ... tired out cries _ How good it seems _ to think of a little let up!
Went to "twenty minute" meeting with Laura and Lizzie Cohn _ Had supper on a dear little light stand in L Wheeler's room - Laura ministering into me right my ally
[Drawing of two female figures - one says "O! I'm going to take Miss Bromley to ride!" the other says "What does all this mean Miss Abbott?"] *
[Lettie] is one of the unquenchable lights in our constellation _ It is easy to deduce this from the above _ Her feather in the engraving presented sticks up none too straight _ There is force in this! - "Trig" is over and gone - another thing! The examination did not bear as strong a resemblance to the "Assyrian that came down"+ as we had darkly pictured _
There was a slight disparity between the number of minutes and the number of questions, however - which added to the uncomfortable spots in its last moments!
How we've laughed to-day _
But we only sit still to-night and grow very tender To think that this was coming !_
* Mary Merriman Abbott, class of 1878
+ From "The Destruction of Sennacherib" a poem by Lord Byron first published in 1815 in his Hebrew Melodies, based on an event described in 2 Kings 18-19
I was sitting at the table out in the parlor trying to write a little note to Laura - it seemed as if I must write it as if I never could tell her. but Polly had met her in the hall and presently she came in. "What is this - Frances - what does it mean?" _ I took her into room"d" _ in the very sight of our darling Greek books _ and in the sacredness that has come there _ since she came so much _
The girls said "Let's put by everything and just have a good time till Fannie goes _" So Parlor 12 ceases to be a work-day world _ and all its borders become holiday land. The ark is brought up and it opens its yawning gulf but we aint going to pack yet - After the girls get loaded down with [dresses] to make for the "heathen" and ... succeeds in finding "Saxe Holm's Stories _ and Laura comes down to sit with us and crotchets a pair of little black slippers - we know we are in the L Orchard!
We began by taking into considering the necessities of the ark: _ Laura says _ "I am going to pack it aint I?" _ "much as the girls in [No.]12 will let you" _ say I _ with some degree of certainty in my own mind. In about how much that will be - But all any of us need is a little coaxing - Away we go into the depths of drawers and boxes until room d howls _ This will not answer _ we'll do the rest on Monday! - I enter into a conference long and necessary with Prof. B_ in that office of his ... up in the "fourth north"! "It isn't all over for me _ Vassar isnt _ and I may get better" _ This is the best I can do - I cannot see a slip ahead - I can only stand and wait _ to see - Meanwhile the next thing is to go down to the 1st South and read Saxe Holm* with the girls! _ I find room "d" lit up with flowers _ from parlor 12 bless them! - and after tea came in to find a lovely Calla and some English violets from Laura. these things go to my heart
[two lines of writing along right margin] ... ... in the morning_
* Saxe Holm's Stories by Helen Hunt Jackson, 1874
The first thing was the breath of the flowers! _ Then the dawning sense that this was the last day _ that the little Greek books lying in the window meant nothing any more - I got up with my trouble and went out where the girls were - Everything has been very sweet all day _ the girls have taken care that nothing should be left out _ that could help me bear _ My comfort has been thought of and thought of _ until I am strangely confused at being so cared for _ Polly sat with me through chapel - Miss Long was good to let her _ I almost forgive her for the last [squelch] she gave me in view of this! _ I took the little Greek Testament up to Laura's room but we didn't open it to-day _ We talked about things we never got near enough to each other to say before -
To see the day die over the top of Sunset Hill - and know that it is the last time for week & weeks. To know ... just how this feels -
[Left margin] I asked Laura leave her Greek books in the window ... ... ... -
It was Laura that brought the little white box down and packed the flowers _ That - I was to carry in my hand : It looked as if the camp chair had got to be helped home in the same way: _The sight of the little Greek books in the window just as we left them last Thursday is more than I can bear - When I am ... I can't look at that window: The last things to get into the trunk, folks to see. Miss Hiscock to leave my dismission card with _ How good I've these things to do _ Almost the last thing Laura takes me for a minute in her room and puts around my neck narrow black ... from which hangs a pretty cross _
Its all over ... It's only a little while and I see them waving to me from the platform _ My train moving slowly out _
One of the very hard times Fannie - the very hard _ It's He [too] that knows it! "O Lord! only to be made like thee in thy great love!"
Home where they are also who care _ who care most - Aggie was at the cars
There were two dear little notes in among the flowers _ Laura's hovered over two English violets that she had left kisses on Letty's had in it that sweet poem of Saxe Holm's
"It cannot be but He must know
About the thing I long for so" _ *
My flowers all look sweet and fresh this morning. The calla looks as if it had it in it to live forever _ Last night it was hard and ... _ and we all felt the dread and fear. This morning in the newness it seems a little better _ Mother says "Well I won't give this up yet _ I'll believe there is hope until Dr. Vanderveer says there isn't. It sounds coming from another like a call to courage _ for is it not her heart that has ached the sorest? _ Well _ "We know who has come into the world and borne the pain that was in it" __
* first two lines of "Draxy's Hymn" in the story Draxy Miller's Dowry in Saxe Holm's Stories by Helen Hunt Jackson, 1874
Last night I woke up in the night and heard mother praying. It went to my heart and it left there all night the [sorr]est kind of an ache _ How can I go and know that she wants me like this. If I were anywhere - anywhere in this wide earth and she wanted me I would come - but how can I - if it is that river that I cross But it is God that she's talking to Her course is safe, with Him -
When I get up - I take all my flowers out of the vases - and give them a lovely bath _ and the freshest water _ Then they smile for me all day. Aggie has her work to comfort her - I begin to understand something of what a great thing it is to have work to do.
It is nice to have a little time to rest in before I go to see the doctor _ I drop back in the life here at the cottage - just as when I left it only with a worry larger grown _ I had hoped in vain that it would be smaller
Before taking me down mother thought it would be well to precede me with some arrangements _ so she has gone down and we have to do without her to-day. This last does not mean anything very enlivening - but we "pinched along" which just expresses it ! "faint yet pursuing" to have this said of you because you washed a handful of dishes! _ Think of coming to this! _ Grandma sits in her corner behind the stove and asks questions! _ I suppose she, too, is worried and wants to bear a part of our trouble! _ Mother comes back to say that Dr. Van is out of the city and I cannot see him until Monday! - It seems an age _ before Monday _ and we are all so anxious! _
... _ I keep very-very still_ These are not days for diary keeping _ I would not like to write what I am living - It all looks so solemn to me _ not like anything I can tell _ When I think of these days _ I shall remember it all _ It is not such days as these that we forget! _ Grandma's chair is under the little mantel by the stove _ Here her years creep by _ as softly as the snow falls in the drifted places _ Behind her is the little sofa _ where I lie all day _ Mother's slippers pat-pat on the kitchen floor. It is not the work she is thinking of _ but blessed a thing it is that there are dinners and suppers to get _ bread to be kneaded _ ... to bake _ work of any kind is such a respite! "Talk of something that's greater than living _ of a love that is higher than mine!"
I told you the calla had it in it to live _ and it has. Come and see it this morning _ The pinks and the English violets - these too are with me yet _ The roses and the ... had to go _ flowers have such a dear, quiet way of helping us _ Our talk drifts all one way _ We cannot say little surface things and be glad _ We are given sweet gleams of winter sunshine _ Well people go by happy in the freshness _ the crispness of the clear frosty air! Saturday night _ in the harbor _ I _ my boat rocks gently _ as the night comes up _ There are cities full of busy people buying and selling - but I seem out of it all _ with something of the feeling of one who is forever to be out of it- : "Under His wings thou art come to trust"
"Our help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth - He will not suffer thy foot to be moved - He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep _ The Lord is thy keeper - The Lord shall be thy shield on thy right hand" *
Take these Bible words _ they are such blessed ones! _ bring them here into my life of to-day _ here into the pain that is slowly working into peace _ A hard place to bring them _ The hardest, hardest place O _ ... _ that I have ever known - but it comes like a shining _ somebody is "keeping" me! _ To feel this just once as I feel it to-day _ I do rejoice to be accounted worthy to suffer!"
My last Sunday in the brown cottage - for now - I cannay tell when I shall come back _
* Psalm 121:2-5, KJV
All day long when I can get myself about it I am found picking up the things that are to go to Albany with me and laying them one side - placing the rest back in my trunk - as they are to lay while I am gone I feel as if I was following somebody over a thorny path between tall hedge-rows - and yet I know that "it is not a stranger that I follow" - What I am doing to-day - in making ready seems almost sacramental to me - I cannot think. I am bewildered and perplexed! _ The other work at home goes on just the same - It has gone on so thru the glad days and through the sorely-grieving ones _ almost three years _ just like this _ I like to see it so _ To have it to think of when I am not here _ "they are doing so and so to-night" _ I'd like to spend the days that are close by here with mother _ but the other way is best _ we think!
If we were in a picture we would not be taking the train with joy and happy people with "to-morrow shall be as this day and more abundant" in their focus and ways _ It would be among figures moving silently with awe and wonder in their hearts It is not so out of pictures People ... ... sad ... and we never know _ I shall remember to my dying day the way that ... looked _ the ... where I sat and waited for Dr. Van _ and where it was all said and from which we ... out at last _ the little mother and I - What a pitiful little face Nellie held up to me as we sat in Aunt Mary's talking _ She seemed to understand - I watched muzzy's gray shawl and black dress and little [bonnet] with the [veil on] _ out of sight _
I think after that I had the heartache _ That night it seemed as if there could be nothing grander than to have like the Lord Jesus the power to heal one such [as me] as mine _
* Isaiah 56:12 Come ye, [say they], I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, [and] much more abundant King James Bible
Aunt Mary lets me lie until the whole breadfast is ready to be taken up _ then she comes in very softly and asks me how I feel and would I like to get up _ Aunt Mary is such a dear soul to come to with a trouble! I feel as if all connection between the busy world and me - were broken - It is purely a case of "lain by" _ We are not made to relish such things - and yet - when we come to take the questions down into the very hearts of us _ who would forego - the opportunity to "endure hardness as good soldiers?" _ I sit by the window and rock some _ lie on the couch and take cut up naps _ some - talk to Aunt Mary some _ not a taxing existance _ A little after dark Dr. Van comes - He is encouraged sufficiently to say that he will undertake my care -
As I said before, my existence is not taxing at present _ nobody expects anything of me - apparently - except to be up to eat breakfast while the steak is hot _ Poor little mother! I can see her every minute _ I know just how she is worrying up there in the little dining room! If God will only let me stay while she wants me! Aunt Mary and I talk a little [in] broken places about ... night long ago _ Of a great pain and a great peace _
"O - God to clasp those fingers close -
And yet to feel so lonely _
To see a light upon the brow
Which is the daylight only _
Be pitiful dear God" _ *
* From the poem The Cry of the Human by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I do not like "Hannah Thurston" by Bayard Taylor * - I had a dim suspicion that I would - but nothing would tempt me to read it again _ I thought I should read a verse or two of the Greek of Matthew every day _ but I miss a pair of brown eyes that do not read it with me any more - Something is the matter with it - with the face of things - every where but in the heart of things - It is always glad - th How sorry Aunt Mary feels - and how hard she tries - to do everything for me just right _ Helen Bly manifests her sympathy in tail-waggings _ any-way Helen _ don't care how _ ... .... I ... it! Mrs. Sullivan too - has ... of it for me but I can't understand her as well as I can [Nell] - We don't find out some things except from the darkest corners
*Hannah Thurston: a story of American life by Bayard Taylor, 1863
Two things will happen to-day _ I said this to Fannie and ... as soon as the comprehension of time and sense came back _ said it again while I was dressing! _ The doctor will decide whether there's anything left of me to doctor _ and whether he's the one who will make an attempt _ - [at] working in that little
Another thing - mother will be down - and will see about my place to get well in! Here or somewhere. _ We took our breakfast as quietly as the folks in France did on the morning of St. Bartholomew's massacre! - This is the way we do _ in a world where we walk from one dark room into the next! All we can do is to listen to the voice that calls from where the light is _ "Be of good cheer _ I have been there and I have overcome!" _ The first thing that did happen was Mary Dodd: _ We [did] ... a minute or two with pater familias and the [knee] -acting attendance There we gave it up! Mother waits [over] all night so as to hear what Dr.Van says _ It is no dark message that he brings - He thinks I can be helped: _ Dear little mother - how [your] heart goes up! _ Mr. Hughes says "no" I cannot stay here - with Aunt Mary
It is a very much twisted up morning _ to my mind - Pater-familias and the "son to him" _ held a grim, smoking carnival- (grim to me) which lasted until church time. (There does come a relief for most any woe in this world, if you wait long enough) _ I had my Greek Testament _ and I could sail splendidly away from most every weariness to where "nothing shall hurt or destroy" * _ Yes - Yes! -
It is a good time when the dishes are all put away and Aunt Mary sits down to comb out her hair _ and I sit and rock by the window
We talk a little about the going away to-morrow _ and say how sorry we are _ that there is no other way _ we say how glad we are for what the doctor said last night _ for the coming of the [new] sweet hope of a better time _
(Two lines along right margin)
Mother completed her arrangements and went home on the horsecar ... ... ... bless her!
* Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain
Well - this is the way it has all come out! _ I am landed at 42 South Ferry St.!
My pretty carpet of tted browns came this afternoon and the other things _
They didn't take me over until the room was all ready and the fire built!
While Margaret's front romm duly bargained for was being put into a state of winsomeness and grace - I sat by Aunt Mary's window rocking - and telling her that I wanted to stay with her - Bless her dear heart. She would keep me if she could! One like her to love you is a great thing even in a world we soon go out of! _ She comforts me by telling me how often she'll [run] over _ and tries to ... that its the best thing by logic and argument!
I am borne in due time to my continuing city on Ed's big truck which happened as a purely accidental circumstance! A hack would have been better - but then!
I consecrate the first evening to writing to Huldah _ and no. 12
A very cruel way of waking me up mornings has been adopted _ The setting down hard of a coal-scuttle _ and the dumping of a rattling grate _ these to come into the middle of some"sweet Eden shore" dream! _ Well ! the world as it will be from the "first floor front" _ this - the morning after the first night _ looks some as if it could inspire _ and help a little _ Just think of it _ the days may come when I can walk up and down - the street - where now I can only sit and watch the people who have been blessed of heaven with power to walk! - The snow lies on either side of the street piled up in great ridges _ we have not yet sailed out of the winter of things! _ Gracie trots in and out _ We've not [proceeded] very far yet - in a mutual understanding ! _ but we paddle towards it ! _ Aunt Mary drops in at morning and at night
This is a new way of living _ Its got its uses - no doubt - I think it a very good plan to try all kinds. Starting out it looks as if I should be kept warm - this is well - as if I should get something to eat _ which is also desirable _ as if I should get talked to a lot _ which is not an attractive foreground! _ It isnt a place where there's any living done - a kind of drag for daily bread - which is thrown around on plates when obtained _ with out a comprehension the slightest that there is even a thing as high art _ even in serving _ Any number of [pre]... of persons who have died (most of them in this rom I believe) look down upon me "from the world - Outside theres a piece of sky for me to see as large as one of [Maurices] targets. the old Dutch church with the large street lamp in front - lighted early - sparrows in abundance too and people going back and forth _
He marched in _ blowing but not much! _ Plenty of sunshine _ and no noise about it! -
Mr. Hughes _ a man venerable and growly _ comes forward with advance dispatches of clean clothes _ also a letter! Don't I wish he'd go so I can have the sweet little talk with Laura? _ It is a lovely letter and my heart is lifted! -
Come in from supper. All dark _ man standing there _ I scratch a match and labor with the large globe to be fitted into four brass pegs _ not easily done _ Lo _ my good doctor _ he it is _ He takes a few surveys of my [crust] and interior and says - "Take courage" _
Do I? I fairly soar _ Touch the vaulted blue and tarry awhile!
Sparrows are quite a help _ Are not two of them sold for a farthing? And yet _ that is a wonderful "and yet"* . It occurs to me that Laura and Parlor 12 will not find in my communications that variety which they could wish! _ Look at my diary for instance! This is a dry and thirsty land!** We have [entered] Fannie and me upon a new kind of life _ How a chance to taste the world out of many dishes! It is very slow journeying back to health _ We still lift up our eyes unto hills - "the hills"!*** It takes me a good part of the day to write a letter!
* Matthew 10:29
** Psalm 63:1
*** Psalm 121:1
Vowed diary should'nt be given up _ Tis to be kept in dribbles _ Chapters no longer _ but heads of chapters! _ Well _ try it madam! _
Aggie and I on a long snooze _ called back to things of time and sense by a [rush] of coal on a new fire _ Presently we get up _ Spells of rain take up - Also "clear off" spells _ The 3d Dutch does not lack worshippers _ We watch ['em] ! 1:30 _ Aggie is off _ Leaves Frances some "down" _ A good deal too much down _ This taking her out of [clover] and sitting her down on bare ground she takes hard ! _ Vassar versus S. Ferry 42 -
Evening brighter Aunt Mary _ and a still house -
Finished Earl's letter _ a note too to Martin Hayes ... ... -
Excuse this tipping over of things _ The child is in a tipsy-turvy world! _
It kind of blew _ an Albany turn to things _ indicative of the whew about business way Albany people get into _
My sister blew in some-wheres in the flood tides of the morning _ this was a helping on occasion! Shall I mention another? The chat with Parlor 12 _
Aggie has business to attend to _ not unusual _ some things to take back doubtless that she bought before _ A pure guess _ but it is probably so _ a fortune teller to see "for fun" _ In the meantime I dispose of myself in a nap _ to be followed by a talking time with Parlor 12 _
Evening _ Aunt Mary came over _ and Aggie was there and me _ all to ourselves ...! _
The "cares of this world" are increased _ The new responsibilities consist of pillow shams to be kept straight _
I find I have a great talent for sleeping _ If I keep on, my diary will grow so absorbingly interesting that I shall not only dote on it in future years but leave it to posterity! What a thrill would come over me to turn to this page _ disposed of as follows_ IX. Woke up sleepy _ X. Laid down XII. Still asleep _ II. As quiet as an infant still _ IV. Opens her eyes _ five minutes part IV _ Goes to sleep again _ VI. Rallies _ VII. Retires _ hopes she'll have a good night's sleep! _ Probably does !
Aunt Mary comes over after tea _ Is too sick to stay. Dear soul _ she is too good to me! _
My bath of last evening was not in vain _ It washed off some innate drowsiness _ There's nothing surer _ Indeed I have kept up a purely civilized air to-day _ Have varied my existence by setting my energies at work on a puzzle _ energies still at it! _
3. P.M. A knock! The writer reclining _ Knocker enters Ah! Dr. Van This is a thing greatly to be rejoiced in, this managing to get here before dark - I hope I am properly thankful. He acts bolstered up on props not likely to let him fall - This sets me to hoping too: _ Two letters _ Arletta's one _ brim full, running over with the things that I want to be doing _ that it is so hard not to be doing! -
Satie's _ Well - hers tells about some thrills she's had _ Has a picture of her in it - No thrills apparent -
Evening - Aunt Mary and Mrs. George Hy.
I set myself up _ to say that as for this dozing business - it won't do! _ So much in earnest am I in this matter that if there's no other way to keep the upper lids up and the down lids down, machinery shall be resorted to _
A postal from Lettie suggesting that I write Parlor 12 _ a daily installment! Think not! _
Pussy willows as sure as you live! _ and there as plain as can be is the writing of my Laura girl _ The darlings _ there's a love-thought for me in every one of the soft white bosoms _ Isn't it good such things can live - can be sent? _
Uncle Eph's daughter exists in [title] only _ Why do you suppose it is I can't write? I just sit over the paper hours at a time biting the end of my pen holder _ The story is in my head _ but it won't write! _
And there's my blessed mother come to see me _ She can't wait till she gets her things off before she says _ "I've got good news for you" _ This is such a darling way she has _ She would come all the long tiresome way from the top of the long hill to Fannie and me just for this _ to make me even a little bit glad! Bless her heart _
Mr. Johnson has ... ... with the "presiding genius of Room J" _ and the p.g. says he hopes I'll get well soon and come back _ for when I complete the course he intends to give me a position in his department. How do you suppose Fannie and me feel by this time? O _ it is so splendid _ I pray harder than ever for health! _ And the dear Lord who has sent the good news - will he not send the health? do you want to hear any more about this day - No - you don't _ It is full already _ I didn't want Muzzy to put on her hat and go _
42, South Fetty St.
A sending down "of showers, of showers to water the earth"* It might have been the rain - and then again it mightn't _ any way I was dumpish and nothing came to pass to lift me out! Aunt Mary came over or rather dropped in with her yeast-pail _ but she only looked in on us _ and then got up to go _ The postman darted by heartlessly _ and still the rain splashed against the windows!
Life isn't long enough for us to have much to do with such books as Roe's "Cloud on the Heart"** _ I was driven to it to-day _ As bad as it is, it is an improvement on "Barriers Burned Away"*** _ He makes his characters talk, and such insipid talks!
No Dr. Van here this day _ no ma'am! _
* Psalm 73:6
** The Cloud on the Heart by Azel Stenens Roe, 1869
*** Barriers Burned Away by Edward Payson Roe, 1872
To-day the sun blesses us _ Its a good day _ To be sure the river is "a raising" and our ankles may be in puddles in the "first floor front" any minute _ but that's nothing_
A putting in attempt to start "Dr Eph's Daughter" "Dr Eph's Daughter does not get started - I wasn't born to write stories _ evidently!
I had my mouth all fixed for a letter mine A. ... _ "Not a drum was heard" _ Did it again at 3 _ the man in gray trimmed with brass buttons said "Bromley"
He was the medium between me and Parlor 12 _ which speaks up again! _ "When I get my letter read I am going to dress up" _ you said _ A minute after and in walk Aunt Esther, Aunt Mary and Hester _ If I'd only done it you said! _ Began a return mail to Parlor 12 _ I get quite elated over my chat with Lettie, Polly, Hulday and Ella _ ... elated
Good morning, Fannie _ A "good" morning it really is _ leading out into a precious day _ No one to talk to us or bother us much _ and all the sunshine we wanted! Fannie and me! _ We heard the church bells _ sang a little softly to ourselves _ read Mrs. Browning's Sonnets and Poetic Studies _ and rocked ourselves _ It was all still and sweet and solemn _ The [trust] that God sends He sent to me while I was praying _ the sorrow and sin and trouble of the world _ came over me a little as it did to Jesus _ I prayed too for life _ if He who knew the best _ always the best _ could see fit to give it
The verse that came as the answer filled my heart with peace - "Whether we live or die we are the Lord's." *
* Romans 14:8
No high-water yet _ A bracing item!_
Dr. Van _ before noon - wants to see mother - whereupon I fret a little
Watch for letter-man - might just as well not. Give him up _
Just begin to feel consoled a little when Gracie comes in _ with "Here's a letter Fannie" _ from Laura as sure as you live! Also a first installment of Greek prose _
Evening - my boy and girl - Boy with a boil! _ Girl in a state of transport _ "Maggie Mitchell" in Becky Mix* _ to-night
Aunt Mary _ a minute "I wonder what the doctor wants of your mother"!
* comedy written by Clifton W. Tayleur
We think always in the childhood of our life and far as in the other years that almost the hardest thing to bear - the thing we wonder how we can bear _ is the time when we are told _ "You can never be well again" _
And yet it came to me to-day in the midst of other things _ and the day was like other days _ and we talked and were cheery _ and it dropped out of our talk _ to be thought of in the still bedtime to-night when we should be alone with God
This is what the Dr. wanted to tell mother _ and now we know _ the dear, little mother _ dear Aunt Mary and I _ The worst and the possible! "The very present help"* _ It is the Lord _ let him do as seemeth him good _
Dear little mother - well - we have had a nice talk_ We wouldn't have got it all said if you hadn't gone on the 4_45 so I let you go _ smiling at you as you [pass] the window
* Psalm 46:1
I suppose I can tell how I sat here and sat here - and nobody came and nothing happened _ Began on this exciting life as early as seven-thirty ! How favored I am that I am so well fitted up with things to stir up so as to make things happen _ Thanks to mother for managing it Life at 42 South Ferry "first floor front" isn't altogether a "howling" wilderness while I have scrap-books to make - I make [em]!
Aunt Mary and Nellie drop in - just before eight _ Come to see how Fannie and me feel to-day _ Also to talk about going to "..." to-morrow _ night and storm and darkness _
All available space is called into use in my present crusade _ to be a deposit or rather a place of deposit for scrap-book "d" _ This is why mother is glad to have the affair accomplished while I am in a state of banishment _ I manage to keep an awful looking room without prospective improvement even when pasting begins!
Well this is all we've got to tell Fannie and me _ Conversations with the p.g. (presiding genius) also (perpetual gabber) have in them no high flavor. They exist to me as a sort of last feather to break the camel's back _ in which case I am the camel! (but not Lill)
Come and rest Fannie Come up into long days leading through vine lands and out into the open country _ You need not have any worries in your heart for this is the court of the King
The spring touches me coming closer _ we shall enter presently upon newness of life _
In the morning you say "I will work at scrap-book awhile" _ at noon you say " I will take a little sleep on the sofa _ and by and by the night falls - across the pillars of the old Dutch church - then it wraps up all things - and you have nothing to say _ but _ "when it gets a little later I will go to bed"! We get into queer places _ in the course of the long journey - only "do ... go ... with us _ O, Father !
Aggie came down but, has ... back _
We think we're pretty glad to get out _ fanny and me! Not that it has'nt its miseries _ we all know through what tribulation locomotion is possible! but the being out _ the forgetting _ the being a part of something like other people _ that's it! When that young chap brought a satchel & left it here _ I was quite dazed! _ What ... was it meant _ was'nt here nor there _ It did come over me to say after a few whiffs _ "Maybe its Satie" _ Aunt Mary had just got up to go _ "Maybe it is" _ she remarked! Our "maybes" ... it for presently she was on hand also my sister _ also "Em Abbot" 42 was stirred to its profoundest depths! _ Maggie Mitchell in the Pearl of Savoy! _ We quite like it Fanny & me! A bright spot after a month at 42.
Where do you spose we are all going to sleep? _
(Two lines along side margin)
The day of the ... of Aunt Mary's ........
If we had cherished any high hopes ever so fond _ of lying to rest out this morning _ they were dispelled like cherries on trees when small boys live near _ It seemed as if I hadn't slept at all _ when Margaret came whizzing in - setting the coal scuttle down on the oil cloth _ with a great bang _ and letting out the very uncomfortable information that we were to be up to eat _ before Mr. I. was called.
I looked up and three heads lay in the big bed in a row! How were they more inclined than I to eat before Mr. I. was around! _
Aggie and her friend got off and Satie and I were left to find whatever we could in the day
There was nothing very helpful or bracing up about me _ I was not an inducement to anybody - (... ... ...)
We rolled along in a kind of ... talk - and went to bed early _
This having some one here is a new thing for me - It may be a good thing if I don't go into the rashness of talking too much _ Satie after many directions as to where it is and what she shall do when she gets there _ goes up to spend the morning at the ... - It comes about that mother drops in upon me - and we have a visit highly fine. Somehow things [look] brighter _ more like being endured when she has dropped in upon me for an afternoon _ The things that I don't do afflict me even in this do nothing state that I'm passing through
Its very well for me that I do have gnawings and uneasinesses when I keep people who are good to me waiting for answers to their letters = though why my dribblings are desirable is ... I know _
It was middlin early that I was awake - I turned over and asked Satie if she "sposed" that we'd got to get up and eat this morning before Mr. Ingraham did: - We lay sometime - and found out that this cruelty was not to be practiced on us! -
Satie goes out in the height of the morning to look around a little and to see what our end of Albany is like
She comes back to ... to "mother" and read "The Circuit Rider" _ I try to make myself think that I am molding and fashioning a communication to somebody _ but I ain't _ There's nary [write] in me! _ Mrs. I _ gives us her inspiring presence _ explains the peculiar state of her on the arrival of our guests on Sat. by enforcing it upon us that she was "agitated"! She casts to right to left ... ... in my ... ... in ... not Saturday! I am not meek
It was full of the kind of little things that come like annointings into these days - Laura's letter _ and it came just as we were sitting down to supper _ How could I help growing tender in my every thought outward upon things _ After it I sat down to a comfort talk with Julie _ On the sofa it was - with the night coming up outside _ We can hear the bells calling while we hold each other by the hand - in our quiet speech there in the dark -
It has in doings and such like been a day much like the rest _ a little pasting _ a little reading _ broken by sundry nibbles at the oranges _ My light stand makes a suggestive picture there by the stove _ I'm supposed to be writing letters _ but I don't _ I'm not utterly and thoroughly useless for there are the scrap-books you know _
To-day our talk is always ... - You know how it is _ thoughts march up and posess us _ and our talk drifts with them _ It is a long, long time since I have thought of ... _ like this _ Aunt Mary comes in with a kind of a whew about her and thinks she must hurry _ but _ do you suppose I let her? - Margaret gives my life a great many variations _ and almost every time she ... in Grace trots behind. I hardly object to this though _ It is quite an alleviating circumstance _ I have quite a [commisary] department _ which I [boss] _ thanks to Satie and Aunt Mary _ Mrs. Sullivan once or twice has brought me oranges - I wonder if I've thought to mention it _ I would not like to forget _ Dr. Van has come again & gone _
I crawl about sort of wearily and dream of the days of ... ... _ and bounding step _
I bring forces to bear _ upon that light-stand there by the fire _ It is really interesting to see ... off of the ruins of Carthage _ Its so easy not to do the things you'd ought to ! _
The episodes are yet the same - There are the same things to watch: _ the sparrows picking up their dinners & God caring - the coming of the pleasant German who rings the bell _ across _ Gracey in her little tiffs with her sister _ the very mysterious man who "likes fat" _ Well - my letter is put in the [green] letter-box in the corner _ how I am ready for a talk - my Satie - girl - Shall we look forward to-night- or back a little? _
What a day it was for March! Taking us up in its arms - at ... - as tenderly and carresingly to-day as if it were not sometimes harsh with us - and fierce! When Aunt Mary comes over with her best bonnet on - I say - "Yes _ I am all ready _ I'll have my hat on in a minute" _ she laughs and says "much good it will do you to have you hat on in a minute" just like that! _ Why couldn't the power of walking have descended on me then and there! ... you needn't be in such a hurry Fannie - it will come slowly. Think what a return it will be come how it may! _ You can well afford to pass through anything It came up to this! _ But Aunt Mary isn't saying all this to you _ she's way out of sight by this time _ showing Satie the [lions] of the city and such things! awful good of her!
In the meantime I and the light stand are drawn up near the window so writing can be done!
I am glad you are just such a Sunday as you are - Give me pieces please out of your best - your very best _ I suppose its not yet _ that we really know what the best is when it comes _ if it is a joy _ a love-message _ a thought of comfort we are sure _ so sure we are being given the best - but if an added pain - what then? Sometimes the very best is a day that "like a desert country lieth silent-bare - No - I suppose its not yet that we really know.
Dear Aunt Mary comes over to take Satie up to hear Dr. Bridgman! _ I am proud of her in her dress up clothes _ she begins to have such a dear old lady look_
Satie says the service was very sweet _ So was ... at home on the sofa _ not quite as well to-day _ perhaps _ but lifted up a little _ helped by one who too is sick these days _ yet [sending] ... ... ... _ for others _ like [Fannie & me]
How it comes in columns _ "Budding morn and dewy eve" and splashed on _ and there's enough left to splash the next one! _ this rain has its mind made up _ But we won't quarrel with it.
Last night in the night things were pretty bad at 42 _ Laurie and me got up and left the things of time and sense behind us in a temporary swoon _ How ever we were recalled and were taken beautiful care of _ the rest of the night. To-day we move not about much _ but we're here _ all of us _ and on the up-grade! Aunt Mary comes over with some of her ... broth - and is awful sorry: _ While Satie is up to ... buying up muslin _ in the rain - Margaret sits in the "first floor front" and ... ... [through] all her old love stories thing for me! _ also in the [rain]!-
Not a very comforting day to start out on _ The blue above has a hard time getting out into sight _
Gives it up! _
Satie gives it as her opionion that she'd better go - "If I wait - it may rain to-morrow" _ Yes - it may - I have no arguments to fetch forward to prove that to-morrow will not be as to-day - or more so! - So with bundle embarking and ... as a sustaining prop coming up to reinfore she is off _ and Fannie & me standing in the door watch her - almost out of sight. Then we come back and lie down and miss something! -
Satie has made for all time a place in the affections of the p.g. by presenting her with a sachet! _ "I never had no such thing before" _ what must her childhood have been - d of sachets and perfumery?
This rain business is hanging on! There's not a bright patch of sky in the whole heavens _ nor likely to be The sky like a sad child sobs and sobs _ then tears fall again!
Begin as my old life again - and the first campaign was planned against Parlor 12 _ It is a cheery talk we have - looking not out upon the driving rain - and the early grey nightfall - but in where the fire is and the lighted places _
It is very still _ too still I am afraid _ It is impossible sometimes to keep all the specters out _ when I am left to my own calms - hour after hour! _
I wonder why _ is it sealed and set against me that I shall have no power of telling the stories that I so ache to tell - ache - with every thought of mother.
This mostly ____
Dearly Beloved and Longed-for _
A am here in Albany laid up - here on the sixth week of it! Why don't you talk to me a little? Send me something - a word - a signal, anything - anything but this utter silence I cannot bear. Are you sick, too, and cannot talk much? Is there no way for our ships to speak each other? Is there no longer any fashion of speech between us that shall change my longing for you into rest? Yes - I am here - but better. You can wait for the rest
I did not come to you - and I did not tell you any why - For the sake of all that there has been between us do not say even to youself _ "If she had only done differently" _ I cannot bear even the thought of this in you. I have not [by] and the pale of your trust - your perfect trust - in this - love - and you are so strong to do it for me.
Pretty soon we will talk again,
__________ Your girl!
Well Aunt Mary and Margaret have got back from "..."! Here we sit talking. Enter Aunt Mary's patriarch! - A momentary issue - Exitent ...!
... worry up, home - Muzzy, Fannie cares!
Yesterday I kept properly dressed up _ and waited all day for the doctor _ My room excellent in its way _ all unsightly objects _ carefully poked under the sofa _ or wash stand _ In fact every-thing according to my house keeping conscience _ in good shape _ the outside of my platter - clean! But no doctor came _ Two such days right along together _ too much for me _ To-day I got my scrap-book out which means on the face of it an execrable looking room and in the worst moment of its career in walked Dr. Van. Well!
Afternoon _ I do a rash thing _ walk over to my Aunt Mary's to dine! _ It is worth while _ and I do not [pant] _ even now! We have a fine chatty time to ourselves until long after six after which supper _ after which I am escorted home by the patriarch _ He enters _
Scene - Mrs. Ingraham in earnest _ also Mr. H _____
I think a whole story out after I get to bed.