Vassar College Digital Library

Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1875

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Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time working as a teacher in Cohoes, New York, in 1875.

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Cohoes (N.Y.)


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Fannie M. Bromley,
New York


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Happy New Year.
From Mother.

"What matters a little pain outside?
Go in and rest from it."


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I am crucified with Christ nevertheless. I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.
Galatian's 2.20


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January 1.

The Overture. After which the curtain rises upon a [home] scene. I am rich in beautiful things to think of, how that I have little still minutes to take[.] I come to my possessions, joyfully. "What matters a little pain outside? Go in and rest from it." This always.

Everything in the little home today has been full. There has been that little tender feeling that it is so good for me to have, and the longing and the clinging that keep me tender. Isaiah again begins the year for me. "For my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed."


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January 2

Contains more particulars. My hours for things are lost in the havent's where eighteen bells ring a day. I am utterly unconscious of any necessity of beginning operations before 10:30. It turns out that I don't. [...] some as other times approach!

We mark this day with a list of arrivals. My sister marshals herself home elated. It is not at all clear to her that it isn't wo well to come now as before. We make a wonderful expedition down street in an intruding snowstorm. We expend with an eye to earning more. My hair gets cut with an eye to growing some more.

The evening means a great deal of talking. Some people catch it.


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January 3

Talks of something that's greater than living.

There was the early morning and mother could go. I can't find words to tell how nice it was to me all the way. I entered with all my soul into the curch service. It was a new coming to Jesus. An entering into the temple. I knew that I had been reached, reached as I have not been since the trouble. How the words sweep over me yet!

"O to throw my soul's deep meaning into future years."

There came afterwards the dear, dear visit at Aunt Mary's. And after all these sad months, away from her.


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January 4.

Calls to old haunts.
There was a girl went out of the dear ways looking back. There's so much that the hills cannot hide.

Farther back in the day to the point where it first commenced I see the boy face bending over me to say "good bye." This is when I began to understand that it was coming.

Eight years ago over the [...] road on a journey. Now I have the whole story.

Emma was at the cars to meet me. Satie on the way. It is very nice to be cared for just as they care for me. The visiting part isn't the least bit of a bore.


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January 6.

Takes up little threads. Do I not know that they are tender ones. That they take hold very close to the girl that was? Think of me going up the hill, of the dear visit with Mrs. Ball and the Judge. Just this little part of it must never be dropped out of my story. There won't be many more entries in any earthly record book that shall tell this. In the school there was not a vestige of old me. I have completely and [oncely] dropped out, just as I shall from life by and by.

After dark Satie and I left Mary Jones and the pleasant afternoon for meeting tonight. I could talk and sing , and I wanted so much to hear Satie.
[Page torn]


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January 5.


Renews the olden times.
There are evidences of a protracted state of repose. It follows that breakfast and dinner are separated by fifteen minutes! That I have any end in life is no apparent. I lay around. By and by Mary Jones comes in and we talk up! She says, "Come to tea tomorrow". So we will.

We call some and it's nice. I'm glad life and god have done so much for Satie McLean. The bright little woman in the new little home.

Satie's walk and mine in the old streets had in it not a word of seven years. It was as near like the little nights after prayer meeting as [page torn]


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January 7.

Awakes me to a realizing sense.
A very emphatic call will be given in detail elsewhere. These pages do not admit of it! They speak mostly of a start.

By a remarkable developing of causes real and assumed we are called upon to put in practice what I've been brought up to "midnight trains". So much to gain a point! Add to this a walk up one of [Eugh] B's hills to get a man, to bring him where trunks are, to be moved on. But we have spirits not easily daunted, and we find the waiting, a pleasant entertainment.

Ah! Castleton, in the night and snow. Life makes us come to you. Can you be drearier?


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January 8

Gives me the idea!
I comprehend at once about what I have got to come to! I can get a great deal in a taste. All the joy there is in holding a girl down tight and making her stay is mine to the full. How thankful I ought to be for blessings like these! The new objects of interest consist chiefly of a young miss and a long table. The latter does not please us. The all say, "Is this the way its going to be all the time?"

At night Ida comes and we're all glad to see the dear face, growing to me so dear. Slowly I unpack, one by one the little things are all taken out and put away for twenty-five weeks.


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January 9

Makes me greatly amazed! I ought to be. Will work enough to do, to keep in motion quicker heads and hands than mine. I sit down perfectly demure throughout and are the whole day go, without are feeble effort, one gasping at it on its last namings. Not a mouse to stand as a witness that my mountain labored! I've no fault to find with the weather. There's plenty of snow and plenty of sleighs and horses and sleigh-bells.

The Seminary puts on a brighter face, its halls ring again with laughs, and we wear the new threads
[page torn]
One meeting [sing] at for me in the week of prayer.


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January 10.

Finds me and leaves me asking. We still sit at the long table. The feeling is a general one that we are all visiting and to be as stiff as pokers is the order observed. But place Mrs. Stiles motherly providing and genuine smile by Mrs. Hawkins angularities and you have a south hillside by a projecting wall.

I feel a deeper pain down where the sorry places are that I often know. That I could hurt anyone so they would cry as Satie did last night seems incomprehensible to me. She knows partly how unconsciously it was done. She knows a little how much I prize the loss that she has given me all these years.
[page torn]


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January 11.

Takes life up bravely. The descent from Patmore and poetry is abrupt, not to say precipitous down to these prospects! And what is the outlook? A few straggling blossoms holding up their heads around old Salmagundi. Gray wastes where no seeds have sprouted. Overhead time marked cedar festoons the last reminder of Alumnae doings. We look for multitudes and find ten or fifteen. I feel as if I was a general in a lost cause, a party to a conflict of valor against numbers!

Something betokens that the old Spartan spirit is not yet frozen in my veins! The manner in which I emptied my bedroom of its furniture carried its associations and all into a dark closet.


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January 12.

Finds a few things to do. I install myself in the new methods of proceedings flanked by the comforting assurance that I can stand it! What will sleeping in a dark closet be like. My "Summer in a Garden", will be "My Winter in a Clothes press". Yes, I'm "among by books". The sages of every country were there who poured over dusty volumes. What an advantage is mine who am poured among them!

What a change has come to me. Nothing is in any way as it was before the curtain dropped. Does 18. Two different lives in the same home, with the same work to do! No, not that. The ripples. Move over the surface. It is the silences below that are the same.


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January 13.

Is introduced as chilly. I am about to chronicle the assertions of the oldest inhabitants the voices of seers to to be lightly listened to, or idly regarded. It relates solely to weather, and is strong in the belief that this is the coldest winter since thirty, or thirty-one, two there, years ago. That we've not had it all yet. To be a correct themometer one has only to teach in Normal Hall!
Poor Salamagundi blazes and raves, and flames and smokes in his efforts. I never saw a more pitiable case of love's labor lost. I can't say. Blessed are those whol have noble striven and noble failed in his case. I long for balmy breezes, blowing soft o'er [Aylen's] isle.


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January 14.

Whirls me away. I am devoutly thankful that whirling is the word to use. As I feel to-day I stand ready to be suddenly twitched and whirled around, faster than a spindle and pretty quick dropped into ma's big clothes basket and informed that the big wheel that mowed me, had sent my girls through Conant's questions and Dana's [nine] from seven!and June 25 was upon me! To-day commenced it. Snatching me up in a tightening grip I began the going roung with agilit. My heart bounces up in a new kind of a beat, but I climb stairs and rest and whew as if I was regardless of cost. In little free minutes Thomas a Kempis brings [me] impulses to suffer and work.


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January 15.

Has a new ring. Aye, a sound of something coming for two complete days that is not Normal stairs or Mary do this, and Electra do that and Katie "rise", and Julia "that will do"!Yes, I think twill do, it will all do! and I sit down in a certain rocking chair and try to find out how comfortable a person Fannie is to live with! I don't take much comfort in anything I think
[page torn]


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January 16.

Means business. One blessing graces the new administration, a later breakfast. Who can rationale the satisfaction of that extra seven minutes nap? The order of the day calls upon me for a marshaling of forces considerable summoning of will. It only remains for me to add that I begin a report campaign! The sleighing improves
[torn page]


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January 17.

Rests me. God does not let us be whirled always around in the life march, even though we may want to skip hard days and hard things by being hurled quickly beyond them. He, with a perfect knowledge of our needs, calls us to rest places, and quiet levels with light upon them.

The wheels all seem to stop and all day long I seem not wanting, or getting ready but stopping, standing just still and feel the full rest of it. As good as we ever get here. As free from the worries as it is possible to be! Mr. Woodruffs sermons are a desert [dream] to me. He rants and gets into them and sends them forth as if they had power to live. But yet, I don't feel sorry when I go to church. I think Jesus had rather that I go when I can.


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January 18

Makes it necessary to give me prolonged discipline.

It isn't at all difficult for me to take in fully my next assertion. That being campelled to let a precious evening vanish in talk is trying. I recall dismally the work I'd laid out.

We are in weather that makes fearful [...]. The stillest grimmest kind of cold. My mood has [...] the puttin in one, not an inch to retreat, nor much of the tender drawing toward.


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January 19

Partakes of consternation in which I am not included. We have come to the most exciting chapter. The scene. The parlor. The aggrieved, our Mr. Hyde. The details are indeed of an unexpected character. Figures. Misses Todd and Grinnell Brown and Ten Broeck, and the hired man!

My part of it began when Ida came to tell me the story crying as we never heard her cry before. She leaves me feeling so much better with me glad that she was willing to take the course she has taken in repenting. There's a world of [cosines] in my room when I put the curtains down and go into the long evening.


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January 20.

Is not jubilant.
The storm does not abate and Normal Hall is cold. This weather and ten windows are too much for Salamagundi.

I don't like a small school and ours is an utter weariness to me. Only the afternoons [fan] the feeble [flame] that gives me breath. I wish doves would fly to Normal windows!

[Mip] T.B. is tired and sorry. Last night worries her and she is also troubled with a great Noyes. We are all so sorry that the thing happened last night. We all owe Mr. Hyde so much. [Mip] Grinnell [knows], she says that if it should get home twould kill her mother and her father would go raving mad!


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January 21.

Takes milder forms. The possibilities are in our favor. It does not snow less, but we get used to such things, and so improve on them. There comes something almost like enthusiasm and I rise to meet it contending for every inch of ground between me and this! The days I dread are the days when my heart goes out of the work and the empty seats inspire me with wretchedness. Even the man of sorrows was followed by multitudes.

Why don't I do more evenings? Won't somebody tell? I'm behind in everything and to get up spirit enough to get up and do things is one of my last outs...


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January 22

Brings a joy that was almost perfect. We were glad to hear about a double sleigh coming over and a lecture to be given in Middletown and some girls to go! Glad indeed were we to have it a part of our [...] with the beautiful [...] fallen snow, the jungle of the hills, the mild weather, the ready fun of the girls, brimming full around us, the little gentlemanly attentions of Mr. Hyde and the trot, trot of the good time we were carrying fifteen miles. It seemed so new and strange to have this whole journey so complete!

We found a hotel where the landlord had gone away the boy hadn't tended to nothing!

Scenes from the life of Dr. Carpenter were enacted, with great spirit, and the [...], drama. "Yes, there's a fire here."


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January 23.

Means poke. This it seems to me suggests almost as much as Grace Greenwood's verb to flop. For all I know I might have flopped too.

The most important part of me laid and slept away. While it lasted it might have been [restricted] everlasting bliss. Everlasting bliss, cut short. After that I got up! Ida is in great trouble and I give her my morning.
[page torn]


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January 24.

Goes on with the chapter.
The sick part of things is the important part. That's all we take time to think of.

I make a powerful effort, and rally most of us off to church. Our speaker is an exchange bearing aloft the noble name of Milton Tator. Mips H. says," has there ever such a vision of the ridiculous with
[page torn]


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January 25.

Thinks I need a further discipline. I leave Mount Parnassus with regret. Snowdrifts, continually piling, are foes to the school interests of Vermont. The path which leads to Normal portals shows no fair days, "here and there a traveler". Every trace of me vanishes in the accumulated masses, and I pour forth into three! I feel more like teaching in that little east room than any where else. The past is a spur, when I'm there.

Satie is sick again and I rebel and rebel, but all to no purpose. The outlook shows a prolongation.


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January 26

Shows me prospects of a continued discipline. I fight at the very thought. I raise up an [...] insurrection down in my heart, but there's nothing to do pretty soon but to quill the internal elements and face the fate! Darling is so sick, and I give myself up to her, and summon to my aid every available help. I dread so to think of the days that lie between us, and the better times, the well times when we shall enjoy so much!

I am given an opportunity to develop any slumbering talent for nursing. I shall need to know all that can be learned about it, probably.


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January 27.

Lights up. There's spells of brightening in the middle of eveything, and I'm thoroughly ready for it, if I ever was. I flatter myself that Satie is improving and with this gleam, nothing else seems quite so forlorn.

The many steps between Normal Hall and the sick girl tire me. It's like "ever climbing up the climbing Wave".

I think the morning part of school isn't quite so like making me desparate as it was some time ago. Jessie Hawkins and Mary Northrop bring balm in place of bitter herbs, not an abundance, but enough to make me inclined to live out my days. What makes me constricted to care?


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January 28.

Sings carnage. I don't care much whether the carnage comes singing or skipping or stalking in noiselessly, just the courage part of it, the part that will not let me be utterly despairing is the part that I'm glad of. Satie keeps telling me that she is better, and I get up a great deal of hope and say "I think she is". She has kept a little in her stomach and can move about more easily today. Poor little sick girlie!

Work goes on. Whatever the status of other things, that calls for just so much, and I keep giving and giving. Greek stops. That has to stop there days when I live fully up to my strength. I give it up as cheerfully as I can, fondly dreaming of more next year.


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January 29.

Has to go chasing about for endurance. It is a pitiable sight. One can't gaze upon martyrs every day. Alas, not. I hereby present myself as a spectacle calculated to move obdurate hearts.

My hopes of Satie's speedy recovery had mounted to an unusual height, when in the middle of the second class the soothing message comes that Mip Rising has fainted and my presence upstairs is desirable!

I find her worse than she has been at all and in a storm of fears I send for Dr. Sanford. His [...] verdict promises no speedy respite. He bestows upon the disease the cheering name of spinal fever. My bed is at once moved out and the siege begins!


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January 30

Gets where the dark is and the sorry. These are cheering pages. How comforting they would be to an invalid! What an addition to the literature of the desponding! Such chroniclings of love rising triumphant over little frowning worlds of a brass will conquering and defying fate, or a patience that is not afraid to walk alone. Let the heroic records stand to be read by "some forlorn and shipwrecked brother".

More now is hereby transcribed. I go sorrowing these days for appreciation. Isn't this high moral courage? It comes over me that I ought to have a little tonight, but as you will readily guess it don't come. Jean [Bigelow] comes to me to increase the number of drops in the shower. "Sobbing, throbbing in its falling by the sandy, lonesomes shore".

At the close we all go to "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Alas, that we did.


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February 1.
Faces a frowning world. It is a growing habit with us, who tiptoe down in order from the [...]to put the last finishing touches to our [toilets] some minutes after the last bell has ceased its vibrations. If at this stage we find ourselves possessed of indomitable courage and not too shabby habituents we move down to the great congregation. Every eye upon us, every seat facing the door. To our excited minds each gaze is a frown and we seat ourselves, feeling that the meek ought to be blessed!

The day for the rest part is full of the things that shall live forevermore. We may in the reach of the coming days forget the quiet Sundays of this year, some of them, but that which is awakened in us shall live. At the Prince's touch it shall rise and be perfected evermore.


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February 1

Carries me out doors, a wee while. I like to say February first. Its nearer the regions of long mornings and dinners not under the lamplight. Then I think how nice March will be and April 1, so near the blessed summer. Before I stop the faroff look I find an almost dreary pain as I feel with all the rest that the midsummer cannot bring so much without calling from me, much. Some of the year's dearest and nearest I want to have about me always. But it's early to begin this kind of talk. The records calls for an evening at Fred Atwood's. A being whewed up in a good, old wind, and back in a worse one, and sitting down and eating apples in between. [Nip] Hastings was a valuable acquisition. She could do the talking and I was glad not to put in much. I fretted about leaving my girls long.


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February 2.

Brights and darks alternate. Anything like a bright even with a dark tied to it comes in as hopeful as the sounding tread of a victorious army to the waiting prisoners inside the city. My girl keeps me pretty busy but she won't let me get blue, and takes my bathing, ventilating and suggesting as if I was her most reliable medical adviser! Dr. S. brings a few languid smiles. Says we can give her these things and hope they'll bring out the best results (not the smiles). The man referred to has great faith in his doses.

I dread next week. Lately there's something nice to call out the best dreads I can summon! Again allow me to commend to a low spirited world your high born courage.


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February 3.

Floats me about. My catch words do not of late convey any ideas of fixedness! I am a span floating or a spindle whirling or aspick whewing, or a piece of endurance chasing about! I believe in great accuracy of statement and I therefore choose to place before my readers the truest types of my very remarkable career! It will now be very wry to perceive that I float not idly on undisturbed waters, but with a craft on waters that rise and dash and hurl and toss!

My rounds from Normaldom to [lowerdom] are not less frequent. No elevators have been as yet constructed. Some of me will [gee] out somewhere, or else [...] goes unpunished! [Miss] Hastings takes me apart and raves and storms and besieches, that I bring to the rescue any remnants of discretion I may ever have perceived and forbear!


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February 4.

Hopes so. Yes, she hopes so and the day hopes so. While there's life in this sence. Has it occurred to me before this to announce that with several other cares I am the great American mover of exhibitions. And one is pending! I am called upon to report a most interesting interview between our young man and a Colonel of [P...] [...] renown. The latter in search of a teacher, the former anxious to give [him] [one]. I, the appealed to, Grit, alias [st...] is the demand! I sweep Mary Conley with rapid strides into this open field. Is it time for her biography? I am ready to add in its chapters that just her freshness and feeling her readiness to make the best of everything, and her hopings against hope, these we need in our Seminary, even though the girl that adds these to our storehouse of [...] [...]has few dresses, and fewer pennies, and as the girls all said tonight at payers "We shall miss Mary".


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February 5.

Knows depths. This has been such a funny day all through. It wasn't all depths. Why should I call the whole day by a name that means only a little while? The first thing on the carpet was Julia's dawning. This was creative of good spirits. The only worry was Satie's eyes, which is a worry in the sence of what may be rather than what is now. The fixing to go to [Poultney] was a great event calling into activity the whole house. The surprising part was Satie's going. When she arrived at the hotel where we were some minutes before her, she was a curiosity of collections, a walking sample room. The [putting] of her together betokens [...] doings. No other fingers were equal! The little incidents while there, the long dreary ride home will not be productive of much good cheer when I shall read this years from now!


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February 6.

Lets down bars. Satie pronounces herself better today and opens her eyes where the blinds are not shut and betakes herself to number twenty. Poor child. How dare she say she's got a pain or has a vestige of an ache about her after her rashness in giving to Poultney under Miss Hastings impressive forbiddings. She intends to prove that going cured her. I have my doubts about it, [...] able ones, but I'm open to conviction! I am taken into an open mouth and ground fine. This rehearsal business is an exhausting process. But I live and as I remarked am in fine pieces, very small. Then upstairs in a whew, a bed to take down and reinstate in a dark closet, sweeping, dusting manifold, also dressing, then a Philosophy class, and after that not death, not [...], but a sleep, and blessed be, my lot, and so say I!


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February 7.

Paves places for my feet. The dear Sunday places. What could I be or do with these taken from me? I can imagine nothing more dreadful, and with these give nothing more peaceful and soul-reviewing! Julia was here to go to church with us and as Ida said it seemed like old times. Then Julia and Satie each had her own dear hour in my room. I love these quiet girl talks. The rest of the day is full of Mr. Johnson. He comes in imminent peril of losing both ears and perhaps a foot for two, but his reception must be refreshing to his spirit. Mr. H. almost jumps our of himself in his efforts and a bevy of very fresh ladies swirls blushing honors thick upon him! Our Sunday dinner was very chatty and cheery. The evening sermon was very nice. Mr. Johnson's subject was the lessons of the past and future! I remember that it helped me and suggested much for me to think of.


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February 8.

Suggests hot water. The kind of water I know most about these days in metaphorical entirety. This suggests me of Filton's brilliances in his cross examination. "The only water he ever was in with Victoria Woodhull was the hot water he has been in ever since!"

My existence was lit up with preparations for the evening and the rushing through a momentous programme, at said evening. "What did they do it for? To [rouse] the people!"
One individual, me, comes upstairs so much arroused that she hasn't anything more to say.

A secret profound. the captain general of all creation, where we are has taken it upon himself to fall in love with Miss Todd and calls her to a tete-a-tete. The first.


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February 9.

Makes it not hard to decide "who must be grim"! The four ones and the other are before the dreaded, and dreadful. Two men with but a single thought. Two hearts that beat as one! Mr. Conant with his tendency to satire. Mr. Judah [D...] with his tendency to flatness. Dr. French is a mountain, and Everest, to three poor little peaks, Hooker and Tom! Perhaps Chin and here might suggest more.

The inevitable is forced upon the four and me, amid much quaking. As for me I [mark]. The play knows no sun, it has a darkness, where I take my seat and wait for it to grow lighter. Sad sorry news from dear Aunt Mary. The very name calls up for me the hardest life I know, yet ever full of tenderest things.


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February 10.

Is ready for discussion. What fell to me of the day seem to be nerve filaments a good deal agitated.

The three when fate has chosen as the arbiters of the impending have dreadful looking heads. Some comments. The announcement that certifs will be granted to all, evokes little demonstration. The four feel sorry to be subjects of compassion and they do right to be sorry. The evening called the four ones and the other to be the raised platform. Figurative uplifting was not a part of it. Mary [...] has brought her prophecies time and I'm ready to wish a speedy fulfillment of all her dreams. Julia comes home and takes off the flowers, laying them away forever, turning quickly over a leaf. That will never be lived again.


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February 11.

Compliments of the Graduating Classes in the Seminary Parlors.

From 8 to 10.
The etherial regions also send compliments. Also from 8 to 10. Very decided!

[...] people have been spending the day writing regrets. A few. What have not [Brilions] dared, with a high sense of an awful duty struggled upward "through heaps of snow." My recollections seam largely of attempts to get [Mip] Hastings down, missing in the meantime Mr. Hyde's address. We all appeared in state to do [Mip] Miller honor and the other four. Some of the girls looked very lovely and my eyes followed them for I do love pretty things.


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February 12.

Pushes into worries. The way there is so plain that a way faring men though a fool need not ever . I never lose the path. And
[blacked out]
[blacked out]
[Mip] Hastings not finding me at dinner comes up stairs to me excited on the subject proclaims me sick and thoroughly incompetent to judge as to what ought to be done to me. It always delights me to be set aside as incapable!
I might have said to start with that [Mip] Julia Miller gets off. We are all to it. Her indignation on the subject of the Rutland Globe knows no bounds. It don't pay to graduate, she plainly sees.


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February 13.

Means a number of things. It chiefly means that I amounted to nothing. Any body could do that.
[blacked out]
[blacked out]
once I [...]
to see myself do. Imagine anything in this line making me cry. Don't never tell!

The bulletins announce amazing truths. Tell about cold weather, coldest in no knowing how many years.

I who have no fires to make, no snow to walk in, no hair to be blown, bear it with a most resigned spirit!

My soul today isn't anywhere near here. It's soared where skies are blue, blue enough . Well.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875057


January 31.

Is restful. My Sundays are very dear to me. They are full of quiet sunny places, where I learn of the home that is far off and remember that I can [...] here but a night! I live and think so much of the time as if I were to live here always. I am glad of the times when God makes me think of Him. I am able to record that I attended church, that Mr. Hyde ushered us in that I walked with Ida, that everybody that ever goes was there in the same places, that it was comfortable in church, nothing lacking save a footstool. I am not able to record that anybody brought us one
[blacked out]
[blacked out]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875058


February 15.

Suggests something that is not reclining. Life is real. Life is earnest. Not in a poem today but in fact and atmosphere. To be falling asleep in a half dream and suddenly be shaken up to life and a seat behind a desk is good earnest prose and no mistake. It's the kind of doings that make people heroes in the strife! Don't put me and this together!

I am [Mip] Hasting's favorite phantom! She chases me. All I hear is exercise and ventilate! Alas for maiden!

When I've exercised and ventilated then she smells gas. She is a searcher out of gas in any form by long smelling!
[blacked out]
[blacked out]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875059


February 16.

Attempts. The girl thinks that she will do a great deal but she don't. She Worries. She forgets and frets. She sees herself in the midst of things she ought to help and [sure] of them she does help and the rests torture her. Things make her ask questions. Getting girls to bed, keeping down noises in study hours, studying how to [...], what to [repress] and what to encourage in girls, call for great and sublime parts.

Miss Hastings makes me dizzy, with oughts and musts! As for day duties they will not let me think that work is disolution, that plodding may not be divine.

There are [...] that mean halos for me.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875060


February 17.

Compares notes. [Mip] H's ideas of what men ought not to do are of the awful sort. Having driven Gibson out of the kitchen latterly she goes back and says, "What did he do?" Again, "What did he do?" Solemnly "Kitty did he take hold of you?"

That a gentleman has "fondled" strikes him [...] her list and into hopelessness.

If any glory [...] upon my head it is that no man has looked upon me or called here!

My attempt at exercise was followed by a siege.

I came back to a dreadful night in which my back threatens.

I should think it did. I forget that there ever was a time whein it didn't ache, that there ever was for me, such a thing as lying still.

Sue's birthday.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875061


February 18.

Amounts to about how much. In order to be of much consequence it is somewhat necessary that I should stay up after I get up! I go around cautiously for fear [Mip] H. will hear me or smell me. I wonder if this is "a part of my disease" too.

My next persecution is on the subject of medical advice. Answer. I will.

If another spinal column should grow in my back, parallel to the first and both should set up to ache, I don't believe I'd mention it. I can set up a claim to a nineteenth century martyr, not by being sick, but by being cured!
[blacked out]
[blacked out]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875062


February 19.

Do take a chair.
That's the way people talk to you when your back aches. You needn't expect to be allowed to act rationally. People whose backs never ache lay out the straight and narrow path.

My land is wrapped in seeming shadow, out there are valleys full of flowers and a river the streams whereof shall make glad! I think of these valleys and that river might like this when everything stops and work drops from my hands. I feel like resting a long time before I can
[blacked out]
[blacked out]

I call to my relief Dr. Woodward. Yes.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875063


February 20.

A desirable existence.

Easily pictured consists chiefly of a maiden and a day. The two antagonistic.

The girl excited, full of plans and plannings, the day in it no strength for her, nothing but lie there, one side and suffer for me!

The aching back gives its pilions protests, and the snow comes down in generous columns. It is never all dark at once, and Rhoda's coming lighted up the world for me, some. My thought rests itself in thinking of the metal that can [...] endure.
[blacked out]
The last thing to record Mr. Hyde's compliments and a dish of pop-corn.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875064


February 21.

Just lets it touch her as it comes. A complete lying still just describes it. Work was before and behind, but not in it. There was something of the joy she never knew of old because she came closer to know! Something brought tenderly back the brightest Sundays and then the girl wanted mother!

How near we are coming to the long days and the brighter sun. Are the days taking anything from me that I shall miss by and by?

Satie was with me her part of the day, and
[blacked out].
The prayer hour was full and the night brought dreams that shall be fulfilled, somewhere! Somehow!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875065


February 22.

Life is deaf. It was a day when it was nice to be a little girl. Nice to think of hands that were soft and tender in the long ago, and to creep under the growing shadows of old caresses. If I wasn't born into the day with a tendency to drag around instead of to hold my head up like a woman or a mountain, I might possibly make it seem as if there was such a thing as living in strength and toward a triumph. I stole way back along the years that [...] has been dumb, and thought if I could only know that the dear love was safe with Him who would gather how often ! -------------
School was not easy.

Thirteen years.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875066


February 23.

Calls for a little more powder. Ther professor told at the table about a man in Salem whom his wife playfully pushed off a step, causing an artery to burst, causing immediate death. [Mip] Hastings says his system was not in a proper condition. I have only mentally to add, He didn't ventilate! Coming out of the supper room, alas how benighted! The dinner room the professor invites [Mip] Rising to ride home with him! When I mention it to [Mip] H. she says, "The dear, little man."

I am happy to state that I now am alone. This has a connection with the whole of it! Keep the central thought Prayers upstairs in Normal Hall for the Institution, complete meets with general favor. I sit up very straight behind Mr. Hyde.

My bundle from home comes this morning. Bless them all.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875067


February 26.

Calls, "Rouse up, sirs. Give your brains a racking."

A wind announces the termination of the thaw, ratified by a protracted rain storm. If time and we can do all things there will sometime be a warming up. Lies will be said about dampers and gas. The race will be more generally diffused.

I teach under perpetual protest days like this when a [lounge] constantly looms up before me.

Mr. H. takes his trip home and [Mip] J.B. is this time the honored accompaniment. I long to ask her. Did she turn around.

I have more experience with History cards, and in the meantime a talk [blacked out]
[blacked out]
[blacked out]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875068


February 27.

Expects something more than stupidity. You'll hear of me dying some day of expecting. The kind of work to be done Saturdays piles up, and don't get done, but keep expecting. I lie down on the lounge and shut my eyes, and come to the very comfortable conclusion that I have reached a place where anything besides stagnation is impossible for an indefinite period.

Matt takes me to ride and it snows in my face. I come home unbundle and then [Mip] H. says I must come in there. I do a minute and then I plan how I'll get back and hit upon a plan, which works. Very well!

In the evening we find the head of our table in a worshipful silence!
[blacked out]
[blacked out]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875069


February 28.

Connects itself with solitude. I am happy to recount among my chivalrous deeds that my self as an individual once more went up to the house of the Lord. It's two Sundays since I've been seen there. The subject upon which we were addressed was the duty of having family prayers.

I came home with a savage wind ready to devour me, and for the rest of the day the world outside lay as in a calm and none of its waves rolled back upon me.

Emerson's words rang out full and clear. There is in them the sermonds to be sublime. His essay on Friendship holds me. "Give" he says, "the diamond it's ages to grow nor attempt to accelerate the growths of the eternal."


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875070

February 29.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875071


March 3.

Gives us a new snowstorm. This chiefly. Venturing out as I do with [Mip] J. I am seen returning before a long tarry resembling a goose. This hapened after most everything else had. It might have occurred to you that several portions of the day had to do with holding him rule over wayward [childlessed]!

I will add that in order to be "absolutely honest" (Prof. Hart.) I must not omit to say that a large part of the day was spent in thinking and being very sorry that such was the case.

Odyssey came in at an hour some might call late! The Beecher case comes in all the time!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875072


March 4.

Changes things. That is instead of going through a ceaseless circuit I get out of the curve and shoot off. Our horse didn't look at in that light. He was not a star actor. You'd look for some snow but you wouldn't believe how much.

My visit to the house of mourning fitted the day and the hour. I felt like creeping under the shadow of a trouble greater than any of mine. It was good to think of the eternal peace into which another soul had drifted, placing it alongside of the worry and the weary of this part. Mrs. Chatman sees only the short gates and the loneliness.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875073


March 5.

Calls me again to be tender and to minister. I awoke, dreading. Couldn't tell exactly what, nor what for. The part I must someway go through seemed a desert to cross, but the minutes fore me through and I was on the other side, before I knew. [Mip] Len [Barrick] seems very sick and I am glad to go in her room and sit and do for her. I follow her eyes with a great sorry and wish the eyes she aches to see were where mine are!

It isn't nice to be sick here.

I have Satie to nurse up too. She's tired and half sick.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875074


March 6.

Shakes off "dull sloth". This Saturday differs slightly from late ones in being spent off the bed. A new cause becomes my ministrations! [Mip] Hastings says [Mip] L.B's mother must be sent for by telegram. [Mip] L.B. makes a faint protest but [Mip] H. is invincible and all-conquering. I go to do it.

When I'm not taking care of [Mip] L.B. I may be found in my room fussing. I bear Mrs. L. B. from the train to her daughter in royal state rejoicing if one mother can come. Satie wants [hers] tonight and at first I don't see how tired and sorry she is but after I get her home package through much difficulty to the [...]. I try to comfort her. Who is sufficient for these things?


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875075


March 7.

Remembers Jesus. This has been a rest-day. .... It has been pleasant enough to be at the tent door!

It was perfect in sunlight and almost warm, as we ride so contentedly over the hills, and in the quiet levels, this day that [we've] watched for together.

"The eternal God is our refuge." This is what the text made us know as we sat there in the roll of the organ music.

The table of our Lord, how sweet the words sound knowing the joy of sitting together in this heavenly place in Jesus.

[Page is cut at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875076


March 8.

Thinks I can stand it. It might occur to you my unknown friend you who became second person singular to all my out loud remarks, that I am about to chronicle and encounter, some possible glorious chance for [...], but let your hopes down gently. My standing it repeats itself in small things. Little foes to face, little floods to [stem]!

My aid is solicited at the very unpromising hour of 11 A.M. on Satie's prospective essay. Answer I do. I managed to show her a patient teacher.

[page is cut at bottom]

[down side of page] All the girls have sent in their resi....


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875077


March 9.

Says four years to me. I come to these milestones with a sudden knowing than any I mark with lines. I see so surely such a beautiful success that might have been. I see so sadly such never to be bettered mistakes!

Jesus. The all sufficient never seemed such a giving as when he came to stand between me and these mistakes! How intensely humbling is every thought that takes hold in these things.

[pages is cut at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875078


March 10.

Hints and undertaking. I have no natural fondness for business relations with other people's compositions! I hereby make a call for sympathy. Before me lie 37, and I am one!

I am glad to find and make a note on a outdoor tendency to melt. Dripping has room to be melodious. I have one of the nice talks
[Page is cut out at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875079


March 11.

Sends me buzzing round. The declaration has gone forth. It evokes some considerable consternation. You may have before discovered that our famed institution contains self-appointed judges!

[Mip] McMahan, we decide has the essay which claims authoritative honors. We yield them. OUr surprise is not figured as the young nip shows us the same essay in Hilliard's Sixth. [Mip] Hastings is a quizzer. Who can get around her well-aimed question marks? Mr. H. informs her with all blandness that one essay of the selected will not be read because the author cannot be present to read it.

It gets to be my very impressive duty to hear "the chosen when they cry". I do, with Mr. Atwood presiding.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875080


March 12.

Calls me to propriety. Not the every day kind before [Mip] Hastings evadeless eyes, and the professor's occasional silences but the kind we clothe ourselves with on the event of giving to the parlor with the specific intent to entertain! This was the part that came in after the essayists were heard from. Jennie and Mr. Castle and Satie flourish in immortal vigor! We reinstate Mrs. W's portentous requirements!

The fore part of the day was too much for me. I succumbed and for one hour my melancholoy teaching was not heard in our land. I am quieted by the touch of a vanishing hand.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875081


March 13.

Gets to be an old story. This way of performing surprises me very much. It's easy to know better, but the getting so I do it, that's a great point in this argument. I spend a great deal of the day in thinking how much there is to do. Everybody else ties a handkerchief over her head and goes forth to sweep. All the [ch...] this world may twine for my brow never will take this day into account.

There's pleasanter themes than me.

Satie takes all my little mats and washes them. It makes me kind of sorry to have her do it.

[bottom of page is cut off]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875082


March 14.

A day for Satie and I. Us and no others!

It was bright enough to draw me to the window often and make me think of what was coming sometime, when the hay should again smell sweet and the apple blossoms should cover the trees. If I'd been kind I'd have gone to church late as it was but I stood at the window and watched the others go... But "our hour" came and with it the dear, beautiful place of which we so much dream. It was like very few hours I have ever known. The Lord was standing quietly by. Heaven can be sweeter but earth will never be.

[page cut off at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875083


March 15.

Says there's more hard things for Fannie. I can think of nothing but a general crash and going down of things. Katie walks in the first step to inform me that she is going home next Friday to stay. Every girl I meet tells me the same thing all day. It makes me feel in such a state of repose. I see pillars crumbling and lofty walls falling to decay. I go to writing to fathers and mothers. I'm glad to be sure of one pupil as a [permanent] matter, a certain [Mip] Todd.

Satie is so very sick and I have such a strange feeling about it, a wory I never had about her before.

A thaw is in progress. A sort of delusion to make us wild and pretty quick you'll see how mad we'll be.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875084


March 16.

Is like a dream. It was all done so quick and now it's all over[.] I gather myself together and sit down to a comprehension. I decide in "a little minute" as Satie says that Satie must get home as quick as she can be taken, and I jump into a black dress and tie up a few walnuts, which will show at a glance that I am equal to the situation! I remember that the cars whewed and Satie fainted and Mr. Hyde kissd her and all in a shake or two. I saw the tired eyes almost home and knew in my last kisses how much I loved the gentle little girl...

I came back in the moonlight never to forget what I thought watching the light in the hills. Ida and Jennie were at the office in high spirits.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875085


March 19.

Makes us smack our lips! We must put in an appearance. It is not to our disadvantage as you will presently learn. We find a baby growing at an astonishing rate and we enjoy the weighing process before at our suggestion! Twenty pounds and one-half! Every attempt on our part to arise and go is met with, "Stay and have some maple sugar or snow". We resign ourselves in placid submission, and go through the trial with [...]! It was moonlight coming home, and even the long shadows across the park looked pleasant. I wondered in my heart if I should ever miss the tree shadows on the snow that I've seen in the park so many winters!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875086


March 20.

Calls it a paradox. If so, why so, if not, why not? Contrary to usual custom I amounted to something. Outdoors it snowed, and the wind blew. In doors I sat still and worked all day. Those reports that have stalked given and ungainly trough my waking hours for six weeks, are at last gone to work at. This said with considerable relief. Jennie's up to Delia. Somebody else wanted to go too.

I go down to the P.O. through the snow while the rest of the people enter into a [...] pull with much spirit. My little letter from the girlie is sad to me. Sadder that I can tell anybody.

Today is an anniversary day to Satie girlie.........


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875087


March 21.

Strengthens my heart. I am always so glad to see the Sundays come. The Sundays here this year have been particularly dear and holy to me. Something comes with them that makes us all still and good. We rise so perfectly out of the [singings] and [tossings] that may be around. The morning sermon was very welcome to me, coming from Mr. Luxbury. "For now we are through a glass darkly, but then face to face." The words found me waiting for them, giving up to the Lord's house for works that should reach and help. "God help us that we miss not that better day and that better knowledge!"

The rest of the day was rest.

[bottom of page is cut off]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875088


March 22.

Renews our shiverings! "Come gentle Spring. Contrary maiden come. Take off your things and make yourself to [him]!"
This greets us at breakfast from [Mip] H. who has learned in all things to shiver! I ventilate nights, that is I've taken to it and I find that I reach diviner airs, through ventilation. Getting up with one layer of cotton over my arms, and blue feet, to let down a window and dressing in an atmosphere corresponding. This is ventilation!

My memory treats me to some facts not indicative of fun. They rest for their foundation on the making [our] report business, a most unhappy theme. You'd see at [easter] about [page is cut off] very much [aroused]
[page is cut off]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875089


March 23.

Conduces to depressed jaws. Going down in the hall in study hour as I did last evening and finding pupils popping corn, does not conduce to heavenly mindedness. I wake up thinking of that and of the pain in my back, and pretty soon there comes like the sound of a rushing mighty tide something about a pile of reports to finish. At ten P.M. I was still alive.

This bids fair to be a [...] cold week, blowy if you please. My home letter makes me say, "No not this week Fannie." I keep thinking how nice it is that any where in this world somebody waits for us [page is cut off]
[page is cut off]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875090


March 24.

Keeps my head full of the opening of the counsel for the defense! I carry it about and pretty soon I read a few words. This pretty often. Should I address my pupils, "Gentlemen of the jury", it would not be at all startling to me! I am a former friend of Beecher's every day, and Tillin, well never mind!!

The part of the world where I revolve is very much in the school business. This was onion night, it is here after remembered. Things are working, study hours for instance! I'm doing it. "It was me"!

Satie writes me dear little letters, and there's hope [page is cut off]
[page is cut off]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875091


March 25.

Addresses itself to [Mip] Croft of Wallingford.

I take the young lady and go with her through an interesting harangue on her disecting at once from making disects of Mr. Leonard's [bosom]. She says "I [haven't] blasted". I fear my well intending interview was lost, but I've done my duty.

I don't go out to walk today. I lay on the bed all I can. The following describes a going out. I march out of my door boldly. [Mip] Hastings [sentinel]. The following conversation ensues. "Have you been lying down? Are your rubbers on. What have you got on. Did you put on an extra skirt? Wait until I get my arctics. Go and get another shawl. What have you got to put over your ears. You never know a weeker yes than I give to all her queries and commands.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875092

Friday. (Good Friday.)

March 26.

["Dermona est her nore."]
Very much. The whole of this beautiful poem you will find in the appendix. It is very real to me since [Mip] Croft sits facing me knife in one hand, my nose in the other hand. Great leaning forward, and tremendous gesturing! Let me tell you how the day acted. Morning lovely beyond words. Sun beams upon the whitest snow. Afternoon early, an uncertainty late, a sudden up coming mist and a miserable wind, on the heels a good, old snowstorm!

My evening was like lots of others, only Jennie kept bobbing in others won't be like that, perhaps never any more. I put my feet down hard, rouse me no more. This Chemistry business is a discipline, and I think I'll inherit the earth when I get through!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875093


March 27.

Pronounces on me! I don't believe any combination of Philip's marching against me could quite take away the good feeling there was in my soul. It came with the morning and it went away with the light for I went to bed a tired, almost sorry little girl! But the morning abounded!

Jennie took [Mip] H. and I a wonderful sleigh-ride under a wonderful sun. A great deal of the cheer, the good cheer went on the eleven o'clock train with Miss Jennie. She has kept her light in the tower there four weeks, and we shall look and miss it now.
[page cut off at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875094


March 28.

Makes me fitter to live. Has in it a feeling that I am stopping just this side of something and feeling in the panic an infinite comfort. Just as in the dear night we tarry long and rest with the days of work surely to come.

It is the dear Easter time. Everything is touched with a better meaning and we are borne on a rising tide. At church the flowers told us about the risen Savior, and the sun was glad. Mr Woodruff had caught none of the Easter joy and he threw his sermon at us, fiercely, and dismissed us again to the sunshine and the music God sent welling up in our hearts.
[page cut off at bottom]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875095


March 29.

Brings along a few things not dreamed of in Horatio's philosophy. Of course everybody expected [Mip] Brown would stay. Imagine my consternation when Mr. H. mounts the Normal stairs to declare [Mip] B's immediate intentions looking to a speedy return. Now the question springs up. Who'll be the one. I timidly mention Gertie, but first Marion Will's to the rescue. I'm the one to talk it up to her. Poor Laura, as I turn to the child there comes to me such a chill as I see so plainly how lightly we build, when we hope, and how mainly we build when we trust in a circling blue. Such a darkness may be before her, aye, coming to meet her as she goes from out the fun and sparkle of the lip here, to the unforseen.

God pity anybody when any harm touches it's mother, or threatens.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875096


March 30.

Lets down good news to a world full. A world that will be so glad to fear, waiting as it has been through so much weariness and snow. God sends the message and it is world-wide. Dear spring, already her footsteps are among the mountains! Earth does live under winter's snow and surely, so surely, does Love live under pain! Mr. H. says I may write to Gertie and I do. This makes my going to mother this week look dubious. If it were only this, but not so, not so. What though are my woes and sufferings to Mr. Castle's. His grief is overwhelming!

My evening is full of getting together distributed senses and mourning in and out [Mip] Hastings room. Mixing in small quantities of school work, and leaving undone multitudes of things to vast for my [...] state of brain!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875097


March 31.

Decides that I shant be heard much about. This will draw upon the imagination. It will dwell upon a dark bedroom and monosyllabic responses. Several lofty flights will be presupposed and vague creepings through a long hall. Not much else. It would be natural to conjecture so long as the individual in question pretends to keep a diary that some of the day was given to that ostensible purpose, but let not the elect be deceived. Not one word from her fluent pen!

The table of late is a ghostly place.

Remember that the night was dark and the mud and water lay everywhere. Recall you depot with its yellow light and me in attitude waiting. Such devotion. Such self [renumeration] Julia Miller owes to me! But she came not to know and I return alone.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875098


April 1.

Limits its resources. Nothing real funny happened and innumerable funny things might have happened! A few feeble attempts to reproduce or reinstate several exhausted jokes, a rope experiment, some ordinary laughing, and this was April first! Egad!

My thoughts and devisings are all turned on a subject of my own. The unexpected arrival of [Mip] Nichols. There at once commences vigorous speculations, and vast visiting. Mr. Hyde waxes not at all enthusiastic on being told of her presence in C, and it remains to be speculated upon as to what he'll really do.

I go to [missing] with alacrity, dividing my attentions between Misses Todd and Grinnell, and Laura's [gone].


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875099


April 2.

Can I call it less than distracting? All the melancholy verses of the forlorn ports would apply. Minor strains wait through the rain and how forlorn we all are! Nothing is said to Gertie on the school question and I grow and increase in ability to stew. I don't like things as they are today. What becomes of my religion such days. Gertie is so nice about it, so willing to give up what has all the time seemed too good to be for her.

After the most disagreeable meal I ever ate in this institution I go to bed and don't play with anybody any more. The houses are jubilant. Mr. Hyde, arrayed in ancient garments, chooses [Mip] Grinnell for his old woman and the tour of the building is taken amid loud demonstrations.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875100


April 3.

Is ready for a hallelujah or two! Who'd have thought any fiery trials were so soon to end in Elysian fields! Delectable Mountains have loomed up between yesterday's rain, and today's clear blue. It came on a sweeping impulse, while I lay on the bed with my eyes shut after Marion came in to say she was to teach the school. Pretty soon Gertie and I were swept along toward matter's and the sky was fullof flame. The hills of golden creeping sunbeam, and the going down of the sun was kept a dear and glad surprise . I forget that I'm sick, forget that I have been tired so long! There's a boy and a girl waiting at the train. There's a little woman waiting on the hill!


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875101


April 4.

Neither does it begin nor end. Being allowed to come to the waking up and doing it in a Christian manner, this is quite an approach to better days. I've been rung up until I have forgotten the ecstasy of waking one's self.
Everything was rest, all the way through. Of course we visited some, and sang some, but there was rest in all of it.

I never felt so tired before, and I'm a long way yet from the end of the journey. I like every little rest word, never so well before.

Summer Driftwood is a dear little book for today. All its words are rest words. Jesus is a precious Savior, and He leaves peace with me.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875102


April 5.

"Both my arms are clasped around Thee, and my head is on Thy breast, For my weary soul hath found Thee, Such a perfect, perfect rest." I've been saying this over today and my heart finds and feels the meaning more and more. I've been copying "[...] into my journal a little at a time so as not to let it tire me. Mother goes to Albany and returns in fine spirits but pretty tired. Albany trips always make people so. (which?)

Gertie and Aggie go into the wax business with a zeal, worthy of the cause. The end to be attained is pond-lilies. During the long still day with mother gone the girls on wax intent take the kitchen and the other girl the dining room, left to herself. The sun comes in and spring sends us love smiles.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875103


April 6.

Suggests tramps. Dear reader. Don't allow yourself to be led into error by supposing that the very well to do word tramps refers in some indefinite way to peddlers. Although peddlers are our most frequest guests, our importunate almoners, yet believe me, this time I don't mean these. The tramps so vividly brought before you refer to one single individual and that individual is me! It came about in a singular way, a remarkable investment of my sister's, ill assorted swans, ducks and divers, herons, canvasbacks, cranes. I've chosen [...] to face the woman that sold them, and explore Troy to find her.

The day is Susie's day. It's good that it comes with the brighter sunshine. The up springing grass. The prophecies of coming beauty. The breath of the kinder winds.
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: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875104


April 7.

This is home. There isn't anything about it but seems good and new, and I take it quietly and don't have to think about it.

Mother and I talk Beecher, and talk it and talk it. Mother fusses around and is here and there and all over, fretting a little when there are prospects of monotony! Aggie supports wax theories and makes toilet sets, scolding about as much as usual and doing it herself. Declines being bossed around. Makes the usual gestures. Wears one admired wrapper and hair a la mode! Gertie waxes and sews, sits diligently over a certain black alpaca! Dan appears betimes, meal-times with pockets full of letters and Beecher trials and canal rings
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: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875105


April 10.

Brings a museum from Northern borders. I've heard it all the week. I can never get away from the sound of it, but today it rises and surges, as the letter rolls in from the head of the table! It finds me in a business which I practice lately untiringly, a shutting of my eyes, to play go to sleep. I hope one day to be able to inform my friends that my faith [fulness] is rewarded, that the eyes I shut cover visions and are lifted only after prolonged dreams. The letter summons me to pen and ink labor, to tasks most dreaded, but I persevere, and on a day when spring was queenly. I did win out for me sweet breath and I was smiled upon and dealt with tenderly.

Think how tired the girl is when she puts the work away. [O, no don't.]


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875106


April 11.

Hails a day of days. Makes me wish I could tell about it, could have breathed upon me some power that could make into words. What I so long to tell.

A message stole into my heart with the tides of the morning and I felt so good all day. The day was so perfect to me because I was so in sympathy with it all. Out are the bank. There was the tired man waiting and the Light about the head is shining on me as I go. So much that was beautiful in the old summers is with me, and a calm restfulness, so dear. Mother's love at home is an atmosphere today. Dear Sunday suppers. It was fitting to close the day at the table of the Lord.


: VCLDiariesBromleyFrancesM1875107


April 12.

Hasn't much hailing in it! O, what a fall was there my countryman. The messages were silent, the sun tides veiled, and we came down to black alpaca piping and knife plaiting and what shall we eat! A letter came in Dans big pocket from Miss Ida. It's full of little pieces of news, and makes me feel as if I knew better how matters were going on in the little places that I have left. My sister is honored by a communication from Simon Fitzdoodle, Columbia City.

I'm so tired. I don't sit up all day and the doctor is coming. I've at last said "yes, ma'am" to the little mother.

I wish tonight for my [...] Miss Hastings a few minutes and a chapter from the Odyssey.