Vassar College Digital Library

Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1870-1877

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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 focuses on her religious thought, reflections on death, feelings of alienation from herself and the world around her, and general disjointed observations. Initially, she describes teaching and studying at a Normal School. Although she is accepted to Michigan University, she cannot attend because of financial troubles. She chafes at gender norms (e.g. she is promoted to the head of her school and then the board decides to give the position to a man instead: see August 25, 1874). She starts at Vassar in 1876, struggles with her health, and experiences periods of great optimism and others of crushing sadness.

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PLEASE NOTE: Blank pages are omitted, and pages with text are
presented in the order in which they were Written (in the original, the
diarist left every other page blank from the beginning, and upon
reaching the end of the book, began working her way back, Writing
upside down on pages that had been left blank).


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From "The Checkered Scene"--
Dansville, N.Y. 1878
"Mr. Little has been telling me how he went home last night, after our little talk up in Paradise Gate, and had a dream about me. He did not dream that I got well, he said, but that I became helpless. That I was placed where scarcely anything about me was as I would like it to be - in a hard place - where nothing fitted - and the people about me were uncomfortable people - and little to my taste - but that amidst it all I was such


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a happiness to others; which was so much better than getting well."
"A little talk with Mrs. Evans tonight. I leave her feeling that there is a blessedness greater than any sadness in knowing that the Master is even now at the gate."
"Dr. McLean said to me: 'My wife and I have remarked ever so many times that we would give anything if we could always look as bright as you do.' Blessed be the help that comes to do it! The Master remembers."


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"Pet's letter came today; and her "why nots" are so full of the unselfishness and heroism that I love so in her that I feel an uplifting. But, O, how it makes my heart ache!"
"In due order breakfast. We might pass this over were it not that it gains in importance unspeakably the nearer one comes to not having any!"


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Sabbath evening-
Oct. 9" 1870-
A log-book! and mine! I said I'd have a log-book - said it long ago - said it every time I had a peep into Sue's upper, unstratified, bureau drawer, where hers lay nestled - comfortable and un-searchable.
I'd like to be born such a night as this if I could be born to live and not grope.
day times these mountains make us toil - climb - drag on! "To the heights" is what they say. Tonight they let us look at them and rest. "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem so the Lord is round about his people." Does that mean He


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wouldn't miss us if we died? Not even a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father__Christ said that. He came down from the singing and the glory to tell us that. He cried for us, too.
Oct. 16"-
Blue and black_all wool! Pretty thing to run in one's head when the minister's text is "consider the lilies". I know the prayers and the metre_Long and common! Doctor told the Lord that "yesterday the icy streams dissolved." I did not know it. Then came the intense heat of summer, and the growing crops, and now the fading leaf reminds us of our


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frailty. It doesn't me! When I see the royalty of everything I remember that I'm born a queen, and longing for my kingdom possesses me, and never a thought that 'tis frail to be royal, or sorrowful for " the king to come to his own."
Oct. 23" 1870
"And while he was yet a great way off the Father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him." As long as those words read just so i shall never be afraid to die. i shall dream of the Father's house, .. as I dare dream of nothing else.
I get so tired of myself. I want to run away from myself and be pleased and


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happy just a little while.
Nov. 4" 1870 - God can make a beautiful life even out of mine. I pray for it as I pray for nothing else. Twenty two years blossoming in frost flowers - only frost flowers - no pansies, no myrtle, no goldenrod.
Nov.13" -- I want to see Paul - I want to know him. It is one of the dear dreams that are to be worked out in Heaven-and Heaven is a great many years long.
I could sing tonight. I could talk to Christ. I can't always. Will there be any great blanks up there-can there be? Will I ever say when I have gone to Him and seen Him, "My vacant days go on-go on"?


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Dec.11"_ My thoughts tonight are organic & inorganic!
The way of life is plain.._but tell me-Is there anything else that is plain? When do I pray & not feel the first heart throb those old words-"Friend of sinners! we are in the dark, and bewildered and sick at heart"?

I've done a heap of thinking since Wednesday, or dreaming which is only prismatic thinking... A great deal of it is Castleton, but the space between and the way thither is full of shrinking and dread. It seems so hard to stop here - break off the little plans and comforts, and live through shrinking and desolation again! How I am


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learning to love "being led" thoughts.
Rain day-Jan. 15"_ Doleful! I kept away from myself all day. Blank verse - blank verse - will it ever be anything but blank verse?
Aug 8- There's good natured little breeze frisking around here like curly-headed children in a hay mow._________

We touch lives at all angles that seem so satisfied, and I renounce such as I do the world, the flesh, and the devil.

I grasp eagerly at any thought that makes the infinite distance between my life here and my life after some great change, called death, grow less


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and not so terrible.

My child! my chicken! More help! more love! more light! .... Senior Editor has fled. The editorials, compositions, printing presses, type, ink, proof sheets, galvanic batteries, reviews, exchances, masculine tone, spurts, printing office, Willow St. & all the chicanery is left on my hands - two poor, bony hands! Life is span- I'm in a stew- Now will you help? Write an editorial-..I'll thank you someday.

Prayer meetings may make some people think of tabernacles & Mt. Tabors and whatever's the pural of "good to be here" - but from some of them I could


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run and not be weary. That's the most orthodox way I can find to tell it. Blessed are they that ask for bread and do not receive a stone.

The feeling of a great need is grateful to me for it is the precursor of a great pity and great fullness not far away.
Castleton -- I feel to strange and lost for anything - I'm afraid to look in the glass for fear it isn't me.... I'm pretty well but tired. It doesn't pay to be tired but what's a man to do?
Normal School - Mar-ch-ch-ch-sh-sh! +++ We have more prayers than provender. We have solemn roasts, solemn potatoes, serious pie, & a realizing sense of concocted rice. What will become


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of me in such a frame as this? Laughs are my vital breath.... Soon the bell will ring for supper - not to be eaten but served. Our conversatoin will be heaven, our bread emblematical, our digestion ritualistic. .... My doctor tell me..I must rest or die. Which is the biggest? I don't know which to take. .... These are days of heaven upon Earth, and I rejoice through & through. I'd blossom in purple & red if I knew how. Do you? - Mar. 14" 1871 -

Patmos without the vision! Sunday, Mar. 19" 1871 -

Mr. ___ is an exminister. I've


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spanned him with Montgomery's measuring line wherewith he sounded the ocean's depths and pierced to either pole & his height is seventy six inches. His brain is the seat of sensation. ++++ He prays in minor scale-very minor-and is a very Jeremiah.++++ Mrs.___ you've read about. don't say you haven't for I know better. She abounds in S.S. books and religious memoirs. I never saw a live one before. ++++ I haven't made up my mind whether to be very much afraid of her or make a gasp or two toward "appreciating her worth"!
The "Normals" here are awfully old. One of them has taught 37


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terms! but I find her docile+++ Imagine me before the old, the married, the big - to teach without a book! To be infallible, judicial, celestial, didactic four times a day!

Sunday, April 16, 1871 -- I've written the date - anybody could do that. I wonder why we have to live such days. There is discipline in "so as by fire"- discipline even in vacancy - but to have no heart in anything and be simply stupid - where is the help in this?

I don't believe I ever felt so utterly cut off from human help before


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Anything that makes me talk to Mr.___ is a terror to me - all his way are. But I believe God is going to help me through. +++ If I never why I was sent to Castleton God has known it all the time.

If I could be necessary! - to you - to just a few as i would love to be - as I long to be just once and for always - it would not seem so often, "My vacant days go on - go on". +++I cannot be just a little to any one. I must be a great deal or nothing.
"The heart to be all to" will not come to my life. It is one of the


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beautiful things that is left out. Love calls to most. It called to me years ago and I Passed it by. It will not call again. ++++ Goodbye. I am very, very tired and only Fanny at that.

"half of heaven is the not parting". Why the thought is half heaven! What won't it be to be there and say to each other "Always-always!" And Susie will let you come into her garden and mine where the glorified sumachs [sumacs] and firs are to be.

There have been reasons for things, hours for things, and


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things and things without hours for them.

I used to wonder nights when I went for the milk, and used to [do] up much of my thinking, how it would seem to be twenty three. Now I wonder how it would seems to be a little girl and go for the milk. +++++++++
More than anything I am longing for the woods and hills. Does anyone love a wide stretch of sky and meadow more than I? +++ I thank God for anything that roots and grounds my faith in others. Living & working in this


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world is such a tearing down, pulling away process.

My window opens on the grass-plot, which to be truthful must be further limited by the statement that some of it is brick plot! I am thankful for the little bit of green & the little bit of sky bending over it. All around is a high board fence +++ how much of my life lies before me in the pent up struggling grass. How it does fight! "Walled in", I say to myself, remembering how much of me is walled in.

"All about ++ everything"! How very modest! Where shall I


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begin? When shall I stop? Would you have any objection to my taking a little bit of the time up in Heaven to finish? I'm afraid I shall hardly be able to get it all in this side. My experience has been that I never seem to get any father than Mr. W. in this world.

Castleton--Jan. 18-1872.
Something sent Miss H.__ up after school to kiss me & say somehow they all liked me very much. After she had gone one tho't was in my heart. It came rolling up from where the tears are, & the springs of life: "I don't believe I shall every be cross to my girls again."


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Sunday-Jan. 21--- Something must be done. I am all adrift. For days & days & days I have just gone on; and I must stop a little while & rest & think
Tues. 23"- Spoiled another day for my girls, & wish-O yes-yes-yes- that there was help for it!
Monday-29".--One thing I lay down for Frances-she must listen to me. "Don't let me hear one cross word this week! Love your girls too well-please do! My life opens into such large wide ways-&&the work makes me so happy && it is like giving the little ones the kingdom.
Feb. 24"-- Our friend, philosopher & guide R.G.W. surprised everybody by rising to remark that he had nothing to say on the subject of grammar, but


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would introduce to the association Miss Bromley. Nothing less than me - I might say "me less than nothing"! I remember one distinct thrill - from the rest I shall never rally.
Monday, Feb. 26"-- What is macaroni? Who first harrowed mankind with it? Why must it be set before me & not desert [dessert] but gingersnaps? A gingersnap is a desert [dessert] but macaroni is dead men's bones.
Tues. 27"-- The best thing we have set before our hungriness is rice pudding. How it came to be so good doth not appear but it possesses many saintly qualities. We always have it with beefsteak. Those days do not smile on butter.
Thurs. 29-- Again the big noise in our house was me. 'Twasn't bringing


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a trunk down nor taking a trunk up, but talking Mr. Williams down & bringing life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness up. ++ You mustn't scold a man unless you want to ease your mind, or see what you can do, or show him you are not afraid, or give him an idea of his meanness - but to carry a point-never! Take a silken shuttle & silken thread & spin a man into anything you want - but don't scold him.
Tues. March 5"-- Mr. Williams is on a perfect rampage. Stands primed & ready to go off any minute, usually: lately, he runs round to find things to go off about. hawk-like in his nature he looks for a


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chicken & finds one. ++ I've heard of four-footed beasts, & creeping things, & fowls of the air: don't remember to have seen them combined before. +++ Do I get cross any? Not much. There is untold sunshine at the heart of things & it touches me.
Thurs. 7"-- Annie A. looks like an untimely frost--bluely dreadful!
Sat.9"-- The right proportion, said Miss G., is an ounce of serpent to a pound of love. She was in my room writing a cross letter - both of us cross everywhere but inside. Miss ___ wants to know. Do I tabulate food & clothing? Do I diagram what I don't tabulate? ++++ Mr. Williams prays with his eyes open & [L.] wonders if it isn't


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time his ... was multiplied!
March 12"-- Another something that stopped: & I only stop once in a long times to think about it. "Time driveth onward fast, & in a little while our lips are dumb". +++ O for the quiet-calmed-down-toned-down, if need be! only let it reach me. "Friend of sinners! I am in the dark & bewildered & sick at heart!"
March 15". O, if the breaths of spring would come faster, would do anything to make the leaves come out. We are cheered by prospects of snow! +++ All the poly things possible to e condensed within four walls take this howling wilderness as their


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business center.
Sat. Mar.15"-- I have learned to fill my soul with a horror of Saturdays. I am in terror over the long dark hall, the sweeping around, above, below me, the orders from below, the inspection of drawers, the bells, the dinners, the harryings by R.G.W. But then I am not a ghoul. If I only had a nice sense of propriety all this would be vital breath - native air.
March 27"-- In which I find time to pity myself.== The pivot on which the state turns appeared to us at the first class. We all came in in the afternoon without feathers - we had been picked clean!== The rest of it is


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hard++but I can bear it. "To distil the one elixir patience" - Must there be another crucible- & another- & another? Will I learn?
March 30"-- spring is waiting be wooed-& so is somebody else. Well!
March. 31"-- March dies in just such a storm as father died in. Such storms bring it back even over ten years.
April 8"-- I am going to adopt Milton's style of address next time I talk to Mr. Williams, Like this: "Sole partner & sole part of all these joys, Earth's hallowed mould, O prince of men, off-spring of Heaven & Earth & all Earth's Lord, O sacred, wise & wisdom-giving Plant, my author & Disposer, what thou bidst


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unargued I obey"-- And he will answer (probably) "Fair Consort, my latest friend, associate sole"!
April 13--Memorable for the contemplated talk with Mr. Williams. Are you sorry to hear that Milton's style was not ours? I know now - how things look different to us as we learn - I can that it is better for me to keep the assistant's place; even tho' conscious that upon me falls the principal's work & more than the principal's care.
April 16"-- Winter has very fairly set in! "Come gentle spring! Etherial [Ethereal] mildness come."
April 18-- I wish etherial [ethereal] mildness would come to me! I don't possess much. +++ Tt is such a relief to me to be busy


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setting myself right instead of other people. I know better where to begin!
April 27"-- Mr. Williams asks t dinner would we have hot scotch or solid meat? We live to regret the hot scotch & long for solid meat.
May2-- It is a sad & sorry thing when one is made to stand before one's self as I have today. +++ I have seen the good, the glory of living, & have fallen in the very presence of it. ++ I stand such a sorry wreck before myself. I have made shipwreck of a whole year. O how the words hurt!
May 6"-- We ride down to see them go, & come back to put something in the vacant places so they won't look at us so. We can't see "flame & azure [b]inding


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each other - we only see the moving & the places left.
May 26" One of the kind of Sundays that I dread when I lie still all day. Thinking is so close to doing that it is hard to have to think when one cannot do.
May 29"-- Annie is all in a maelstrom. She makes it a duty to be happy as little as possible, & stay so short a time as possible. +++++++ I will not worry. A pain to bear now that came near enough to be a pain would make me so miserable. I can lay "no plan for next year - not one. I can't see the way.
May 30 Would I decorate? I said


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not. She was mistaken. Miss G. & I went ahead with a flag & an umbrella & a flower or two. +++ We came home for the loaves & fishes & found loaves but no fishes.
may 31-- A. comes up & I do not spit out much of the hardness that is in my heart lately - the bitterness that comes over one when they have wrought much, loved much, & lost much.
June 3-- And the mill goes round & round - & I - if not a hopper what am I? On to the day - the good time out doors - the gala time up in the trees - the rest up in the blue - the whirl in the mill - & the heartsick of it! And what did I do to drive away


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the heartsick for somebody else? Anything? How can I tell? ++ I come up stairs so whizzy & perplexed!
June 4--Miss G. asks for tea at dinner. Mrs. Williams arises in presence of us all, unlocks emerald treasuries, wafting odors of Yaddo & Changcha fu chun passes to mysterious precincts eastward. Is gone a long time. We eat on. Reappears - gets a cup. Disappears. Is gone a long time. The door opens. Mrs. W. & the Tea! Someway I'll not ask for tea at dinner.
June 6-- "the Lord knoweth them that are his"-- I'm glad for we have a hard time finding it out!
The butter is abominable. Never mind - its intentions are all right -it meant


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to be good.
June 7"-- I wish we could browse indiscriminately. We don't. We take "meals regularly".
June 22-- My trials consist in getting hammer & nails. Mr. Williams deals out nails as he deals our matches - companionless. +++ We behold with our own eyes a bouncing shortcake in the kitchen window, but not for us. We go down to bread & butter & platitudes..
June 25-- I have had my talk with Dr. F. He made me see things & feel good & now I am coming back next year.
June 26-- Pretty hard day, Frances - pretty hard day!
June 29-- I do love a wide stretch of sky & meadow: it gives me such


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a feeling of perfect freedom - especially when days stretch before me as wide & free as sky & meadow, as full of places for the sunshine to fall & soil for daisies to blossom. +++ How jolly it seems to be company-warranted to rest.
July 19" Albany. Today has touched me where I ache & long-on my book side. It was gala-time to me up there in the State Library. I come back elevated seven pegs & a pole!
Aug. 10"-- ++ O how glad I am that no one but me knows how I am longing for Broadfields! If only a little piece of it could come into this vacation! At home things are real & hard. We know not anything save "getting a school" & "earning money" & "paying it back".


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Aug. 17"-- The nicest thing in all day was sitting down by the window with Grandma to knit after the tea-dishes were washed & put away. i wish my life - the whole of it - could be washed & put away for a long time.
Aug. 20"-- I cook a great while but not much!
Aug. 22"-- It's "no not yet" day!
Sept. 5--Castleton-- Things look better. Mother brings deliverance in her very eyes & we set to work cheerily.
I never went to my first day with such a heartache & with so little to expect. ++ But I can challenge the promise of this word. I met Miss Bissell first & she throws her arms around my neck & bursts out crying.


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Sept. 15"-- The silent side - mine - is growing more & more silent as there is daily less to tell & more to bear.
Sept. 21-- I wish these days would stay. Why need I when it isn't weather that keeps me fit to live but grace? Sometimes grace takes the form of weather! +++ Folks come & I see them: & they go & I'm properly thankful....
Sept. 29 - Sunday - ++ If religion consists in being pleasant to have about I might as well ask the dear Lord please can't I begin again!
Oct. 7"-- When the base & rate are given how do find the percentage? that's what we talk about up at school. Can we afford a new oil-cloth for the dining-room? that's what we talk


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about at home. How can I come close 7 know - that's what I talk about all to myself.
Oct. 18"-- Folks can live & still not have things as they want them. They can still live & not do as they have a mind to. These significant facts are chapter from my personal experience!
Oct. 19-- The weather is like last hours with friends before they go.
Oct. 28"--What makes me get so tired - so right down tired? I almost wish what I never wished before - that there not five days in a week - that there not forty weeks in a school year.


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Oct. 29"-- ++ I get up cross - so cross - so cross as never was.
Nov. 1"-- ++ I go to school. Sometimes I teach school - other times I only go!
Nov. 21"-- ++ I go upstairs to the hall to be alone. Things go so wretchedly I cannot teach. ++ A. comes up softly & puts her arms around me & says, "What do you want me to do about that?" I look about about as pleasant as the piano box & don't want anything. Poor A. goes down. I call myself a narrow neck of land, chiefly stone!
Jan. 1" 1873--
Into Isaiah! What does that make you think of Fannie? Play that I asked the question a good ways from today


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when I have grown up & out of & beyond! Today I only remember the words that have comforted me so & given me out of my storm a great calm - "For the mountains shall depart & the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from there, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed." O years! still let the promise hold me.
Jan.6"/73 - Into a prayer meeting. +++I never did want God so much before. ++ The coming home part of the meeting was nice to me: it was like coming up thro' the pines into the world again.


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Jan 8"/73 - Into red bows & vanities. Did I wear a red bow? When my existence for a long time has been a protest against them. ++ Yes. I deliberately marched to the store, picked out a red bow, came home & tied it & donned the same. If I were the only one who advances on the lifeless bodies of her convictions! By & by I'll begin to resurrect!
Jan. 11" - Into grinding processes.
Jan. 13" - Into a Cumulo-stratus. I don't seek such places: but sometimes I wake & find myself there; sometimes I'm pushed thro' like a pneumatic railway! sometimes Mr. Williams holds one up for me to jump thro'.


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Jan. 29"/73 - Into the Promised Land. For what is it but a land of promise to me? ++ I've held it to my soul thro' thankless tasks and heavy happenings++ in days when he was more than usual Williams & I less than ever Frances. That she was there was all & everything to me. In that real land of promise when I glide thro' the open door into the first glow of the warmth & light will my first feeling be one of pain as I feel. My whole life for this?
Feb. 3" - Into her eyes - & down deep.
" 15" - Into the Spanish Inquisition. ++ One chairman to face & four gold-headed canes - I had never sighed for such bliss! Mr. Williams looked


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like the strongest fortress the Moors ever held in Spain. I only it is ended & Mother's room is the refuge whereunto I flee.
Feb. 21"/73-- Into seas of it! Floods of it! ++++ But oh, how cosy [cozy] it looked at home when I came into a nice tea, & a big fire, & a Friday night spasm of content!
Feb. 24"-- Into bliss for which I did not sigh. Mother say, "Never mind, it's your last term." The bliss is object lessons & Mr. Williams' face as he looks on "to see if I have the idea"!
Feb. 26"-- Into a blue that is the most blue! and I got into it. No alternative is left me, not even that of the man who found his


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eyes were out. +++ Poor Mother! how pale & sick she has looked all day.
Mar. 2",/73 - Into losing the name of disciple. +++ Could I not have borne for Jesus' sake? I must impose on me sterner discipline, & heart pleadings for strength.
Mar. 19" - Into a little more powder now, my boys!
Mar. 28" - Into a long pull & a pull a good while. A day of gaspings in Arithmetic, of giant strides in grammar, of much ado about nothing in Eng. Lit., of clutching at & panting in Botany, of crawling Orthography, of leaping for joy in Natural history, of feeling along in other history


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& going at Algebra in gunboats! What does anything mean for me but school?
Mar. 29"-'73-- Into Terra catena - in libera poena-desidero te - English cannot express it. I go reverently to Latin! How much drudgery can be squeezed into one day, & that a leaky, Scrooge-like A.M. - M. P.M. in March I shall know hereafter more definitely than hitherto.
April 25"-- Into bein' & doin' & sufferin'.
" 17"-- Into matronly perplexities. I do not entertain guests after the primitive style! To turn a cake or bake a kid is very different from nineteenth century breakfast getting. I am sadly inexpert in slicing


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ham, or cutting cold pudding, or finding where Mother keeps things, & I forget to salt! But I do at last muddle a breakfast together. ++++
April 28"/73-- Into knowing how sublime it is to suffer 7 be snapped! I do not bear snaps with dignity. Gentleness & forbearance seems to have been left out of Mr. W.'s religion this morning. My religion was not expecting to be snapped-And so-!
April 29"-- ++++ Then I went over to help Ella with her Latin saying sadly to myself, "O Fanny, you have a queer way of laying your life down".
April 30"-- Into being a benefactor to Miss Bissell by giving advice which she does not follow!


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May 1"/73-- Into a night more dreaded than the day. There's no telling what a Board will do. I've always said that. So I was not surprised today when lofty honors were confered [conferred] upon me in the form of a call from Dr. Webber & Gen. G. to learn that it was the wish of everybody & everybody's friend that I should remain here another year & teach with Mr. Williams. I've just sat & held the dreaded thing in my heart until it seems too hard for me - & then the night came for me to toss in & wake every few minutes to think how near heaven was - & now how far.
May 2"-- +++ I've worked two ways today. Outwardly - mechanically at


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this & that: inwardly at the question "Shall I lay down myself next year that mother & Danny may still enjoy our home here, & the girls come back? or shall I go away?" There is no answer & the rain falls heavily - drearily.
May 4"-'73-- Into holding out. ++++ I finish "Middlemarch" & lay it down saying over & over to myself its closing words: "That things are not so ill with you & me is half owing to those who lived faithfully a hidden life & sleep in unvisited graves".


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keep on asking in my blind discontented way, "What shall be done with me next year? Where can I go?" There's not an answer anywhere.
May 9"/73 - Into a next- ++++++ "The one elixir, patience!" How often do I think of that when it seems as if all of me was being thus distilled. There will come a day when there will be a next - so I work hard & find a "forgetting" even in the life of a first assistant. +++ And grandma knits & knits--
May 11"-- Into wishing to be less miserable!
May 13"-- Into the more I think I will the more I won't. +++ I know all the words in the English


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language but rest. I rejoice to see the last skeleton of an examination paper dissected, compiled, & filed away. No wonder I never see sunsets any more!
May 16"-73-- Into finding people to please & nothing to please them with - such experiences fall abundantly to my lot - they prove disciplinary.
May 19"+++ I fish away with imaginary lines in imaginary water & fish up what might have been. ++++
May 22"-- Into feeling heart-bare, heart-hungry, very poor. I am glad to come & find rest in Jesus. Glad of anything that takes me near to Him.
May 28"-- +++ Today in my half-


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decided, sadly tortured state comes a letter from Edward Conant. "Will I go to Randolph next year? "O, yest," I say in my gladness at the thought that anybody want me - that's there's any place for me but this. "O no," I say by & by as I think of Mother & the pretty new house. +++++
June 4"/73.-- Into the new home. We enter it joyfully. Who can know how very good it seems to us? not in ++ its comforts alone but in the happier thought that, if God will, it shall be ours some day. We want mother to have a home all her own again; & we have brave hearts to work for it for her. ++++++++++


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O Father, reveal to me my duty! direct my feet for I do acknowledge thee! +++
June 5"/73-- Into a deep hard question that I cannot answer. And it grows deeper & harder & makes a burden of my thought to weary me. I am helpless before my life-problem. An answer now & here - its result for all time. I can't stay here next year - how can I! It seems almost wicked when I feel as I do. I can't go away next year - it seems too selfish in me to think of it. O is the right choice always the one that involves the greater self-denial? ++++++
June 7"-- Into taking comfort in the new house with Mother. ++++++++


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June 9"/73. +++ A new plan possesses me, thought up in a twinkle, but taking may twinkles to work it out. That's one reason why I don't like this world! ++++
June 24"-- +++ All feeling has left me but passivity to accept the best that comes - to let Dr. F. decide. He say stay. +++
July 6 - Albany... There is an ache - a dread in my heart - I have no strength to face next year with Mr. Williams.
July 10"-- That Mr. & Mrs. W. will not go to Troy is evident. Won't I live to see the earth open somewhere & gulp him down? Why doesn't somebody want him?


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July 23/73-- My Latin moves slowly. It is hard for me but I creep on. My hopes rise & fall as a distant college looms before me-- And what will Mother do? is the only pause.
Aug. 12"-- ++ I have not knowingly touched terra firma today. I have moved in one most joyous dream of Michigan University, until the year I have so much dreaded seems only as door.
Aug. 30"-- I feel restless & stirred up. Nothing rests me or brings free visions of that all enfolding peace; & so I chafe on. +++ It seems so easy to let the Normal School & its troubles swallow me up body & soul: & I lend myself so ready to be swallowed.


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Aug. 31"/73-- Into standing before myself. +++ I need greatly these days the strength that comes from the Cross - the look from the Master that humbles. ++ Night comes - & I walk the streets & toss & toss! O Jesus! other refuge have I none!
sept. 8"-- Into finding the stuff that R.G.W. is made of!
Sept 10"-- A man has been raised up to teach me Greek! Like everyone else raised up for me he wasn't made to order - but I'll make him do.
Oct. 12"-- Into the return of blessing. The day had so many things that were restful
Oct. 19"-- Into beds of dying leaves.


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How lovely the trees begin to look. ++ And I, in among the rustling leaves & the lovely places can only think how near I am to being 25. The desolate places would not look to bare to me if Mother, too, was not growing old.
Oct. 20"/73-- A letter- +for me. It treats of a fall of 45 ft & no bones broken; of a boy who will study good next term; of money to pay for a slate; of a lamp chimney & four window-lights broken!
Oct. 21"-- What I feel like tonight is better conceived by the members of my profession than developed & recorded.
Oct 23"-- Dreams of Michigan


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are like cold water to parched lips, like rest to heavy lids.
Oct. 24"-- Into "This is the way the mill goes round"!
Oct. 30"--Into patching up today to make it do!
Oct. 31"-- Into the Greek Testament.
Nov. 1"-- At home this evening is long & cheery: but I want Mother. That isn't all i want. i chafe so under this year's cross - it grows hard to carry & spring looks like a far-off speck.
Nov. 4"-- It is what goes out from us from a gathered richness within, more than what comes to us from without that makes us know we live. A bright day -


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Nov. 5"/73-- Into a little more Greek, at once, my boys! That's all there seems to be of anything except school. A little Greek to read - a little Greek to study - a little rule or two - jump up in my faced every tired minute. But I don't die. I am quite alive. I shall sit up there & feel my way thro' 150 more days, just as tired as this, & then come home to 150 more Greek lessons increasingly hard. Where shall I find something good? In my new garters? Possibly! In Mr. ___? Who can tell? In the original Greek of St John? Always!
Nov. 15"-- I've set everything


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to rights but me, & I'm all to wrongs!
Nov. 20"/73-- Our boy at home. We think he has improved. If God would only give some of us wisdom, strength, influence to hold him back from the pit that is digged - from the snares that lie in wait!
Nov. 23"-- Into feeling unfeignedly comfortable.!
Nov. 27"-- Home is so full of cheer today - there is so much in it that I want to keep.
Nov. 28"-- A boy set down in our family seems to have been an unprepared for event. It is almost sufficient to furnish matter for the Tragic Muse. My hopes look


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forward - But, oh "Thou Friend of Sinners! I am bewildered, & in the dark, & sick at heart."
Nov. 29"-- Into a cheery Saturday night. I revel in the cosy [cozy] evenings by the fire with Mother.
Nov. 30"-- I felt so good this morning so well, so strong. +++ Mother & I walk & talk, & plan for our boy - & next year looks at us wistfully.
Dec. 3"-- Mother sat up till three o'clock sewing for Dan. That worried me wide awake: & i thought, & thought & thought if I could give up Michigan next year & let Danny stay in school.
Dec. 6"-- Into "[Bils] of Work" by F. B.! Don't look at me, or talk to me. I don't dare look at myself.


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Dec. 7"-73-- Into a rest spot. Days at home, lately, are so nice all of them!
Dec. 11"-- Into whatever is the opposite of "outing": I suppose Patience Strong would call it inting! +++ I go into winter quarters in Greek!
Sunday, Dec. 14"-- A day that came like a hope of heaven in a field of graves.
Dec. 20"-- Into little done or thought, or dreamed. That last is much missed out of a day of mine. +++ I keep thinking of that pitiful little note from my boy - the sick.
Dec. 22"-- I was mercifully spared from a dragging-on existence.


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Dec. 17"-- Mother has been gone three days. The fires have gone out only three times around. We have eaten starch for soda in our cakes only twice!
Dec. 29"-- Into finding things to be glad about.
Jan. 10 1874-- I live too fast - so much is certain. +++ i write Greek exercises, & get girls ready for examination & answer the door bell - & after my hands at last drop, & the light is out I want to think of our absent boy & pray & pray & pray for him - but I am too tired to lift my heart. This not the way I was made to live, & my release seems far-off.


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Jan. 11"-"74-- ++ I am glad of the Sunday - glad to be more & more ashamed "to speak of burdens to a Man on a Cross". O god! give me the life Thou didst give Thy Son!
And home - all of it -makes me sorry.
Jan. 15-- ++ A vacant day: not music, no dreams - no incense - only vague reality - a living on. +++
Jan. 19". +++ Dr French appears, armed & invincible. he says, "Don't stay here." My heart say "No - I won't." But I must wait. He only, of all others, says "Go to college." Every one else says no.
Feb. 3"-- We have ups & downs since Dan's letter came. What he means is


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incomprehensible. We are left to worry about it - which we do in a manner never before attained. It was a mistake sending a boy down in our family. But we are learning so fast that the next generation may all be boys & we'll be ready for 'em. One can live & worry, too. the latter doesn't kill one - at least not me - any more than teaching with R,G.W.!
Feb. 7"-'74-- A good word comes from the boy & our hearts take rest. It is a blessed giving from the King in answer to my feeble asking. He cannot fall away & be our disappointment - not as long as I bear him up to the everlasting Arms. Work makes


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me feel good today. It is so nice to work at home.
Feb. 12" '74-- The bell rang a year ago this morning &, Fanny, do you remember that I promised never to make you walk up to answer its call another first day Feb. morning? This seems like one of the problems where the slate & pencil were taken away from me. The girls bring good cheer. There's a spirit of good times in Normal Hall. ++ I go home from it into a cloud that settles black & grim & sends tears to my eyes.
Feb. 13"-- What can she do! I suppose this is one phase of the woman question! +++ The answer seems to


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be to start a school, to be its first, its motive power, & its waste material.
Feb. 19-'74 ++ I feel so unsatisfied & forlorn today. I can't find higher level & no pastures are green. +++
Feb. 20"-- What the final decision is. I don't know what the [number] of this final decison is. There have been so many since the first one I've lost track. Today proclaims we move. It makes me tired & sorry. +++ There have been cheery things today, & I have been in smoothe waters without much of any head wind.
March 1"-- I take long looks at mother & the cosy [cozy] sitting room & envy & enjoy till I am dizzy with


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the blessedness. Home never seemed as nice as it does this winter.
Mar. 3"-'74-- +++ How proud I should be to have my boy turn out well! Now my heart calls for this as from the Father who had a son in this world & gave him power to overcome
mar. 11"-- There are some of my girls that will never let life look very dark to me - some that are as priceless as these priceless days that are taking them from me.
Mar. 12"-- I know one thing thro' the day-school. I know one thing thro' the night - Greek. +++ i can't erase mistakes & i am longing to right all things - to make myself


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felt forever. ++ if I only could! I love my girls so!
March 17"-'74-- I am in my martyr mood today: that is I go about kind o' pitiful & work with my teeth set & my hands holding on hard; but not a word do I utter! This well for those who learn of me.
Mar. 19"-- I feel a good deal forlorn. I drag Fanny around. I make her teach & write & translate - & the child doesn't want to. Even Michigan is a terror to her.
Mar. 20"-- I change my habits & become a guest. ++ E. has a pretty home. I envy girls with a father. ++ There is a plant here they call heartsease & I love it.


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Mar. 23"-'74-- ++ I'm tired of buying coats for a contrary naughty boy who will do what we don't want him to. Don't let me worry about it. ++ Let me grow patient & keep busy with living. Let me lay day - & lay down -& lay down - that I may take again. Deny - deny -deny- thyself.
Mar. 24"-- In which I cannot face a frowning world. +++ Danny is head-strong & unreasonable, school stormy & discouraging, & my head fairly swims for want of rest - & all of these things move me. "Jesus - A Saviour" - I need nothing tonight so much as to be saved.
Mar. 25"- There is a happiness in the bright morning when soul & body wake together strong for whatever comes.


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++ O if I can only keep tender, loving feelings & be patient nothing else shall worry me!
Mar. 26"'74-- In which I am "pleasant to have about". The rarity of this accounts for its being recorded! The whole day has been like a hope of heaven. I love these new fresh days!
Mar. 28"-- it seems so strange to feel the shackles of my work so unceasingly. I reproach myself for taking one moment to play. But rest is coming.
April 1"-- In which i lift up mine eyes unto the hills & help cometh. There's spring enough to smell the sweet breath of pines, & see the water running, & watch the sunset glory on bare hill-tops. ++ I thought of Sue. She must be


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the poetry of my life for there is no beautiful thing that does not bring me thoughts of her. All before this lay a day of hard work with a headache & thoughts roll & roll.
April 7"-'74-- ++ School is such a treat to me when I feel like work - & I do today every inch of me.
April 9"-- I go to prayermeeting & hear about living above the world. I know less about that than I once did. The work of this world - the hope of success draw me & chain me. ++ "Bringing every tho't into captivity to the obedience of Christ!" Ah, I have work to do-- There's mud & sow & spring is an ancient myth.
April 10"-- ++ It's so nice with Mother today. What I shall do when I can't


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work by her & talk to her next year I can't bring myself to think.
April 14"-'74-- In which a wave of trouble rolls across my peaceful breast. It takes the form of a coal bill. I have been so in hopes those old bills could wait a little. I feel bound hand & foot this spring with Michigan before me. School partakes of the coal bill - so does the sitting-room & the coal stove! Not much "Broadfields" about me today!
April 18"-- +++ Well - there's one thing - my salary is a comfort to other people!
April 19"-- Heaven has sent us a reminder of itself in the day: a suggestion of what may be somewhere. I felt like resting my heart in the


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tenderness that is in the Almightiness. I asked for bread & he gave me a creed! never mind. The beauty of God & the glory are all about me. ++++ Mother & i have a nice visit. We talk of the time when Danny will be thro' school, & be a joy & comfort to us - when the old debts shall all be paid, & our new house shall be builded!
April 23", '74-- +++ These are pleasant days to me after all; full of the work I live & the light of young faces & loving hearts.
April 25"-- We are in another [woful] snow storm ++++ I suppose all we can do is to shovel paths & hope. +++ A letter from Cousin Mary lays hold of me: "You cannot do too much for your mother. If you could see things as I


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see them now would love, trust & indulge her more than all the world."
April 26"-'74-- The ninth regular snow-storm in the series was delivered today! ++ but there's cheer inside. I am very tender to Mother all day. Can anything ever take her from me? How weak I feel to keeps her! - & yet how strong!
April 28"-- In which I don't know what to do with Fanny ++ If she had said anything today it would have been cross. ++ How thankful I am for the little sources of discipline. I wish I had enough more to make me behave. ++ O for power - for power to become a son of God!
April 29"-- ++ I'm so cross I can't


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stand it! +++ The mignonette, in the dear little bouquet that came yesterday, has helped. It holds me fast like soft hands touching mine in the dark.
May3"-'74-- In which I consent to live. It begins to smile out of doors, & the desert places are going to blossom. +++ Mother & I chatter, chatter thro' the day. ++ I write to the boy, too: & I lie awake & think & pray that God will give his angels charge concerning him. He must ot break my Mother's heart. I think over & over what Mary wrote - "Trust her, love her, indulge her more than all the world."
May 4"-- In which "heavy, heavy hangs over me." I go up the Monday steps slowly & not steadily. I ponder over


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in my heart the things R.G. said to me & I take fire. ++ I guess I shall stand it! I've had an extended course of standing it. +++ Comfort comes in the girls' prayermeeting.
May 8"-'74-- ++ I think & think what we will all do & how we can get along: but nothing comes of it. In the meantime I write to Michigan & ask big questions. And so the days go.
May 15"-- In which there is something new to be glad about - my copy of De Quincey. +++ There's an end to every trouble under the sun. Even examination papers will fade away. But there's no end to a joy. My books are durable riches.
May 17"-- In which serene is the


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light in the soft May weather." My heart rests & sings. ++ "O moment gone too soon & morning left behind!" The pale gray night comes down, & in the stillness I am left with God +++ He is nigh even at my doors.
May 18"-'74-- In which one girl gets tired - too tired to think or be good. But as old Mr. ___ says: "It's a good deal to ask any body to be good all the time"!
May 19"-- In which the things that make me tired are not less. "A lodge in some vast wilderness" has had a pleasant sound of late. +++ I am a living martyr to the present ideas of education: & I scold to myself about it which martyrs never do.


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May 24"-'74-- In which rest remaineth. ++ It has been a hard week. +++ My thoughts of heaven are alloyed with thoughts of work, & dreams that do not centre near the Throne. I never needed more a tidal wave to sweep over in my life & carry me out of myself. Will not God send it? Or must I always live this way?
May 26"-- In which I am again in the crucible. === I go to bed but cannot sleep. Life touches me at so many points: & who is sufficient for these things?
May 27"-- +++ My head fails me. Every little nerve sends up its feeble protest. But there is no help. I must work


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Fanny still: & if she runs over & lets out cross things how shall we punish her? Ah, the punishment is swift & sure! There are nights of pain - unknown.
June 2"-'74-- In which I find plenty to do. You may have heard something of this kind before! ++ This is Sir Launfal weather; & the nights are those in which Maud came into the garden. ++ Life is full of grammar & arithmetic & essays: but the blue is somewhere!
June 6"-- In which my desires lie in the direction of a ride & not in the direction of Botany questions. But I do not take the ride & I do take the Botany. I can't set myself to work. I have to drag the child to it & pin her with


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a star. She has things on her mind & she is restless.
June 9"-'74-- ++ School is pleasant. It's one of the days when I resolve to teach always.
June 12"-- ++ I'm glad I'm just as I am - mostly. I'm so up when I am up & so down when I am down. But it's good to enjoy with all your might even tho' you suffer in the same way.
June 29"-- In which our mode of life is primitive. ++ I wash windows & sweep, & contemplate my work as the gods eat ambrosia - in a fit of divine abstraction. ++ My greatest housewifely accomplishment consists in being able to be here washing windows, & being off


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somewhere else at the same time - in fingering & thinking at opposite ends.
July 1"-'74-- In which chaos is no more. One only needs to move to be reminded of the creation.
Cohoes-July 13"-- I am full of the summer pleasantness, & a quiet, restful content. I have a feeling as if I had just been converted: & what is that like but opening tired eyes & seeing the "place prepared" for the first time.
July 17"-- In which I am in the middle of the pasture, & do not even put my head over the fence.
July 21"-- In which courage predominates. She kind that works & will not stop - that dodges pain - &


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will not worry.
Aug. 1"-'74-- In which August drips in. Greek & I are getting on very good terms now. +++ I don't jump around at my work & sing: I creep when I'm up & sit down pretty often. +++ The moment D. leaves me nights I worry & I worry until he comes in. It makes me feel better, little book, to tell you about it. If I could only look on & see him safe-!
Aug. 5"-- In which my boy is good to me & shows me his best in our quiet talk. Almost every summer has had in it some intense longing which has been put into words only for God's ear. This time it is all for my boy - the pain & longing. God is God -


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"To doubt is still disloyalty".
My neuralgia is assuming painful proportions. I am found pitying myself.
Aug. 9"-'74-- In which it might have been glad & heartsome. That is hasn't been makes me toss & toss. buy why do I chronicle my tossings as if they were good things to keep? As if in God's world the aches & sorries did not perish & the bright things only live on? God tells us so much about blotting out. I sat up stairs a good while & the quiet made me over.
Aug. 10"-- Everything at home has taken on the most uncomforting aspect. I do so want Mother to be at least a little happy: & I think &


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think & plan & plan - but the night takes it all up away from me.
Aug. 15"-'74-- In which its time Sunday came. I love the Sundays - look, long, wait for them - most of all when I am with Mother. I keep in my heart most lovingly the memory of our Castleton Sundays. They'll be dearer than ever when the little mother is gone. What made me think of this? It must be because she is so pale & tired today.
Aug. 17"-- In which I make great efforts to be a hero. My most desperate attempts have been in two directions - to study some, & to sit up straight & still & bear the toothache. I've a great desire to see someone who achieved heroism by this method. I'd like also to know


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if two of their teeth ached. +++ The little Mother is better. Her face brightens & she is her own dear little self again - our everyday hero.
Aug. 19"-'74-- After a wilderness I come upon a goodly heritage. I am requested to be in Castleton at one & "take charge of the Normal School". +++ I hasten to order me a hat, & walk as the head of a Normal School would be expected to walk: & I dream as girls dream. Forgive my weakness! Mother comes home springing.
Castleton - Aug. 22"-- In which I am fully instructed as to the kind of charge I am to take of the Normal School. My reception at Castleton partakes of warmth: I am waited upon


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by the dignitaries of the town, & compose myself to a placid benignity in the hotel parlor. Developments are not slow: i soon see that taking charge does not mean taking charge at all. What I think of it will not now be recorded. In the meantime observe my benign placidity.
Aug. 23"'74-- In which He strengthens my heart. I have so dreaded this Sunday without the little Mother. God has not let me miss Him, too. +++ I am ready to take the place I did not choose - to be subordinated & humiliated if it be His appointing.
Aug. 24"-- I go to the task of filling up the Normal School with a vanishing


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courage. Lilly C. comes & takes me to ride - carries me off to reverie & dreams. I do not come back as I went. I am so like a child about going into the deeps of a joy; & so not like a child in my efforts to rise above the heights a a sorrow.
Aug. 25"-'74-- In which they sent Mr. Sherman to talk to me. It is the old story that is told to girls & women as they learn with every struggle that they contend with men. A college boy, because he is a boy, is preferred, without experience or years: & the woman is passed by. Ah! don't I know how it feels. A man, they tell me, "will give the school more of a name." And


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so the letter is already on its way that recommends Mr. Hyde to the principalship of the Normal School; & I, who have loved it so, & worked for it so long am out of sight. The whole of me says, as I toss 7 toss, "I will not stay."
Aug. 26"-74-- In which I look for God's answer in a calm that is strange & welcome. The drawing away of the profs in Castleton means, does it not? that I shall realized my dearly-loved purpose & see Michigan.
Aug. 28"-- In which there is a high tide & low tide. ++ I find myself the joyful recipient of a letter or two stating the certain coming of a student or two;


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& in the same mail I find myself the woe-begone recipient of other letters stating the certain staying away of a student or two.! ++++ R.G. Williams is vanished from my horizon! I have lived to see this day!
Aug. 30"-'74-- A day of peace in country places. +++ Tonight I could pray for my boy & it has seemed sure, so sure, that he should be preserved from evil, for my faith grows stronger & stronger.
Sept. 1"-- In which the tendencies are domestic. I sit on the upper piazza & aspire to make good sheets! +++ The day is full of the thoughts that almost always come with stitches. Some


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of them are restless; but those that stay are calm & full of courage. I feel so sure that the best shall be for me & mine.
Sept. 4"-74-- In which I am at the height of all dreariness. ++ Which means that the Normal School is not filling by tens & dozens. ++ How am I to get up any spirit? I must find a way out of this. Come-arouse! The generations are calling & you are not a hero!
sept. 6"-- In which there comes a growing comfort & a Sabbath peace. I wish I could make myself feel something away down deep - as deep as I ever feel. What is going to come upon me to bring me out of this valley?


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Sept. 10"-'74-- +++ The Board has met & it is done. E.J. Hyde is principal. God is plainly calling me to do a hard thing - To stay here & take the lower place - to stand here in the dark & suffer!
Sept. 13"-- In which I am quiet a few minutes. How well for me it is! Anybody like me ought to be quiet a great many minutes: but my life spins on ++ while all the time I am wishing so still to myself that I had a little home & my work could lie inside of it. +++ I take all my steps in a maze - for where do they lead?
Sept. 21"-- +++ I come back from the dear little home-visit with the firm purpose of making all the people


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possible glad that I am to live among them!
Sept. 24"-'74-- In which my hands are unequal to their burdens.
Oct. 3"-- In which the King comes to his own. ++ It seemed God's message when the doctor came & took us up to the lake & among the woods & hills. ++ Was I ever known to forget my rides -- they form epochs!
Oct. 5"-- ++ This girl is a mystery unto herself. She might be always kind, tender-hearted, forgiving - but she is far from it. O-God help her!
Oct. 7" +++ Work is a delightful solace tho' I can't talk & explain. I sit in a grim silence which means only sorrow.


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Oct. 9"-74-- In which the evening is long & quiet to myself alone - one of my lovely times when I can bear to look out upon things as they are & not lose heart
Oct 11"-- In which the day is delighted in ++++ It is easy to be homesick but I won't let me. ++ Everything cosy [cozy], even a cosy [cozy] thought, is a comfort - & I find a few.
Oct. 12"-- ++ My courage is slowly coming back, as the old work is taken up & the put-away things are taken out. How funny all my dreams see - I who was to have been at Michigan!
Oct. 13"-- ++ A metamorphosis going on. A cross girl is to be fixed over into a sunny girl. Come & see!


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Oct. 14"-74 ++++ The girl wakes & clings - oh, how she clings! - to the hand held out to her - lest a cross word come - a heartless word - God help her! I think the struggle going on down here in the dark is part of the battle for Christ. I can feel Him so much nearer since the conflict began.
Nov. 2"-- In which the leaves go & the comforts begin to take their place.
Nov. 3"-- In which the girl wonders how so many happy things could come at once.
Nov. 4"-- In which mine is the deep joy, the unspoken fervor the sacred fury of the fight! This is one of the days when the girl likes to talk to herself - & to God. What she says in those still moments,


: VCLDiariesunidentifiedFrancesnd099
let us hope will make her what she finds it so hard to be.
Nov. 11"-'74 +++ I am clasped in the cold arms of Duty! This is why I am not at Michigan. You find me a favorite phantom chased & not graceful Sophomore. I am learning - how slowly! - not to expect all things to move for one girl.
Nov. 17" ++++ I've not watched this girl today & I feel - as if it would never be helped. Do I not know the sunless depths that come after such a day? Am I never to be helped? Or must I be shown & shown & shown that without Him I can do nothing?


: VCLDiariesunidentifiedFrancesnd100
Nov. 24"-74-- +++ There's a girl here that's wanting to go home. Some days she never hears the cars : today every car-ring goes thro' her. +++ I don't believe she is sorry down in her heart for this hard day. The pain is so sweet - the help so precious. +++ The home letter teases the child to come. Danny, bless the loving boy-heart! - sends dear words to me.
Nov. 25"-- In which this looks pretty hard. ++ The joy that I can do it makes my face bright as I kiss the girls off & watch the trains go. How good life is even such times!
Dec. 2"-- In which I make the world a little brighter for some people. +++ I take some time to