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Full text of "Patience Strong's outings"



3 1822 01042 6930 




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3 1822 01042 6930 



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HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. 
BOSTON AND NEW YORK 



PATIENCE STRONG'S 
OUTINGS 



BY 

MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY 




BOSTON AND NEW YORK 
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 
ffitoetfibe $ restf , Cambribge 
1899 



Copyright, 1868, 1893, and 1896, 
Br MBS. A. D. T. WHITNEY. 

All rights reserved. 



The Riverside Prest, Cambridge, Mats., U. 8. A. 
Eectrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co. 



CONTENTS. 



Mi 

L INTO THE BY-GONES 1 

II. STILLNESS AND STITCHES .... 11 

III. THE COMINGS-IN 21 

IV. THE LIFE AND THE GLORY . 33 
V. INTO THE MEANINGS 45 

VI. INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW .... 57 

VII. "FORZINO" 68 

Vin. INTO DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES . 79 

IX. INTO THE MIDDLES 91 

X. INTO THE SUNSHINE 99 

XL INTO THE SHOPS 107 

XII. INTO THE YEARS 117 

XIII. INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OP IT . . 127 

XIV. INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX .... 140 
XV. INTO THE FAIRY STORY 150 

XVI. WITH THE SUNDAY STRAYS . . . 161 

XVII. INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS .... 173 

XVIII. INTO THE MIDNIGHT 186 

XIX. INTO THE DAY-GLEAM 187 

XX. INTO THE MORNING ...... 198 



PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTO THE BY-GONES. 

** ELIPHALET'S folks are going to Europe." 

Mother says that in a meek kind of way, trying 
not to be too much set up about it, to the neigh 
bors when they come in, and ask, as the neighbors 
here have a way of doing, " What the good word 
is with us ? " 

It makes me think, that greeting, always. 
It seems, somehow, as if it were a sweet old fashion 
that might have come down out of the kingdoni of 
heaven. 

That syllable is so full, " word ! " That which 
" was in the beginning with God," and " without 
which nothing was made that is made." What He 
has been giving out, always, down, through the 
angels, unto men, and into things. God's meanings, 
of thought and of life ; his instant bestowal. 

Looking at it so, it is tender and solemn to hear 



2 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

the neighbors ask, " What the good word is to 
day ? " And to hear mother say, with that kind 
of tremble in her voice that she tries to straighten 
into calmness, "Eliphalet's folks are going to 
Europe," why, it is as if the leave for the plea 
sure was just the day's word from God. 

I know mother is glad and proud at Eliphalet's 
well-doing and getting-on. She is a little afraid of 
his wife, because she belongs to a Boston family 
of consequence, and is very elegant in her manners, 
and never takes them off, not even for the most 
common every-day. But then, as mother says, she 
is n't " stuck-up," because she never got up, and 
she never comes down. She was always just so. 
She is very respectful and kind to mother, but she 
don't like to be introduced as " Eliphalet's wife." 
She is my " daughter-in-law, Mrs. Strong." Not 
even " Mrs. Eliphalet " since father died, though 
she was particular about that before. She never 
objected nor suggested in so many words ; but we 
always find out, somehow, just what Gertrude con 
siders proper, and likes to be done. She is " Ger 
trude " among us. Mother would n't like it other 
wise ; and mother has her quiet proprieties too. 

Well, Eliphalet's folks are going to Europe. 
He and Gertrude, and the children, and their 



INTO THE BY-GONES. 3 

nurse, and their Aunt Marthe. (That is not a 
Yankee shortening; the French terminal makes 
all the difference in the prettiness. It is just so 
with other words. I remember that I would not 
call my white waists "gamps," thinking of bed 
gowns and Sairey ; but when I found out that it 
was the French " guimpe," it gave a grace to the 
name and the thing. I don't know why we 
should n't be graceful, even if we have to be 
French.) 

Everybody goes to Europe now. I think it is 
to get rid of the kitchens. There are two currents 
in the Atlantic, an upper and a lower. The tide 
comes in at our basement stories, and has to flow 
out again at the parlor and front doors. Perhaps 
that is the reason the Gulf Stream is changing. 
Things have to equalize and accommodate. 

Eliphalet came out last Sunday evening on horse 
back and took tea, and told mother all about it. 
They are to stay a year or more ; travel in England 
and Scotland, and Switzerland this summer, and 
then go to Italy for the winter, and in the spring 
come to Paris ; home when they get ready. How 
much that is, to do and to see ! I wonder if those 
little children will take in anything, out of it all, 
to keep. 



4 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

" Pashie, you ought to go too. You don't get 
many outings." 

Eliphalet said that just as he went off, when I 
was bidding him good-by, standing on the door 
step, patting his horse's nose, and giving him 
mouthf uls of fresh clover out of my hand. 

Don't I have many outings ? 

It has been in my head ever since. I don't think 
Eliphalet knows. It depends upon how far you go 
out when your gate 's ajar. Everybody's little yard- 
room opens into all out-doors. 

Why, it seems to me that life is all outings. 
When you don't go out any longer, you die. 
There 's no such thing as shutting people up. 

Mother and I have lived here, all by ourselves, 
for ten years. Before that, we had father to take 
care of for five years, from the time he first had 
paralysis. And before that it was Aunt Judith, 
and she was deaf, and dreadfully well, unex 
pected in her ways. I'm thirty-eight now, and 
mother 's fifty-six. My dear, little, young-old 
mother ! I am her oldest. So near her ! I am so 
glad. We 're such comforts to each other. 

Why, I 've all her life to go out into, in the first 
place. Ever since she used to tell me stories about 
" when she was little," and " when she was young." 



INTO THE BY-GONES. 5 

She keeps that dear, simple way of speaking that 
she learned when she was " little," and when she 
was "young," from her mother and the old-time 
friends. And yet she has gone on with the years, 
to take in and enjoy what the years teach. She 
knows new books and new thoughts, and the light 
of to-day on old things shines for her as truly as 
for any one. We talk over the philosophers to 
gether, she and I ; and we love the grand specula 
tions that take in the ideas of a humanity hundreds 
of thousands of years old, and the earths buried 
within the earth; its coarse, wild, rudimentary, 
seething, passionate Past, rank and slimy and rav 
enous with wilderness and reptile and beast, cov 
ered up and softened over, and changed ; greened 
and beautified, and peopled with fairer and fairer 
life, telling us, in a Word as big as the world, of 
how it shall be with men's souls in the long time 
and patience that God is rich in. 

She loves all this, but she does not trouble about 

. 

new phrases and pronunciations in her every-day 

speech. She says " our folks " (kindly old 
Anglo-Saxon) where Gertrude would say " our 
family," or " my father's family ; " and she speaks 
of when she was " little," so that it makes you feel 
tender toward the little child that she was, and that 

?^ /y-/f A 



6 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

somewhere in her nature she has not yet ceased 
to be. She "suffers the little child" in herself, 
and is in no wise ashamed of it, and by it she 
does always behold the Father's face. My dear, 
little, young-old mother ! That is the heart-word 
I always have for her, and that is how I call her. 

There were so many of them, sisters, once ; and 
her life takes me back into all their lives. Now 
there are only mother and Aunt Hetty Maria. 

Aunt Hetty Maria married the two largest and 
oldest farms in Dearwood together ; and her hus 
band has been a member of Congress, and she lives 
at the old homestead, and is a great deal thought 
of and looked up to. She always wears black silk 
in the afternoons ; and when people come to see her 
they put on their best, in gowns and in behavior ; 
and her tea-table is always ready for company, and 
set with real china, that you can see through. 
Somebody almost always does come in to tea in the 
summer time, and so her house is " society " for 
Dearwood. To take tea at Madam Parmenter's is 
to take the best thing at once, and the freedom of 
all there is. The ministers always go there, and 
the lecturers, and people that have any public 
business, and those who have friends staying with 
them. 



INTO THE BY-GONES. T 

It is very quiet and old-fashioned and dignified 
there now. It has got the air that only ripens with 
a hundred years' living. But those are the rooms 
they were born and grew up in, and were married 
out of, thode who were married ; buried out of, 
those who diad ; and there was where the young 
folks had their tea-drinkings and their courtings, 
and their housefuls of friends at Thanksgivings 
and holiday-times ; and their garden and orchard 
walks and talks when the damask roses were in 
bloom or the peaches were ripe ; and their moon 
light sittings under the great trees at the wide 
front door. 

I have all that when I go to Dearwood. It is all 
there ; and that is one of my outings. Many ave- 
nued, into the lives that have been partly told me, 
and that have partly told themselves. I never 
stand at the landing halfway up the broad, shal 
low-stepped staircase, but I seem to feel how it 
was when they and their visitors went up to bed in 
the old times ; when they stood there with shining 
candlesticks in their hands, and called up and 
down to each other in the last talk and laugh of 
the night, which is always the brightest and most 
beguiling. Nobody ever said a word about that ; 
but I know it by what they would call, nowadays, 
psychometry, I suppose. 



8 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

Aunt Hetty Maria's picture hangs in the parlor. 
It 's a picture of gown and great white ruffled cape, 
mostly ; the features are of little account, and were 
never thought to look much like her. But I like 
it for the very gown and cape, such as they don't 
wear now even in their dreams. Such things grow 
queer in a portrait for a while, and then they grow 
ancient and graphic. Then they tell stories, and 
are as much as a face. They become the things 
that portray. 

It makes me think of warm, pleasant weather, 
and company coming, that picture, with the low- 
necked silk gown, and the wide, clear, fresh muslin 
cape, with the ruffles standing off at the shoulders, 
and the hair done up in high, smooth bows. It 
would n't have been a dress to play croquet, or 
Aunt Sally, or ship-coil in ; but to talk, and walk, 
and gather roses, and sit in state in the best parlor 
for a hand-round tea; and so, when I stand and 
look at it, it takes me right back to itself and into 
its day. 

Why, there are plenty of ways to get out! 
Away out into the long-lived years, with people 
one never saw or knew. An old house, an old 
picture, a word in a book can do it. One need n't 
necessarily cross the water. If one does, it is to 

iX ^ .JL . & ^ * -V V* V 

?-M/: 




INTO THE BY-GONES. 9 

get precisely similar things. More of them, per 
haps, and on a grander scale ; but I think these 
help me to know what those would be. And if you 
really do know what a thing would be, I think you 
hardly ever get it. Because it is the meanings of 
life, and not so much living itself, that God has 
for us here. 

I do not believe I shall ever go to Europe. 

A journey is n't always an " outing," after all. 
People go journeys and never go out the least bit. 
They just pack themselves up, and first they are 
here, and then they are there ; and that is all the 
difference, especially in these times of railroads 
and day and night travel. Why, Europe was only 
a bigger Washington Street to Effie Butler, Ger 
trude's cousin. She went away in four trunks, 
and she came back in eight, that was all. Shops 
and dressmakers in Paris, and jewelers in Rome 
and Florence. To what she had, more was given. 
But she never went out. 

Perhaps it is only what goes out and stays out 
that counts in our living. That is God's going out. 
A reaching which is growing, and a giving which 
shares and multiplies life. That was Christ's out 
going. " Virtue went out of him." Blessing and 
help, of a kind that " goeth not out but by prayer 



10 



PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 



and fasting." He himself " came out from God " 
and into the world. 

It tells everything, that little Saxon syllable of 
force : how God gave forth his creation ; how the 
suns flung off their planets into the spaces ; what 
human living really means, and the circles that 
lives make in time. 

I should like to think up, thoroughly, what my 
" outings " have been, and what they might be. 

People keep diaries of their travels : I wonder 
what a diary of these would 




&& 

*\ , 

-'&o 



CHAPTER H. 

STILLNESS AND STITCHES. 

SIT still, and everything will come round to you. 
It would n't be quite safe to carry that into all 
sorts of things ; but it is very true of a still life. 
It is true and comfortable, also, of many a quiet 
pause in the midst of perplexity. Did you ever 
lose a companion in a crowded street, or miss an 
appointment at some shop or corner ? And did n't 
you find out that the best thing to be done, per 
haps, was to stand still till your friend, in the rush 
hither and thither in which you had both been 
striving to meet, came by? Only, indeed, if both 
had been equally wise you might possibly have 
both stood fast until to-day. But when you cant 
move, it is a contenting theory, and it works well. 

Fashions come round, even to red hair. Put 
away any old thing, and, if the moths don't eat it 
up, it will turn to purpose some day. " Lay it by 
for seven years, and then turn it and lay it by for 
seven more," and, if you don't forget you ever had 



12 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

it, there '11 be a want for it. I 'd rather use up as 
I go along, for myself or somebody else ; but the 
rule stands good against burning up or throwing 
away. 

Sometimes I think that still people, like us, get 
most. The world drifts on, and round and round, 
and something is always touching at one's corner, 
giving one a glimpse, and in the stillness one can 
take in a good deal that the people in the hurry 
can't stop to think of. 

Now Eliphalet and Gertrude are going to Eu 
rope. And they are full of plans and talk ; and 
they come out here with them. Eliphalet brings 
his guide books and gets out the big maps, and 
tells us all the here and the there of it, and the 
what and the why ; and then have n't we got it all, 
mother and I, without the trunks, and the dress 
makers, and the sewing and the packing, and the 
seasickness and the crowd, and the care about 
money, and the care about one's self, the trouble 
some self that never seems to be in the way when 
it 's where it belongs, but that, the minute you set 
off anywhere, you 've got always to take with you 
and to tend ? You see, when you travel, you must 
keep taking out and putting away, your clothes 
and your body, all the time ; in and out of boxes, 



STILLNESS AND STITCHES. 13 

in and out of boats and cars and hotels. If 
your sight and your thought could go, without all 
this! 

They do when your friends travel for you. 
When you 've found out exactly what there is to 
go for, as you only do find out when somebody 
is really going, why, then you 've almost been. 
And when the letters come back, you 're as good 
as there. 

Not but what the doing does deepen it all. It is 
like putting any other dream into action. You can 
dream in a minute ; but it takes days and years to 
live your dream out ; and if you can live it, you 
have n't made it your own until you do. It is only 
that the minutes are given to them who are for 
bidden the days and the years ; and in the Lord's 
giving He can make the days as the years, and the 
minutes as the days. And so things come by, and 
you get your share, and the bit is multiplied. 
When the people were hungry, He made them sit 
down quietly on the green grass. (There is always 
" much grass " much possible green content 
in every place.) And He gave to the few, and the 
few to the many ; and there was enough for all. 

I think, after the studying and planning are 
done, which are the first and the essence of the 



14 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

having, the next best must be the between-time s. 
Quiet hours on the ocean, when you know you are 
on your way ; and over and over, ripening and 
gladdening in your mind, come the plans and the 
visions, and the feeling of what is going to be : the 
stretches of railway between one delight and the 
next ; the time you have to take to get the body 
along, when what has been grows mellow in the 
mind, enriching and sweetening it ; and what is 
coming comes beforehand, with a long, beautiful 
slant, as the dayshine does over the hills. Yes, it 
is all best. And I know I should be glad to go, 
and live it in. But I can stay and be glad, too, 
for the much of it that I can get without the going, 
and that this quiet staying works with, also, like 
those between-times of the going. Think it over 
as I will, it somehow comes out even. 

I believe I like waiting times. Perhaps it is be 
cause I have got used to waiting. But I like the 
days between the knowing and the having of a 
pleasure. It is with you all the while. I like to 
expect a letter. When it has come, there is the 
end of it. I like the time when the carpet is swept, 
and the fire is bright, or the windows open to the 
sunshine, and % the flowers are in the vases, and the 
fresh covers on, and the cake-basket ready in the 



STILLNESS AND STITCHES. 15 

closet, and the friend expected presently. If she 
came right in, in a hurry, as soon as the last thing 
was done, it would take away half the pleasantness. 
And in this I feel faintly as if it were not all ; as if 
there might be a meaning of something deeper and 
farther on. I wonder if I could not wait with some 
such peace as this, if I were old, or had a long and 
mortal sickness, or were left alone awhile ? Let 
ting the sunlight of heaven come slanting in, slowly, 
long beforehand, when the day was sure to be? 
Making a sweet pause of patience, rather than a 
craving and a pain, of the taking away that was 
for such a giving again ? I do not know ; but I 
think it is what this pleasantness of waiting means. 

I was very wise, and strong, and contented, 
was n't I ? Where is it all gone, and why could n't 
I stay just as quietly now ? 

Oh, but it 's very different now ! 

Eliphalet has asked me, truly and in earnest, 
to go to Europe with them ! 

To put myself away, and take myself out yes, 
well, I think I can ! 

To have it all, to mean it really when we talk, 
to have the rest and the hope on the sea, and 
the great, beautiful, actual things when we come 



16 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

to them, and the going back in the pauses and the 
stillness ; and the waiting for more ; to keep gather 
ing in and laying by, and to come home again rich 
for all the rest of the years ! 

But, then, my darling little mother ! 

She says, " Go, dearie ; " and she will stay 
with Aunt Hetty Maria; she never will have a 
chance again, may be. And the home here can be 
shut up. 

She means / never may have the chance again. 
But, then, could n't I take it partly for her ? 
Could n't I keep giving it to her as I went along, 
and bring it all back to be glad over together? 
Nobody else would write to her as I would, every 
little bit. Why, I should be like Harriet Byron, 
who always puzzled me so, how she ever managed 
to have the things happen when she was doing 
such monstrous days' works to write them all 
down. 

If I go, and I shall keep saying " if " till I 'm 
on the deck of the steamer, for I can't look it quite 
straight in the face that I 'm going away from 
mother so long, or bear to put it certain in words, 
if I go, I must be ready by the fifteenth. What 
is to become of my waiting-time ? Am I to rush 
right into this great pleasure without a breath, 



STILLNESS AND STITCHES. 17 

when I like so to stop and look even at a little one ? 
We shall see. I '11 work hard, but we will have a 
quiet Sunday and Monday before I go to New York 
on Tuesday. 

We shall start together, mother and I, that 's 
a comfort. I could n't leave her behind, standing 
alone on the porch. And when she gets out of the 
cars at Bearwood, there won't be any time, as Eli- 
phalet says, for a fuss. Sometimes a hurry is the 
best thing. I am glad there are quiets and hurries. 
There always are two things. The world is all 
opposites ; and one thing could n't be without the 
other. You can't rest until you 're tired ; you can't 
be glad if you 've never been sorry. We shall find 
it all out by and by ; and how He sees that every 
thing is good. 

We have n't any sewing-machine to hurry with. 
We never wanted one. I think sewing-machines 
are to needle-work just what railroads are to travel 
ing, and telegraphs to business. You have to do 
ten times as much of it, and you can't stop to enjoy 
it. It seems to me that the way the world grows is 
very much like the game of "bezique" they used 
to play at Gertrude's. It sounds bigger to count 
by hundreds and thousands than by tens ; but it 
is precisely the same thing, after all, as to the 



18 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

game, and a great deal more bother. In fact, 
when we once began to change our proportions, 
we spoiled the whole thing and got tired of it alto 
gether. 

If people would only dress themselves and fur 
nish their houses as simply as they did before, the 
machines would have cleared up such a blessed 
space in life ! But they went right to inventing 
and multiplying tucks and bands and rufflings and 
flouncings, and things to put them on to, till the 
only difference is that they are whizzed to death 
with work, instead of quietly and peaceably tired 
out. 

No ; mother and I have each her window, hers 
looks out into a larch and mine into a chestnut ; 
her tree is tender first with new green fringe and 
bright with young, red, budding cones ; and mine 
grows beautiful later with its white, feathery spires ; 
and we have each a round, old-fashioned lightstand, 
with a work-basket, and a sewing-bird screwed on ; 
t <i/^vand the real birds flutter up the green stairways of 



^ %' the branches, and sit singing on the rocking tips 
of the twigs ; and we are still and happy, and have 
our brains to ourselves, and rest all our bodies ex 
cept our ringers, instead of keeping head and hands 
and feet and nerves all flying, as the children do in 



STILLNESS AND STITCHES. 19 

" My mother sends me to you, sir." We have our 
thoughts and our talk, and we feel the threads go 
in and out, and the satisfaction of every stitch as we 
make it. They are telegraph lines for us women, 
these threads, reaching far away into times past 
and times to come, and things unseen. We put 
our lives together, bit by bit, at other whiles, like 
patchwork, and then we sit down and quilt it in. 
I think E /e sewed the fig-leaves together for the 
sewing's sake, and for the beauty of the green 
tapestry -work, before ever the devil put it into her 
head about the aprons. Men can't do anything 
but smoke, or whittle. 

Mother's life and mine are quilted all together 
so. I don't think anything ever could separate us 
now, or that one of us could have a thing and the 
other nut. Mother 's going to Europe as much as 
I am. 

" I can't help lotting on it all the time," she 
says, out of her window, over her lapful of night 
gown. 

" And the lotting is the whole of it," I answer 
back, over mine. 

That 's what the Yankee word comes from. 
Things are only what we " allot " to them. And 
the heart and soul do that; and it takes a very 



20 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

little thread dropped into the wonderful life solu 
tion, to gather in heaps the lovely, shining crystals', 
each to its own. And the stiller you keep, the 
more crystals you get. Which is exactly what I 
began with. 



CHAPTER HE. 

THE COMINGS-IN. 

I DON'T know which are the most or the best, 
the outings or the int-ings. There, I thought 
before I wrote it down that I had made a word ! 
And after all, I 've only come round to an old 
meaning. " In't " " hint " " inting," " ink 
ling," they are all the same, and mean just this 
very thing. That which comes in to us, faintly, 
shadowly, breathly, we can't tell how. 

I '11 look it out in Worcester. " Etymology un 
certain." Well, I've found it out then. Please 
put Patience Strong as an authority in the next 
dictionary. 

When I was a little girl, this house had a piece 
built on to it. All one summer there was an un 
finished room, under the piazza, just boarded in ; 
and once, when two or three uncles and aunts were 
here with their children, and every place was full, 
I slept there. In the clear, shiny mornings, when 
I woke up, there was a little beam of light that 



22 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

came from the east, all the way from the great sun, 
straight down upon the world, striking nothing un 
til it touched an old elm-tree in our yard, and then 
streamed through a little knot-hole into my chamber. 
There it made a picture on the opposite wall, a 
soft gray picture of moving leaves and stems ; only 
a bit of a branch, magnified, I suppose, according 
to the law of optics for things given through little 
glory-holes into camera-obscuras, but bringing 
the whole tree in to me, for all that ; the tree, and 
the wind also in its boughs, and the freshness of the 
growing, moving morning-time. All this came in-to 
me with a shadow a hint ; to me, shut up 
there, with only a little knot-hole as big as my 
finger for a window ! And that is the way things 
do come; as much as to say, like the old song, 
"If you want any more, can't you sing it your 
self?" 

Things come back so ; books, for instance ; stories 
I have read, and feelings they have given me. 
Sometimes it is n't any one in particular, but a 
sudden sense of them in general ; a kind of ^Eolian 
stir of strings in me that have been touched with 
pleasantness. 

Somebody showed me a spectroscope the other 
day. I went to see a friend who has the whole of 



THE COMINGS-IN. 23 

most things ; and yet she, too, must come to the 
border, beyond which she has to live by hints ; she 
showed me, and told me about it : how the colors 
were all measured off with wonderful lines, and 
each kind of light produced its own, just so much 
in breadth, and in just such place in the prism; 
how the light of the sun divided itself, and the 
light of Sirius showed its kindred with ours ; how 
they found out by fusing metals, and seeing where 
their colors ranged themselves, just what must be 
also in the blaze of the far-off stars, and that their 
glory and our own is all of one. She burned a 
little salt in a candle, and straight and swift leaped 
up in the prism along the yellow, in Sodium's line, 
a vivid thread, thrilled instantly to its own place : 
the law of all reception, of all illumination, of all 
life. 

"Well, it comes so in sudden streaks and flashes, 
each in its own home-place in the heart, the mem 
ory of what one has gathered, and entered into 
and been. Through books, or places, or people, or 
thoughts. I never know why ; but in the midst of 
work this breath comes over me, and in it is a 
spirit-fragrance that touches sense ; a momentary 
realizing of all remembrances, imaginings, and 
hopes, showing how true they are, and how, once 



24 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

had, they are never to be lost out, or, once looked 
for, they are sure to be. 

That is why I like to live on in this dear old 
home, and why I should hate to have even the 
carpets wear wholly out and be replaced all to 
gether ; it is why a fire, I think, is such a terrible 
thing ; it is why I can never understand how 
people can like to send off to auctions, and new- 
furnish their homes. Why, when they do that, 
they have n't any homes. I like to have things 
kept and cared for, and turned, and made to last ; 
and, when they must go, to have the complexion 
and expression of them renewed in something as 
nearly like as possible. I should not like to have 
our sitting-room annihilated and supplanted by 
the carpets and wall paper being changed to as 
startling a difference as could be, any more than I 
should like next spring to have all the trees leave 
out in royal purple, or the sky turn green. God 
keeps the home-feeling in his earth for us ; I be 
lieve he will keep it, too, in his heaven. Tilings 
must wear out and change ; but the spirit and the 
sense may last. " They shall pass away ; but my 
word shall not pass away." 

The sitting-room and parlor carpet were both 
alike once. Then the sitting-room carpet wore 



THE COMINGS-IN. 25 

out, and the parlor one was put in the place of it ; 
and one that would n't look badly with it was got 
for the parlor ; and so by little and little we shaded 
off our wontedness from one into the other ; and 
now I suppose we might take away the first and re 
place it with this last again, and have still another 
new one, not too different, without the feeling of 
a break. But, now there are only two of us, they 
will last as they are, I think, all our lives. I hope 
they will. But then I am an old maid. 

I like that sitting-room carpet so much ! With 
its great, old-fashioned ovals of shaded browns, 
and its intermediate lesser figures filling up with 
curving lines and leaves just touched with deep 
relief of green, good, fast, old colors that stand 
wear and sunshine, and that I remember so many 
sunshiny days by ! 

I remember a winter morning, when grandma 
was alive, and lived with us, when I was a girl of 
twelve, and sat in the south window reading 
Irving, out of a great volume of all his works, that 
father had bought at a sale, delighting in Brace- 
bridge Hall, and hardly knowing which was most 
enchanting and to be coveted, the " fair Julia's " 
life in her English home, or that of the beautiful 
Moorish princesses in the Alhambra. I remember 



26 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

the sun pouring broad and full across my lap and 
the page, and lying level along the greens and 
browns away out into the open parlor door, and 
grandma saying, " The sun lays straight, it 's 
twelve o'clock." All the cosiness of my book, 
and her quiet companionship, and her knitting- 
work, she was footing socks for father, and 
the bright day ; even the yellow gingerbread mo 
ther gave me for my luncheon, come back to 
me, bringing after them the joy and freedom and 
fancy of twelve years old, when life was only a 
sketch book, as often as the " sun lays straight " 
along the seams. And then I look forward as well 
as back, for the soul is the " living thing full of 
eyes before and behind," and think of the time 
that is to come, the time that the dear, kind, simple 
grandmother has entered into, when there shall be 
no more measuring of the noonday or of the going 
down, because there shall be no more need of the 
sun itself, but we shall dwell in the midst of the 
unmeasured and shadowless light of God. 

I do not suppose anybody could have had just 
such a home as this, anywhere else. 

In the first place, there is the old, old garden. 
It seems as if it must have always been old. There 
are flowers there that don't grow in new gardens ; 



THE COMINGS-IN. 27 

at least, not in the same way ; and that now you 
could n't hinder growing if you would. There is a 
great round patch of ladies'-delights under an oak- 
tree, that looks as if it had been carpeted ; and 
they come up there as if they were only wild 
violets, and open their golden and purple eyes, and 
make little short-stemmed nods in the wind till 
they seem like a cloud of butterflies just lighting 
and settling, or lifting themselves to fly away. 
And down in the deep shade by the brook is a bed 
of lilies of the valley, and up under the wall by the 
gate is another ; and one has the cool and the dark, 
and the other has the early spring sunshine ; and 
so we have the dear little bells, early and late, half 
the summer through. Then the narcissus has 
spread and spread, and so have the splendid white 
July lilies ; so that the air is heavy with perfume 
in the time of each, from the first gladness of 
opened doors and windows and summer balminess, 
to the long, hot days when the sweet smell comes 
in on lazy puffs of south wind through the green 
shadow of shut blinds. 

And the broad old back piazza looks down on 
it all, where the ground slopes away in irregular 
beds of bloom that have shaped themselves by their 
growth and the culture they got just as they asked 



28 PATIENCE STRONG 1 S OUTINGS. 

for it, in wide turf spaces between, under 
lilacs, snowballs, and syringas, and horse-chestnuts 
and maples, till the brown water of the brook 
runs its sentinel line between it and the meadow- 
mowing beyond. 

Down on one side, from the west door-yard, be 
side the garden wall, across the brook and up 
again into the beautiful oak pasture where it loses 
itself, goes the green lane, by which the cows have 
been turned out to their grass and come home 
again, morning and night, ever since my grand 
father's father built the place. 

Along the sides you find the first wild vio 
lets and the little mitchella, and in one place the 
wild honeysuckle, spicy with odor : and down at 
the brook the fair, slight wind-flowers growing in 
thousands, making you think always of a low 
breeze running along the ground and lifting up 
their delicate faces ; and up in the pasture the 
lesser Solomon's seal, that I go and bring home by 
apronfuls in the late May and early June ; and in 
the August ripening there are blackberries and 
thimbleberries under the walls everywhere ; and in 
October you can go down over the pasture ledge 
into the hollows against the wood, and find the 
wild grapes, purple and white, lying among their 



THE COMINGS-IN. 29 

great cool leaves against the hot faces of the sun- 
gathering rocks. 

Inside the house it is just our house. Full of 
us all ; filled up once and never to be emptied of 
the presences that have made it home. All the 
rooms open into each other, up stairs and down ; 
you can always shut and bolt a door if you like, 
but it is nice that they can all be set wide. The 
west door opens from the porch into a square side- 
passage, up through which at the back twists a 
little staircase which you turn into at the bottom, 
and turn right out of it again, because you can't 
help yourself, at the top ; and before you think of 
going up, you are up. " Similarly," as Dickens 
says, down. A real cute little staircase that 
carries out the sentiment of the house, joining par 
lors and chambers like a brace, or like the thing 
proof-readers put for a sign of a transposal. If 
you can't have a hall like a saloon, and a staircase 
wide enough for four abreast, then have this, - a 
little bit of a turn-round that lands you somewhere 
else before you know it, and that don't pretend to 
be anything of itself. I hate a middle-sized entry- 
way, that is neither out doors nor in, with two 
chairs and a hat-tree. 

On the right hand is the kitchen ; and if the 



30 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

door is open, no matter ; for you '11 only see a 
white-scrubbed floor, and a still whiter table, and 
some bright tins, and a blazing copper pump and 
boiler, and a velvet-black stove with a square of 
fresh-washed oilcloth around it ; and perhaps get 
a whiff of something nice baking in the oven. 

On the left is the little parlor, the winter 
room ; and out of that opens the summer parlor, 
larger, and lying at the northeast corner of the 
house. A door leads from this into the front yard, 
on to the grass under the mulberry-trees ; and an 
other opposite into the sitting-room, larger than 
either and connecting with both; and from that 
you go out on the broad back piazza, or into the 
kitchen, and so you have finished the round. 

Upstairs just the same ; only there is a little 
back stairway nipped out of a corner, so that 
you're not obliged to go through other rooms to 
get down from either. The great chimney-stack is 
right in the middle, and the sun seems to be on all 
sides of the house at once, because of the doors 
through and through, that all come opposite to 
windows, and, if he looks into one room, invite him 
right across into another. Just so with the breeze 
in summer time ; you can get it anywhere. 

And this is only the shell ; there is all the filling 



THE COMINGS-IN. 31 

up. All the dear old furniture, and curtains, and 
bedquilts, of everybody's dresses, and book 
shelves and books, and pictures and ornaments,"^ 
that are an inner shell ; and the filling up of these, 
that is the life ; that reaches away in and away 
out, backward and forward ; that the use and the 
handling of these things, even the having them 
before one's eyes, in moods of pleasantness or pain, 
of thought or listening, in times of search and 
effort, of in-coming and answering, of love and 
prayer and faith and doing, has made to repeat 
itself and link itself all through with such chains 
of reminder and association that just the same 
life could never have been or grown elsewhere, and 
can never truly feed itself so well as here. 

I begin to think I am like the old king of Gra 
nada ; fixed in one spot, but with windows open 
ing out every way ; and a magical board on which 
is repeated for me the moving of all life that is 
beyond me and out of sight ; that I may watch, 
and know, and even truly handle and rule it all, 
getting my own out of it as if I were among it. 

For we are back again mother and I ; and 
our trunks are unpacked ; and this is why I have 
been all over the old home, outside and in, as peo 
ple do who have been away so long. 



32 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

For I shall never get over the feeling that I 
have been to Europe, though Eliphalet's folks went 
without me, after all. That was what I meant to 
have said at the beginning, only I got so taken up. 

I met with an accident, the Saturday before we 
were to sail. I fell down the little front staircase, 
out of the best chamber door into the kitchen, and 
broke one of the bones of my left leg just above 
the ankle. 

I had to take to my old outings again ; the new 
ones were not to be, just yet. 

" If I want any more, I must sing it myself." 

Or, it will be sung to me, if I listen. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE LIFE AND THE GLORY. 

THE dear little mother, brisk as a bee, kind with 
as much of God as a motherly heart can hold, has 
gone downstairs with Emery Ann. 

Emery Ann is our friend in the kitchen ; she has 
kept the tins and the coppers shining ever since I 
was ten years old. Born with a fate and a genius, 
to scrub and to brighten ; christened with an in 
spiration. 

They are going to beat whites and yolks of new- 
laid eggs, fine sugar, and a little drift of flour, 
" barely enough to hold soul and body together," 
Emery Ann says, into the spongiest no, 
sponge is tough ; it is n't sponge-cake they make, 
but the foamiest, puffiest, airiest, yellow tenderness 
of sweetness that can be baked in a pan, and come 
out with a crispness all over it, just sufficient to 
hold its rarity in, and give you a place to handle 
and begin on. 

The more mother is " driven " the more she can 
do, always. She is like flame or gun-cotton. 



34 PATIENCE STRONG' S OUTINGS. 

Try to build a fire with only a little kindling, 
and be chary of your wood because of the little 
there is to start upon, give it only one solid stick, 
and see how loth it will be to take hold ! How it 
will eat up its chance, and dodge its work ! How 
the little flickers will dwindle and shrink, like pre 
tenses that have no heart in them, and leave only a 
OJU-f smoke and a blackness where they just touched 
Jr-r^c ' what was laid upon them and drew back ! Then 
give it more to do, before it is quite burnt out. 
Lay another stick on, and another. Leave little 
airholes and climbing-places, and see how the life 
leaps up again, reaching to the topmost, after the 
nature of all spirit, to which the bright element is 
so close an approach and emblem. You '11 build 









your fire just by laying it bigger. God makes us 
burn so. 



i It is a good thing to remember ; I 've thought of 
it many a winter's morning, when I 've been down 
on my knees on the hearth coaxing the blaze. 

I 've thought of the same thing when I 've had 
an old pair of scissors to deal with ; a dull, loose 
pair, with no grasp in them. Try them on a single 
thread, or a thin, flimsy fabric, and what a fuss ! 
They double, and grind, and fray, and worry, and 
might as well be one half on one side of the room 



THE LIFE AND THE GLORY. 35 

and one on the other, for all the cut you can get 
out of them. But fold up two or three thicknesses 
of the same thing, or set them at a stout, heavy 
cloth, and away they go, as young as ever they 
were. 

I 've noticed it true of a good many things. It 
is a principle that runs through the world, and the 
life and the doing of it. 

A young engineer, fresh from the war, told me 
about the gun-cotton. If you give it an easy job, 
it will take it easy ; there '11 be very little explosive 
effect ; as likely as not it won't work at all. But 
pile on difficulty ; bury it deep ; seal it close ; let 
there be tons of rock or masonry above it and in 
its way ; and it wakes up ; it flings out all its awful 
force ; it rends and hurls and shatters and tears 
its escape, through and up and out, like a chal 
lenged fiend. It scorns light work ; it is at home 
only among tremendous opposing forces. 

Emery Ann says mother is the " spunkiest " 
woman she ever knew. The more you bother her, 
the brighter she '11 come out. The more you put 
upon her, the better it '11 be done. 

She will pack a day as you pack a trunk. If 
you Ve only a few large, light things, you can lay 
them in, and make a great show of being brimful 



36 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

directly. But if you 've got to crowd close, squeez 
ing in one thing is always making some little inter 
stice for another. The busiest day that comes, 
with her, is sure to leave a corner of chance for 
extra work ; something that can be done as well as 
not, "seeing she is about amongst things." She 
will stir up a pan of cake because she finds she has 
to wait a few minutes for the flat-irons. If she 
had been upstairs, and settled down, she might not 
have thought she could take the time to come pur 
posely and do it. So there 's that much clear gain. 
Busy lives are full of gains like these. 

But it is nice to have rest laid out for you, once 
in a while, even by a broken leg. I think, on 
the whole, now I have tried it, that it is rather bet 
ter, if anything, than headaches. You have the 
same privilege, and can make a good deal more 
of it. 

I am too much mother's child to be really lazy ; 
but I think, for all that, it is one of my outings 
when I have to give up and stay in bed awhile. It j 
is morning all day, then. That lingering pause of 
rest and thought, thought coming in so easily and 
freshly, when life is put off a little, and we need 
not begin again just yet to do. A time we are 
sore tempted to steal a little more of ; and that is, 



THE LIFE AND THE GLOBY. 37 

truly, so good for us that it is given to us now and 
then, in a whole slice, perforce. To have the cham 
ber fresh and sweet, the bed nice with new linen, 
one's best cap and ruffles on, and all the little dear 
familiar things set straight, and looking upon one 
round about with their pleasantest faces ; to know 
that -one is justified in it all, and can't help it ; but 
may just take it as a free gift, and lie softly under 
the blessing of a ministering love, I think it 
makes what comes of pain a blessedness ; a help, 
too, for the days beyond. 

Mother has done it all for me, just now, sweetly 
and heartfully ; and has gone down with Emery 
Ann, as I said, leaving me here, with the window 
open, and my books and paper and pencil on the 
bed beside me, her kiss warm on my forehead, and 
God's rest underneath me, to wait for the int-ings, 
and to go out with a soul like a bird that has aU 
heaven to fly in. 

J' The Everlasting Arms." I think of that when- 
ever rest is sweet. How the whole earth and the 
strength of it, that> is almightiness, is beneath every 
/ tired creature to give it rest ; holding us, always ! 
No thought of God is closer than that. No 
human tenderness of patience is greater than that 
which gathers in its arms a little child, and holds 




38 PATIENCE STBON&S OUTINGS. 

it, heedless of weariness. And He fills the great 
earth, and all upon it, with this unseen force of his 
love, that never forgets or exhausts itself ; so that 
everywhere we may lie down in his bosom and be 
comforted. Weariness and despair and penitence, 
and pain and helplessness, these prostrate them 
selves ; they fling themselves on the heart of the 
Father, and He holds them there ! Jesus fell on 
his face and prayed. 

A very gentle wind lifts and lets fall the white 
curtain-edge, and moves tenderly the young leaves. 

The great branches are still ; only the little out 
most twigs and shoots stir softly and shyly as it 
touches them, hiding their faces against each other 
as if some holy mystery came close. And so it 
does. 

The first thing I opened my eyes to this morn 
ing was this little moving of the muslin shade 
against my partly open window. It is a living, 
and not a dead world that we are born, and wake 
daily, into ; everything moving, and throbbing with 
life, and breath, and presence. 

It is not death and emptiness we go out into, 
any more, when we die ; but into the fullness and 
the inmost of the life behind the appearance. _ In 
this inmost, how close we shall come to Him and 



THE LIFE AND THE GLORY. 39 

to each other ! Closer than we ever did through 
the types and patterns. 

People talk about " physical manifestations " of 
spiritual presence ; as if they, by their prying, had 
found out some new thing, and got at what they 
never could reach before. When God has " never 
left himself without a witness," and the hills and 
the trees and the clouds and the grass-blades are 
forever making signs to us, the manual of his 
meanings. 

" Without the Word was nothing made that is 
made." 

There is no empty talk with Him. 

And this Word is the same, the se^-same, 
with the living, loving, speaking, Christ. Out from 
the Father this yearning, seeking bestowal of him 
self came in its fullness by the begetting of the 
Son. The whole and uttermost meaning of God in 
and for his world. The alphabet of his language 
in humanity, holding all its signs and possible 
words, beforehand. The Alpha and Omega. 
" By him are all things, and in him all things con 
sist." 

That is all the theology I can find or come to. 
That is enough. Christ "in the bosom" of the 
Father's glory. " God with us " by him. 



40 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

I can shape it dimly to myself in this way. If a 
mortal man could have a glorious and holy concep 
tion, a purpose that should reach far out of him, 
and could have such life in himself as to give it 
life in itself, so that it should be a love to bless, 
and a conscious gladness to return to him again : so 
that it should, in a beautiful personality, born of 
him as his child, and none the less his own out 
going, be sent to unfold its work, counseling with 
the soul that caused it, and exchanging a sublime 
and intimate joy ; if his spirit, like the sun, coidd 
throw off a thought-planet so, then out of him 
might have gone forth something that should be 
like the Son of God. 

Beginning at the other end, working painfully 
up, the philosophers have reached* part way ; find 
ing that man is the crowning intent of the long 
labor of creation ; not remembering how God's 
thought is different from our thought, that it ful 
fills itself, and is, and lives ; how He cannot think 
of anything that straightway shall not be; how 
when He thought his Fatherhood and his creation, 
and loved his thought, it may be that his Christ 
must needs have been born, that his thought 
might know itself, and love Him back, and do his 
will, and perfect his joy, which cannot be alone. 



THE LIFE AND THE GLORY. 41 

The Man ; whose life was to be illustrated, in 
time, by all men ; members of his body ; the full 
ness of Him who filleth all in all. In him, as he 
in God. 

This was the glory that he prayed for ; the glory 
that he came into our human life, fallen away from 
the Divine Pattern, to redeem unto himself ; that 
which he had with the Father, before the world 
was. " I am, before Abraham." 

" The beginning the firstborn from the 
dead ; " from the dead of that which was not ; 
God's gift of himself unto himself; his image, 
when in that image He would make living souls. 
" The firstborn of every creature ; " " in whom it 
pleased the Father that there should all fulness 
dwell." Does not that grand first chapter of Co- 
lossians tell it all ? 

And then, again, the beginning to the Hebrews ; 
to the people who, with their old traditions of crea 
tion and their sole revelation of Jehovah, would 
most of all look to be told of the origin of Christ 
far back in God. 

"Who, being the brightness of his glory, and 
the express image of his person, and upholding all 
things by the word of his power," this very God- 
strength of the Everlasting Arms that is forever 



42 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

under us, is blessed out of the deep heart of 
Almightiness with an infinite human joy. " Thou 
art my Son ; this day have I begotten thee. I will 
be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. 
And let all the angels of God worship him ! " 

Can I believe too much in Christ, the Lord ? 

Perhaps the apostle might mistake, as people 
measuring him to-day would reason ; but I, Pa 
tience Strong, mistake also many things. How 
can I judge .? I think I had better be mistaken 
with Paul, who had the nearer and the grander 
vision, than by my feeble self. 

More, again. I will be mistaken with Him, 
when he says : " He that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father. The only begotten Son, which is in 
the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 
No man cometh unto the Father but by me." 

Somebody greater than I should make out the 
awful argument. I am only Patience Strong. 
These are the thoughts that come to me of Jesus, 
and they come only so. They come in flashes ; j 
lightning out of the one part unto the other part 
under heaven ; linking great words together, and 
showing the glory into which we are all baptized ; 
the glory of the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 



THE LIFE AND THE GLOEY. 43 

Lying here, as to my body, so quietly, so help 
lessly, thought-outings stretch the farther and 
higher. 

First, a mere pleasantness ; then a rest, growing 
holy in its comfort, and the reminder of it lead 
ing up to him who saith to all the weary : " Lo, 
I will give it you ; come unto me." How one that 
is again with the Everlasting Arms ! How Jesus 
promises for the Father, and the Father for him I 
How, sitting at the feet of the One, we are lifted 
up unto the bosom of the Other ! 

My Lord, and my God ! 

The words of an impetuous faith, so joined to 
gether and sundered by no rebuke of his, are creed 
enough for me. 

I do not care to go further than the feeling, or 
to fit the words to any precise doctrine. How can 
we make plan and specification of these things ? 
They are too high and wonderful. We who do not 
know ourselves or each other, how shall we mea 
sure and investigate the personal relation between 
Christ and the Father ? If we cannot understand 
to believe even earthly things, how shall we believe 
if we are told of heavenly things ? What and if 
we should see the Son of man ascend up where he 
was before I 



44 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

That which stands so joined together, in the 
word of Christ and in the impulse of faith, is 
enough. The manifestation of Jesus and the 
nearness of God. To feel him close is to be 
drawn into the Infinite Glory. " Christ raised 
from the dead by the glory of God." This, that 
Paul said after, was simply, perhaps, what Thomas 
felt. The recognition of the Son and of the 
Father, which is forever glad, and forever one. 
So that " he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ 
hath both the Father and the Son ; " and receiving 
him, the Lord, we do always in the self-same mo 
ment receive and fill ourselves with God. 

I have gone high and far, to-day. Here must 
the end be, and the hush, at His feet ! 



CHAPTER V. 

INTO THE MEANINGS. 

I KNEW that the world was built by correspond 
ences before I ever heard of Swedenborg; that 
there were meanings in things, and that things had 
to be made for the giving of the meanings. I sup 
pose I have said it, over and over, already, it is so 
much in my mind. And why not? Since the 
whole world and worlds are the eternal tele 
graphy from God's thought into ours ; meant, there 
fore, to be in our minds, and that continually ; the 
very inpouring of life. 

I have read them out, some of them, in New 
Church writings since ; and I have only wondered 
that there had ever needed to be such a system 
built; as if Christ had not sufficiently indicated 
and inaugurated it, when he translated all his holy 
lessons straight from the glowing parables of God. 
And I think at least it always seems to me 
that the great trouble with the Swedenborgian sys 
tem is that it is too definite. You can't make a die- 



46 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

tionary of these things. The Spirit takes them and 
uses them as it will. They are broad and elastic, 
and many-sided ; they show this to the soul to-day, 
and that to-morrow, as it needs ; and every show 
ing is true. And the soul must grow up into them, 
as a child into a language into which it is born ; 
which is such a different, living thing from the 
same language taught by rule and method of letter 
and construction. That was the way they heard, 
of old, by the Spirit, each in his own tongue, in 
which he was born, no other. 

I know that water means truth, and cleansing : 
the truth that ' enters through the intelligence, and 
the clear-seeing of God's signs. 

But you cannot say it all, in saying that. 

It is gladness and gift, and many things more. 
Round and round the world, through all the thirst 
of it, it goes, taking its way in many changing 
forms. In it are moving things : things that are 
born of, and are joyous in it, as our thoughts and 
knowledges are born of, and glad in, the full, deep 
sea that spiritually holds them. It cools, it com 
forts, it quenches, it delights. It is the fine ele 
ment by which are transfused all the subtleties of 
vegetable life ; all the juices of our physical bodies. 
It is the vehicle for giving of good, and for taking 



INTO THE MEANINGS. 47 

away of superfluity and evil ; it penetrates, solves, 
perspires ; it is one of God's great comprehensive 
wonders. 

Jesus could promise no greater, nor fuller, than 
to say, " I will give you water ; and it shall be in 
you, springing up to everlasting life." Water is 
joy, satisfying ; all craving and answer meet in 
this embodied pledge of heaven. 

If I were to give you some thoughts of mine 
about it, just as I once wrote them down, perhaps 
you would say, " It is not Patience Strong." 
That is why I hardly like to give them ; and yet 
they belong just here. Thinkings trace them 
selves round, until they meet their own curves 
again, like some intricate pattern that joins its line 
and shows itself suddenly one. 

I was always a little afraid of big words. 
When we were children, Eliphalet used to call me 
Polly Syllable, if ever I used them ; and nothing 
made me more ashamed. 

So I have mostly kept my verses to myself. 
Mother sees them ; but then she knows ; she under 
stands ways and fashions, times and occasions. 
She knows that the same woman can put herself 
into a gingham short gown and old shoes, or high- 
heeled slippers and a long train ; and that nothing 



48 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

is easier, perhaps, than such outside change, or 
makes less matter to the real woman inside. I 
think she could write poetry perfectly well herself, 
and come out of it again into her simple Yankee 
every-day, exactly the same as ever. We lift up 
our words to meet our thoughts; and let them 
down again for homelier uses. 

Anyway, I just am Patience Strong ; I am sure 
of that, myself, whether or no. Other people must 
make what they can out of it. 

I wrote this, then, about the 

RAIN. 

From all this vital orb of earth 

A breath exhaleth to the air, 
That, heaven-distilled to equal grace, 

Falls, a fresh bounty, everywhere. 

The dark mould drinks the sunset cloud, 
And tastes of heaven ; unconsciously, 

Green forest-depths are stirred to catch 
A far-off flavor of the sea. 

No drop is lost. God counteth all. 

And icy crests, in glory crowned, 
With faint rose-petals yield and take, 

And so the unwasted joy goes round. 

One spirit moveth in it all ; 

One life that worketh large and free, 



ZIVTO THE MEANINGS. 49 

To each, from all, forevermore, 
Giving and gathering silently. 

God's stintless joy goes round, goes round ; 

No soul that dwelleth so apart 
It may not feel the circling pulse 

Out-welling from the Eternal Heart. 

Athirst ! athirst ! The sandy soil 

Bears no glad trace of leaf or tree ; 
No grass-blade sigheth to the heaven 

Its little drop of ecstasy ; 

Yet other fields are spreading wide 

Green bosoms to the bounteous sun ; 
And palms and cedars shall sublime 

Their rapture for thee, waiting one ! 

It comes with smell of summer showers, 

To stir a dreamy sense within, 
Half hope, and half a pained regret, 

It may be, or, it might have been ! 

The joy that knows there is a joy ; 

That scents its breath, and cries, 'T is there I 
And, patient in its pure repose, 

Receiveth so the holier share. 

I know a life whose cheerless bound 

Is like a deep and silent chasm 
Left dark between the daybright hills, 

In time long past, by fiery spasm. 



50 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

The mocking sunlight leaps across ; 

The stars, with Levite glance, go by ; 
So vainly doth its dreary depth 

Plead to the far-off, pitiless sky. 

Yet ever from the flinty marge, 

And down each rough and cavernous side, 

Trickle the drops that bear their balm 
From ferny bank and pasture wide. 

It drinketh, drinketh, day by day ; 

And still, within its bosom deep, 
The waiting water, filtered clear, 

Doth in a crystal beauty sleep. 

Waiting and swelling, till it find 

God's outlet, long while placed and planned, 

Whence, strong and jubilant, it shall sweep 
Down, with a song-burst, o'er the land. 

I don't think I had any life in particular in my 
mind when I said that. Certainly, I would n't 
have you suppose it was my own. And yet, my 
own may have looked so to me in some dark mo 
ment or other. For I have had my pinches and 
pains ; and I have seen people who were shut up 
from much of the sunlight that seems to be every 
where ; and out of the waiting and the wanting 
that so I know of comes the comfort that we may 
all take together. 



INTO THE MEANINGS. 51 

Water is one thing. Then we come up higher 
and find another, lying just above it ; penetrating 
everywhere, yet more intimately ; not to be seen or 
handled, only to be breathed and felt. We are 
born of water, and of the spirit. There is the life 
that comes in through the understanding that 
we can stop and lay hold of, and pour back and 
forth, and put into vessels ; that is the mind-per 
ception. There is also the soul-perception, which 
is the breath of God; the upper atmosphere, in 
which our finer being lives, and that pulses and 
flows as it lists, and we catch the delicate motion 
and hear the sound thereof, but can never tell 
whence it comes, or whither it has gone. Yet out 
of it we die. 

And in it moves about us a tenderer and more 
beautiful life than the life of the waters. Winged 
creatures come and go ; and there are many sweet 
voices therein. 

What does it mean, then, this clear, blue firma 
ment ? What do the birds mean ? 

I lay on my sofa and thought about it ; waiting 
for Emery Ann to bring me up my tea. 

And while I waited the chimney-swifts were fly 
ing about in their quick, graceful circles, and away 
off over the wood a great hawk was flapping slowly, 



52 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

and tiny things in bushes and branches were mak 
ing their little home-flights and happy heart-chirps ; 
and somehow the wide air, and the sounds, and the 
stillness, and the sure and beautiful motion, the 
region of life so close and yet so out of grasp, 
opened a strange sense to me ; a sense of the near 
and intangible things of the spirit. 

Not a great emptiness, untraversable, but 
full of movement and errand. Yes, that is what it 
tells us. That out and above and beyond where 
we can bodily go, God has made things with wings, 
that lift themselves in this finer element, and go 
straight and swift from point to point, whither they 
need and whither He will. Out of our vision, away 
over forests and waters, to far-off places, and back 
to our side. 

They are thoughts, again, those other thoughts, 
more instant and keen, not of the mind life, but of 
the soul, that reach, and long, and go forth and 
divine their way through the invisible. 

The eagles gather together to that which draws 
them, and " the doves fly to their windows ; " and 
the little sparrows, even, are safe ; for God takes 
care of them, and not one shall fall to the ground 
without him. He also feedeth them. 

They are affections, that find that to which they 



INTO THE MEANINGS. 53 

are sent, let them forth from whence you will ; that 
know their climate and their food, and their dear 
and pleasant haunts; and that link the latitudes 
together. 

Noah floated long upon the dark waters ; then 
into the air he sent forth a dove ; she came back to 
his heart at first, bearing no hope ; then she brought 
him a greenness of peace ; and by and by she went 
and stayed. 

So it is after a grief. The thought that goes out 
comes back, a restless pain ; after a while it brings 
some leaf of healing ; then it finds the green place 
of its longing, and we feel in ourselves its far and 
sweet alighting, and we know that by and by we 
shall be there. 

That is the difference between the thing and the 
type of it. The bird flies, and we have no more 
hold of it. The thought goes, and something out 
of our own selves some real thing has met the 
dawn, or has found the mountain, or entered before 
hand into the blessed summer. 

I was so glad in these things that came to me to 
night ; so glad of the steps and shades by which 
earth climbs and rarefies till it touches heaven. It 
seems as if God brought us almost there ; thinning 
life till it is all but spirit, touching its forms 



54 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

with a more delicate glory, from the rock and the 
water to the air and the light ; from the coarseness 
of touch and taste to the sweet subtleties of sound 
and odor, and the faint perceptions of something 
possible beyond even these. 

In a twilight like this, or in the tender, early 
morning, when the music is just a breath in the 
birds' throats, and the fragrance is something that 
you hardly know how you get, whether through 
sense or spirit, one might seem to have no choice 
which world one would waken into out of the 
beautiful dream ; one is so upon the threshold. 

When Jesus said, " The kingdom of heaven is at 
hand," I don't think he meant so much a kingdom 
coming, as a kingdomAere. 

The kingdom of heaven is " close by ; " that is 
what " at hand " means. 

" Say not there are yet four months," or four 
cycles ; " lift up your eyes, and look ; the fields are 
white already ; " and the harvest of the kingdom is 
ripe, in the very midst of the world. 

I was so glad in these thoughts that I could n't 
wait for mother to come in, she had gone out, 
by very hard begging of mine, to drink tea with 
Mrs. Shreve ; so when Emery Ann came up with 
mine, that is, with my fresh milk and my bread 



INTO THE MEANINGS. 55 

and butter, and my currants and raspberries, red 
and white, mixed in a little glass dish and covered 
with white sugar, I could n't help catching at 
her. Besides, something else occurred to me all in 
a flash. 

" Just look there, Emery Ann, please ; on that 
little table in the corner. See if the book is n't 
there that Miss Philena brought for me the other 
day, in a green binding : ' Thoughts in my Gar 
den,' that 's it. Now, wait a minute." And 
I held her fast by a corner of her apron. 

" Wait a minute ; I don't believe a bit but that 
it will be here. It ought to be." 

I turned the pages as quickly as I could with 
one hand ; I dared not leave go with the other of 
Emery Ann ; I wanted somebody. 

" ' Birds and other things ' ! Wait a minute. 
' Birds and all winged creatures correspond to ' 
there, I knew it ! Exactly the same ! Just as I 
found it out, my own self. Emery Ann, when 
two people find out the same thing, you see it 's 
sure." 

" Hum ! I don't know. Lots of people have 
found out lots of mistakes. Lies, beside. And 
stuck to 'em." 

" But not this way. Not things that you find 



56 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

straight out, by just looking at them. Emery Ann, 
I know what the birds mean. And she says so, 
too. They 're thoughts. Things that go really 
go where nothing else can. Heaven is just as 
full of goings and comings as the sky is of birds. 
There 's a way everywhere ; for wings, or some 
thing." 

Emery Ann always rubs everything down. 

" Hum ! " she said again. " Like as not. That 
accounts for all sorts of flightiness." 



CHAPTER VI. 

INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 

WHEN I have once had a thought, of my own 
or one that is brought to my remembrance, it 
keeps coming back, bringing others with it, all 
its relations. It joins this with that, showing how 
all belong together, and illustrate and strengthen 
each other. The mind in its working overlaps 
itself, like the tide, or like the way a little child 
takes to learn a verse or a hymn. Over and over, 
one line ; then that, and the next joined with it ; 
then the two, with a third. So on, always begin 
ning again, or back for a little way. It is the way 
of the kingdom of heaven, out of which one brings 
the treasures new and old. 

Living by hints. Since that came into my head, 
it has helped everything. 

The grandest and truest and sweetest things are 
always hints, no more. The minute you try to 
be literal and explicit with them they are gone. 
You cannot argue or explain the things of the 



58 PATIENCE STBON&S OUTINGS. 

spirit. The highest and most intimate perceptions 
are glimpses. Things said all out are platitudes ; 
feeling analyzed and explained is dead before it is 
dissected ; dead, and time it was buried. 

Our human love, and our heavenly faiths, the 
surest comforts of Christ's gospel, hang themselves 
upon suggestions. 

Jesus never says all. He lets fall golden words, 
that provide no record, into the great deep where 
common words are lost ; he touches the key-note 
of a truth with a single divine smiting, and leaves 
its circle of sound to spread ; only calling down 
after it into the years, " He that hath ears to hear 
let him hear." It is the secret of inspiration ; the 
difference between that and common study and 
thinking. It is the justification of Moses before 
the computers and the classifiers. And that is just 
what came and joined itself to my notion of the 
int-ings, the hints. 

I have been reading lately among these things 
that are written by the plummet and line of science, 
and that are so full of jealous anxiety about the old 
faiths that did not wait for them. 

The wonder to me is what they find to conflict 
about, these philosophers and theologians. Why 
the ones are so indignant at Moses, and the others 



INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 59 

% 

so fearful and uproused in his behalf ? When he 
never undertook or God by him anything at 
all in the direction of such antagonism. 

Inspiration is not science or research. It is 
even a more glorious thing. It does not dig down 
into darkness, carrying its torch; it reaches up 
ward and grasps the very light out of heaven. It 
sees the red in the sky while the evil and adulter 
ous generations are yet seeking after their signs. 

What did it matter to Moses how many strata 
deep the old deposits of earth-crust might have 
been in his day, or what details of life and con 
struction they were hereafter to reveal ? He went 
away back behind them all, into the unmade worlds 
and the loving counsel of God. He stood up 
among the nations that were worshiping sun and 
moon and fire and beast, and cried out : " In the 
beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth." 
Time was when His life had not yet been given, 
when all this matter of which your heaven and 
earth, your sun and moon, are made was void. 
Only the Spirit of God moved over the face of it. 
Then, at last, He said, " Let there be light ! " 
And there was light. 

I wonder if Moses did not go at one leap above 
and beyond all science in this, his divine apprehen- 



60 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

sion ? If this great hint of his does not touch at v 
once the subtile inmost of the life God gave, and | 
continually gives, into his world ? One breath of 
his command, one pulse of his will, and straight 
way every particle is luminous with presence, 
instinct with electric force. 

Have they come to anything nearer the awful 
life-secret than this? Have they entered farther 
into the holy place, in their newest theories of 
'oebulous mist, golden with glory, gathering and 
revolving and flinging off into space by the grand 
primal energy which can be only what the prophet 
declares, by his direct insight, the informing word 
of God? 

It was this that Moses had to declare ; not any \ 
account of intervening processes. What if he had f 
waited until the last fossil was dug up ? 

He waited for nothing ; neither for geology, nor 
for the measure or shape of the planet, nor for the 
boundary line of the system. He talks superbly of 
the heavens and the earth; of waters under the 
firmament and waters above the firmament ; of the 
seas and of the dry land ; of the gathering together 
and the setting apart. He does not go into detail. 
He only deals with the magnificent outline. One 
page of a little book holds all his words about it 

**"" ^ ^'t^/ "^-f* ' Ut ^' 

, / or*^+* fr^&t*. **<iL& - <T^- 



INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 61 

He sings his glorious song of the creation, that 
stands true, in the soul of it, whatever comes to be 
proved or overturned in circumstance. He enu 
merates the orders of life and being, and says, 
simply, " None of these are gods. God gave his 
life into them all. By separate thought he made 
them each to be. None came but by his act." 
And after each clause of the great story that could 
only be a holy poem, after each declared creative 
impulse, he repeats his refrain: "And God saw 
that this also was good. And the evening and the 
morning were the first " or the second, or the 
third "day." 

There is no absurd fable in this. There is 
only a grand hinting at precisely what the philo 
sophers are proving, the mighty order, and 
succession, and patient, sure development of God's 
work. 

We are such poor, little, letter-bound creatures, 
thinking only of sunrise and sunset ; not learning, 
even, what our own day is to us, of which the earth- 
movement, the shine and the shadow, are only the 
types and the correspondence. When we live true 
days, days like God's, making each a step and 
an accomplishment, and entering into his morning 
and evening joy, then we shall know. We get 



62 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

faint glimpses when we have been a little faithful, 
and a great deal helped of him. When there 
comes a purpose with the freshness, and a certainty 
of something done with the decline ; when the out 
ward day has its inward counterpart-; when our 
whole soul has turned itself to its sun and strength 
in the heaven, and is on in its orbit over a spiritual 
space. 

After such pattern in his own ineffable an$ eter 
nal Life, He was making our little planetary days. 
What had they to do with measuring him ? 

Six days, and then the Sabbath. The rest God 
has in the depths of his own Spirit over his work ; 
the blessedness that returns upon him out of his 
giving ; the sublime alternation in the Divine Na 
ture, of which this seventh day, also, that he gives 
us, is a symbol and result. 

For it is true all through, as everything is ; work 
ing out from God into the last circle of his provi 
dence ; it runs into our literal weeks and days. 
Every Saturday night-fall and Sunday dawn of a 
busy life proves it, to soul and body. It is because 
of the image of Him in which we are made that 
there is possible and needfid to us, also, his own 
glad peace ; his rest, and reflow, and gathering 
up. What has this either, as to himself and his 



INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 63 

mysterious periods, to do with our mere hours 
and reckoning? 

It seems to me as if Moses would laugh at our 
foolish interpretations and disputes ; as if it could 
hardly have occurred to him that we would mistake 
him so. It seems to me he was grander in his ig 
norance and insight than we are in our little bits 
of fact and calculation that we have picked up and 
are continually rectifying. 

He stood with God, receiving of him sublime in 
tuitions ; uttering them with lofty fervor in poetic 
speech. It was that recognition which waits for 
no slow learning ; which needs it not ; which makes 
the fisherman of Galilee able to say to the face of 
Christ, " Thou art the Son of the living God ! " 
And to which the Lord makes answer, " Blessed 
art thou ! For flesh and blood have not revealed 
it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 
Behold, this is the rock whereon I will build my 
church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it." 

God has forever built his church on this. He 
never hid away his living truth, the need of man, 
in the dead rocks or the deep earth. He gives it, 
quick and warm, into the human spirit; it is nigh, 
even in our mouths and in our hearts. 



64 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

I think the song of Moses and his bold story of 
the Genesis so daring in its personification, so 
deeply and minutely true of human spirit and life 
in the Father's hands will stand, and will sound 
glorious and interpret wonderfully in the ears of 
men, while many a theory and philosophy shall 
shift and crumble. Because it is behind all these ; 
it holds fast by the skirts of God's own garment ; 
because it reads forward and not backward ; it 
looks from eternity down into time. By and by, 
with slow footsteps, the knowledge of time and the 
record in things will lead up to it, and they will 
find themselves at one. 

I think God was good and wise to give us him 
self first and his story afterward. I sometimes 
wonder why these worshipers of fact do not find a 
fact as great as any in the existence and perpetua 
tion of that which we call the Scripture of Revela 
tion. That God has not suffered what he has 
given into the souls of men to perish without a 
sign, any more than the trilobites or the remains 
of the cave-dwellers. He keeps his outside story 
with care, and leads us to it in his own good 
time, delighting our minds with the knowledge 
of his wonders. He keeps also a living thing 
among us the record of the highest reach 



INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 65 

of the soul after him, and of his fullest inward 

gift. 

Simply that the Bible is makes me sure that 
God's glory is in it. 

Only, I know that having given once it is that 
he means to, and must needs, give again ; and that 
the instant bestowal must lighten upon the old ; 
that the one without the other is dead. Therefore 
the dead do bury their dead. "In thy light," 
only, "shall we see light." 

We can dig for fossils ; we must beg of God for 
himself. 

My outings are getting to be such sermons ! 

Living is a strange thing. If you put it to- -i 
gether just as it is given out it hardly looks as if 
it belonged to the same piece. It sounds positively 
wicked if you tell of it. Dusting and divinity, 
prayers and pie-crust, mix themselves up to 
gether. Joseph's coat was of many colors. So 
are God's love and gift. 

To-morrow, perhaps, I shall lay "Origin and 
Destiny " by, and be making the sleeves of my new 
ruffled sack that I mean to look so nice in ; and I 
sha'n't seem to have any longer reach or tether 
than the few inches of whip-hem and cord-gather- 
irig that I shall be doing ; I shall like it too ; and 



66 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

my whole day will be taken up with it, and if I 
finish it all I shall go to bed with one of my little 
cambric satisfactions. 

Well, He does also a great many little, and a 
great many pretty, things. 

We cannot be too little to be like Him ; nor so 
great as to work outside of Him. 

I wonder when I shall open this parcel that 
Eliphalet left for me when he went away ? It is 
to be " sometime when I am particularly low in my 
mind, and want something to hearten me and chirk 
me up." Eliphalet admires to talk like all the old 
aunts and grandmothers once in a while, and that 
was the message he sent out with it by Gertrude. 
She said, in her pretty way, that it was " a fairy 
gift ; a nut to be cracked when the time of need 
came." 

It feels like a book. May be it is some little 
picture. I like to wonder what it is ; I don't know 
but that if I had n't such a plenty of other things 
to keep me from being down-hearted, I might 
" chirk up " just on the guessing, and never need 
anything more. 

That is such a good, brimful word, hearten ! 
It gives you the reason why. Nobody can be low 



INTO THE OLD AND THE NEW. 67 

in their mind until they have first got low in their 
heart. 

But I have n't wanted much chirking or hearten 
ing yet. I have n't had the least first bit of a 
chance to run down anywhere. 

So I keep the little parcel, " till called for ; " to 
look at and guess about. As long as I don't open 
it, it may be anything; and it's always well to 
have the medicine on the shelf, and to take an um 
brella with you to " spite off the rain." As Emery 
Ann says. 



CHAPTER VII. 

" rORZINO." 

EMERY ANN had killed a fly that had been buzz 
ing round her nose. 

" There ! " she cried with satisfaction, as he fell 
from between her hands, " there 's one less of 
'em!" 

" One less little life in the world," said I hyper- 
sentimentally. 

" Well, may be he '11 be something better next 
time," said Emery Ann. 

" Do you believe in that ? " I asked her. 

" Forzino," said she. 

Emery Ann was not talking Italian. It was the 
Yankee which, being interpreted, means, " As far 
as I know." 

And that is as far as a Yankee, or anybody else, 
can go. 

As far as we know, why should n't it be ? 

Why these pains of life and death for things for 
which there is to be nothing " better next tune " ? 



" FORZINO." 69 

I wonder if anybody ever suggested, as a solution 
of the development question, the idea of spiritual 
" selection." We hear enough of " natural selec 
tion," and of how it may be that whole races live 
and propagate and die, struggling toward an attain 
ment of more perfect organization, to be realized 
after they are dust of fossil. 
. What of the seed or life itself? 

What good does it do the mollusk that there is 
to be a vertebrate by and by ? or the monkey that 
there are men to come? Or men, in their turn, 
that there are to be sons of God again upon the 
earth when their mistakes and half-developments 
are over? 

What if no life is ever lost ? If God giveth it 
a body, to every seed its own, as it pleaseth 
him, over and over, up and on ? 

Two things stand right up in the way. 

Deaths also ; over and over. 

Forgetfulness. 

But then, " forzino," again. How far do we 
know? 

Only the dead can tell what death has been. It 
may have been many times an ecstasy. 

Emery Ann's " forzino " set me out on this 
quest. 



70 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

Pain only gets a soul when it comes to man ; 
only begins to get something near it when it comes 
to the orders nearest human in their larger in 
stincts. To other things it is always a surprise, 
not knowledge and reason ; a surprise repeated 
from moment to moment as long as it lasts. And 
a surprise is nothing except as you can turn round 
and look at it, or expect another. 

A dog or a horse will cringe and howl, or quiver 
and snort with the terror which is the spiritual 
pain, when a danger that can suggest, approaches. 
A moth will burn itself half to cinder, and struggle 
back with its last strength into the flame again. 

Suffering that is all of the body may not be, in 
our way of appreciation, suffering at all. 

A man knows what is the matter with him. 
That is the trouble. He carries back the nerve- 
report to the centre of a grand and intense vitality. 
He has eaten of the tree of knowledge that is in 
the midst of the garden. The higher the civiliza 
tion the greater the dread of injury and death. 
The Chinaman and the savage have little, or none 
at all. 

Instantaneous pain is said to be no pain. There 
is neither expectation nor afterthought. A sudden, 
terrible hurt benumbs itself. It is too swift and 



" FORZINO." 71 

strong. We do not know what has happened to 
us. It is after we begin to find out, and the mind 
takes part, remembers, anticipates, imagines, 
compares, watches, that the agony begins. It is 
a thing of the spirit. 

It may be that we only, who can make of it a 
sacrament, are baptized into the full intimacy of 
suffering. It may be that for any creature who 
can approach our knowledge of it, it is by just so 
much, in them as in us, the working toward a " far 
more exceeding glory." 

God is merciful. He takes care of his own mys 
teries. He gives to nothing more than it can bear, 
or more than shall be good. 

Perhaps the chief wonder, after a great physical 
hurt, is that it had not been harder to endure. 

There are blessed laws of alleviation ; bounds be 
yond which are insensibility and rest ; possibly, 
even, as heat and cold at their excessive points are 
one, as great joy is a pang, and deep grief a 
strange blessedness, there may be also an agony 
to rapture, known only to them who are taken into 
the mystery. There is always circumstance ; the 
special providing for each experience, which is never 
forgotten ; that which makes us say afterward, " If 
it had not been just so ; if there had been a little 



72 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

more, or a little different ! " It is never more ; it 
is never different ; it is always just what we can 
bear. 

God is gracious, not to our souls only, but to 
our bodies ; " not suffering any to be tempted " 
tried, proven " beyond that they are able ; " but 
making always " some way of escape." 

We can leave it all with Him. 

If the "whole creation travaileth in pain to 
gether," it is surely " for the glory which shall be 
revealed." 

But then, besides, the forgetfulness ; the blank, 
behind and before ! 

If life has climbed so, why should we not re 
member the steps ? 

Perhaps we shall come to it, when all the glory 
is revealed. Perhaps the further we go, the 
more we include, the further we shall remember 
back. 

Meantime, at this moment, we do know what 
nothing less than human can. We can divine the 
life that is below us ; all its meanings are ours. 
The insect in the sunshine has, perhaps, in its own 
little atom of consciousness, no more positive sensa 
tion of its separate joy, than the man has, looking 
on ; reading it so, and bringing it back for com- 



" FOEZINO." 73 

parison to some sense of his own, included in his 
larger being. Somewhere in him is just this very 
pleasantness : where did he get it ? The insect 
knows nothing of his gladness. 

Somewhere in him the man is the flight and 
freedom of the bird in the air ; the cool delight of 
the fish in the sea-depths; the bright, brisk busi 
ness of the squirrel in the still, green wood. He 
knows it all. 

Why does the child love better than anything 
the stories of little lives like these; the pretty 
fables about dormice and lizards, ants and butter 
flies, bees and robins ? 

I don't pretend to declare why ; I don't assert 
anything; I only say, as Emery Ann does, 
" forzino ! " 

Above, they know us as we know these. We 
shall come, sometime, to know even as we are 
known. Then we shall hold it perhaps remember 
it^all. 

I said something of this to Emery Ann. Not as 
I have said it here, but just in the way of common 
talk. 

"You see," I suggested, as to the question of 
pain, " everything is n't always as bad as it seems. 
What we have never tried ourselves, we cannot tell 



74 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

about. Doctors say that a good deal that looks 
like terrible suffering spasms, and such things 
may be mere muscular action." 

"That's very comfortin' to the doctors," said 
Emery Ann. " They 've tried 'em, perhaps. But 
it don't take a doctor to tell that things show for 
more 'n they are. Why, bare ugliness does. Every 
body gets along with their own ; but I 've noticed 
folks, I don't mind homeliness, now, any more 
than I do kitchen chairs, if they are clean and 
whole, and set straight ; but I can't bear faces that 
seem to want clearin' up, well, with mouths, say, 
that you 'd think they 'd hate to keep their own 
tongues inside of. And as to noises and fuss, I 've 
seen a piece of work made over takin' a nap, with 
jerkin' and snorin', that you 'd say was fits if you 'd 
never come across it before. I guess it's pretty 
near right, most of it ; things are made frightful 
that we 'd better try to keep clear of. At any rate, 
we can't fix it now, if it is n't." 

Emery Ann is never uneasy about anything that 
she can't " fix ; " what she can, she has no peace 
of mind with till it is done. She does n't fix her 
paragraphs, though ; she drops in her prepositions 
and her objective cases just when she happens to 
get hold of them, and her relative pronouns set up 



" FORZINO." 75 

for themselves in sentences of their own, whether 
they ever had any antecedents or not. 

Aunt Hetty Maria has been down to stay a fort, 
night with us. She and mother have been so com 
fortable together. 

I don't think there is really anything nicer than 
f N* old ladies ; two together, especially. 

The white caps, and the spectacles, and the slow, 
gentle ways that people get when they are old, and 
the Sabbath-peace that they sit down in, and the 
neighborliness of souls that have lived so many 
self-same years on the earth, and that may expect 
to begin young again so near together, all this 
that is in mother's window, now, behind the larch 
boughs, is such a really beautiful thing I 

I am afraid we are losing our old ladies out of 
New England, just as we are losing our peaches ; 
the finest flavor of autumn time. Nobody seems to 
realize it. People are so taken up with looking for fT=t*vv*K , 

the coming woman that they forget all about the 

x Q 

going one. 

For that matter, we are in danger of losing our ( 
young ladies too. At first they won't let them 
selves be, any more than at last they will let them 
selves go, as they were meant to. So that freshness 
and simpleness, gentle and beautiful fading, 




# 

T6 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

by and by there will neither of them be seen, if 



*"\*$i 

V< 



things go on; but in their stead one universal, 



melancholy fadge and wrinkle, from sixteen to 
sixty. 

Women used, at thirty-five or so, to put on mod 
est, delicate, submissive little caps ; and then they 
could grow gray or bald under them without a sep 
arate agony for every hair ; now, when the locks 
bleach, instead of being accepted and worn, in their 
beautiful whiteness, as the light of heaven touching 
upon one's head, they are Mrs. S. A. Aliened ; and 
when they thin, ah, worse contingency I they 
are deployed painfully and insufficiently over the 
needful space, and a satire of unaccounted-for 
abundance pinned on behind or atop. 

People used to find out ways of mellowing and 
sobering in their dress, too, as the woods begin to 
do in September, and so have their own especial 
beauty as well as the green June hers. There were 
things once that were " too young " for middle age 
to bedizen itself with. And there were things also, 
just as pretty in their time, that young girls had to 
grow to. 

I won't say anything about manners ; they 
can't be peeled off, or mucilaged on ; what the 
soul puts forth, will be ; and if it does n't put 




"FORZINO." 77 

forth, well, we lose our peaches and our golden 
leaves. 

Here it is ; women may choose, this or that ; 
they must choose, and take the consequences. 

They may ripen their beautiful elder woman 
hood, fair with its quiet and content, noble and 
sweet with its larger life and loving, that gives us 
at last the real, dear old lady, and without which /e^/x ffyj 
the dear old lady can never be ; or they may hold -^t^ceo . 
on desperately as old girls, and wrinkle up just as 5vnt/" 
they are ; that way makes the Mrs. Skewtons.t^ 5t*0 4 3f, g-. 



You can't have results without processes ; you 
have got to make up your mind deliberately, when 
you come to the crest-line of life, in what fashion 







sv s*tj**-**- 

you will go down into the years. ' *p 

There is a time, no doubt, when it seems sad and 
hard ; when the path first turns, and the eastward 
heaven of youth lies behind the hill ; when the 
glad little brooks begin to run the other way, in 
stead of leaping to meet you ; but go on, like one 
of God's women ; it shall be an easy and tender 
slope under your feet ; and the lowering sun shall 
shine upon your steadfast face to glorify it, and at 
the foot is the broad, sweet valley, and the river 
of your full, deep peace. 

There is where my dear little mother has helped 



78 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

me so. It is beautiful going on just after her. 
And when I sit and look at the two there in her 
window, with their work and their caps and their 
cosiness, and hear them say to each other what a 
little while ago it seems, the time before their 
lives began to run apart, it is an outing that I 
can't get any other way ; a reaching on, by some 
thing like heaven's own counting, over the years, 
to the time when nothing shall seem far back or 
away, or tedious to have been borne ; and heaven 
itself shall be the nearest of all. 

I read them my thinkings about Pain and 
Change, when I had written them down. 

" Yes," said Aunt Hetty Maria. " If only God ; 
made all the pain, and gave it to us. But what 
about the pains we have earned? The pains of 
our sins ? " 

Mother spoke out, then ; quick, before I could. 

" Why, Hetty Maria, the thief got that an 
swered for us. And the Lord gave him part of 
his own peace, and promised him Paradise." 

The cross of Love is close beside the cross of 
Sin. 

Jesus hung between the malefactors. 

They " knew not what they did ; " God knew, 
and meant it so. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

INTO DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES. 

" DON'T ever do that," said Aunt Hetty Maria. 
" Carry your candle as straight as you can, but 
never go prowling back into dark closets to look 
after mischief that you have n't done." 

" It 's clear fidget, I know," said mother ; " but 
I 've done it many a time myself." 

I had been looking for something in the little 
clothes-room. I knew perfectly well that my 
candle had n't snapped while I was there, and that 
I had n't held it near anything ; and yet, after I 
brought it back to mother's room, and gave her 
the roll of linen she wanted, I went quietly to the 
closet again, and shut myself in, in the dark, and 
looked. When I came back the second time and 
sat down, Aunt Hetty Maria said that. 

" Don't do it," she repeated. " Clear fidget is 
the worst thing you can give up to. It '11 come back 
at times when you can't satisfy yourself. It 's a 
way you get into, and it '11 follow you up. Don't 



80 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

get out of bed to see if you have locked the door 
when you know there is n't one chance in a hun 
dred that you have n't. Don't pull your letter 
open to see if the money is safe and right, when 
you know you had it in your hand to put in and it 
can't be anywhere else. Don't keep making crazy 
dives into your pocket and bags, to see if your 
purse and your keys are there, after you 've 
started on your journey, and you can't help it 
if they ain't. It's an awful habit, I tell you. 
You '11 go back into actions and reasons and hap 
penings, just so; into trouble, and sickness, and 
death too. Looking after what never was in 'em ; 
and doubting what you know there certainly was. 
I tell you, for I know." 

Aunt Hetty Maria had had troubles in her life, 
notwithstanding the silk gown and the white caps, 
and the looking-up-to of all Dearwood. There 
were things she was n't sure she had n't made mis 
takes in, though she was a woman who had always 
tried thoroughly to do her duty. Perhaps in 
some other place I shall say more of what I know 
about it. I understood enough about it then, to 
feel that she spoke out of a deep place, and that 
the strong sense that advised me against the " clear 
fidgets " had had sore battles to fight against them, 



DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOB-HOUSES. 81 

before it stood up in her so, commanding them all 
down. 

" If I had my life to live over again, there 's no 
rule I 'd lay down for myself firmer. And that 's 
why I speak to you." 

As if I had my life to live at thirty-eight I 

And yet as if I had n't ! 

I think, sometimes, we don't any of us find out 
how to live till we have pretty well used up 
spoiled, perhaps, one life. 

Did anybody ever knit a perfect stocking, right 
off, at the first learning? Isn't the first experi 
ment a tangle, more or less, of dropped stitches, 
run all through, or twisted in the picking up ; of 
puckers and stretches, unpremeditated and mis 
placed widenings out and narro wings in ? 

Are n't there patient eyes over the needles, per 
haps in our life learnings ? Is all the yarn spoiled 
in conquering the stitch? Are we to wear our 
first poor work, inevitably and always ? Or when, 
out of the knowledge gained at it, we can accom 
plish a better, shall it not be given us to do and 
to possess, and the old puckers be quietly un 
raveled for us and laid away out of our sight ? i 

If mother and Aunt Hetty Maria give me loving 
and watchful counsel at thirty-eight, looking upon 



82 PATIENCE STRONG' S OUTINGS. 

all these years of mine as a mere "setting up," 
how will the good angels, out of their deep eternity 
and its holy wisdoms, look at theirs ? 

The very calm and beauty that sits upon them 
now, is it not the smoothing out for a fair and 
glad beginning again ? 

" Don't go back into the dark closets ! " 
It was a dear, bright word to me. Perhaps it is 
the word that will be said to us in heaven, when we 
come out into the light there that is fulfilling and 
absolving love. Perhaps we shall be comforted 
and forgiven beyond what we can think or hope. 

Rose Noble came in this morning. 

I think it is one of the comforts of not being 
very rich people, that your friends talk out to you 
more, of any little plans or perplexities they may 
have, and with which money, as the world runs, 
must necessarily have so much to do. 

Whether the old dress is worth making over ; 
what sort of carpet would turn out the best and 
cheapest ; or, if the dress is quite worn out, or the 
carpet can't be had, the want and the way to 
bear it. They will speak of these things, which 
are the day's burden or interest, sure of your sym 
pathy; sure, also, that they canj, by no distant 

<Jr^f 



DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES. 83 

possibility, be seeming to dream of anything else. 
It is the comfort the poor and the moderately well- 
off have together ; and which the rich, busy only 
with spending, or suspicious of wishfulness, are 
shut out from. 

I know so much about Rose Noble and her 
mother ; it is quite as if their lives were added on 
to mine. Lives that open into each other so are 
like houses with a door between. 

Is n't that an outing ? 

I think, all up and down the heavenly streets, 
they build their dwellings so. I think, from God 
unto " the least of these," spirits stand open, one to 
another, and world to world. " I am the Door," 
says the Lord. " By me ye shall go in and out 
and find pasture." " That they also may be one 
in us, as I in thee, and thou in me." 

I am glad to think we can begin it here. 

I know all about them, the Nobles ; their 
plans and their makings out ; what Rose has done, 
and what she has laid out for herself to do ; and 
what the hope of her life is, after that. 

The hope began when she was teaching school in 
western Ohio. She met Robert Haile there, a man 
working with an object in his life as well ; a debt 
to pay back before he can begin to count for him- 



84 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

self. When he can do that, he will not be afraid 
to take a wife and count for her also. 

I said I knew all about Rose. That was true ; 
as to Robert, I don't know all ; not quite all that 
she does ; and there is a something which Rose 
herself does not fully know yet, but for which she 
waits till he shall have it all to tell. He is thirty 
years old, and it is a story of his early youth. A 
dark closet, perhaps, where he did leave something 
smouldering. But she is not afraid. She knows 
him as he is. 

Rose has kept school ever since she was sixteen 
years old ; what she has determined to do before 
she ever marries or " counts up " in any way for 
herself, is to buy the little house for her mother 
that they live in now. She has got thijee hundred 
dollars more to save to do it. That does n't seem 
much towards the price of a house, but it is a little 
one, and she has saved it all by fifties and hun 
dreds, out of her school-keeping, from year to year. 
In the mean while they have to live ; and things 
wear out ; and Rose won't let them grow too 
shabby, to spoil so the pretty idea of the home she 
is working to keep for good and all. 

So it was the sitting-room carpet that was worry 
ing her now. 



DAEK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES. 85 

" They are so dear, you see. It will cost forty- 
five dollars. I don't talk to mother about it ; I 've 
come to you. If I do make up my mind to get it, 
it must seem easy, or she would n't take any com 
fort in it. Patience, I wonder if there 's always a 
prophecy in names. There certainly was in yours ; 
and in Emery Ann's ; how do you suppose mine 
happened ? " 

" Rose Noble," I said slowly ; " why should n't 
it have happened ? " 

I thought of her fresh, sweet nature, and of the 
something deep and grand there is in it also, to 
which the freshness and sweetness are a mere 
outward adding. The born name, and the given 
name ; they are precisely as they should be. 

" It makes you think of the golden old times," 
said Rose. " Of the full pouches, and the princely 
givings. I wish there were a magic in my name. 
I wish whenever it were spoken a real rose-noble 
might drop down. Then I should n't have to 
count yards and shillings. Then, you see, O 
Patience, it might be nearly here, the time we 're 
waiting for ! " 

I saw that something more than common was on 
Rose's mind. I did n't want to ask ; and I did n't 
want to interrupt, if she chose to say more ; so I sat 
silent. 



86 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

" He might come this fall ; his work is nearly 
done. I think he will come. But I can't possibly 
be ready with my part. I must leave mother and 
Katie comfortable, and you see I do want lots of 
little things myself, besides the big ones. Pa 
tience, if it 's one ridiculous thing more than 
another, just this minute, I 'm such a goose, 
it 's a band of back hair ! " 

I did n't think Rose was a goose. 

I looked at her pretty head, with its bright hair, 
not very long, she had had a fever from over 
work a year and a half ago, and it had been cut 
short, and so fine that its real thickness hardly 
told ; so that although when she brushed it out it 
was light and full and shining, and looked ever so 
much, it would compress itself with the least little 
twist, like a skein of floss, and show for nothing. 

I did n't blame her a bit, when other girls were 
wearing whole manufactures of hair -work that 
hardly let the original foundation betray itself at 
all, as to what it was or was not, for wishing just 
for a little more like hers, to make the story good, 
as it was really meant to be, and might be, by and 
by. And Dr. Haile coming before long, at least 
to see her. 

And yet I do, on principle, hate false hair. 



DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES. 87 

Only, it is a thing to wear now, as much as caps 
or bonnets ; and everybody knows. Indeed, you 
have to wear it instead of bonnets, or else look so 
scooped out. 

I don't know where the line is. A great deal 
is bad and frivolous and extravagant and worldly- 
minded ; but a little, just what Rose Noble 
wanted to make her head graceful and pretty, 
somewhat after the taste of the time, well, I give 
it up, as I have to give up many puzzles ; things 
that begin blamelessly enough, but end all wrong, 
and carry the world by the ears into all sorts of 
snarls. 

Anyway, I don't think Rose Noble was so very 
silly. And I told her so. 

But then, she could n't spend ten dollars for it. 
That ended the matter. 

It was only a wish, given up to stronger and 
dearer claims. If that were the settling of such 
points, always ! I suppose in that case, though, 
there would be precious little back hair worn, ex 
cept what grew. And we should all look well 
enough. 

I think, very likely, there are moral questions 
tliat can't be generalized. Special decisions must 
make up the broad result and answer. If every- 



88 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

body marks their own inch, the line will be drawn 
all round the world. Up and down, perhaps, like 
an isothermal ; but it will be there, as true as con 
science or science can make it. 

That reminds me. I was thinking of that word, 
" conscience," the other day. Of the " con " of it. 
"Together." "With." Together with whom? 
What makes conscience different from other know 
ing ? What but God's knowledge joined to ours ? 
The very contact of the human and Divine ? 

Rose Noble laughed, with a tear in her eye, at 
her own silliness ; but it was very pathetic to me. 
So many "little things, besides the big ones," 
were wanting in her young life, of which other 
careless lives were full. 

I was quite sad about it after she had gone. I 
sat still half an hour, thinking it over and over. 
Some people had aunts and uncles, if not fathers 
and mothers, who could give them the little embel 
lishments and opportunities of youth. Even I, 
more than half as old again, and past caring for 
much of these outside things, had Eliphalet and 
Gertrude to be thoughtful for me when it would n't 
do for me to be thoughtful or wishful for myself ; 
to give me a new pin at Christmas, and a silk dress 
on a birthday, or when they went shopping in New 



DARK CLOSETS AND NEIGHBOR-HOUSES. 89 

York ; even to ask me if I had n't broken my 
bones and blundered out of it to go to Europe 
with them. 

I could think of so many people who wanted 
what they could n't possibly get, and nobody would 
be likely to give them as long as they lived. Mrs. 
Shreve, who was " worrying through the summer " 
with an old cooking-stove that spoiled all her cake, 
and would n't heat her flat-irons ; Mrs. Noble and 
Rose, wanting to carpet their sitting-room and put 
new curtains in the best bedroom ; and obliged to 
choose between the two ; people poorer than these, 
with real suffering wants, all around us ; oh, what 
a wanting world it was ! 

I did n't know as outings into such a world, un 
less one could go with Haroun Al Easchid power, 
were worth having, after all. 

All at once, I caught myself up. 

" I never shall have a better chance ! " I said, 
out loud. " Unless something should happen 
that would take the heart wholly out of every 
thing. I truly believe I 'm just about down-hearted 
enough." 

And so I went and got the packet, which I had 
fairly forgotten since I had been able to be about 
the house. 



90 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

It was n't much to open ; it was soon untied. 

A little note from Eliphalet, and two little 
common blue-covered books. 

An account, opened at the Third National Bank 
of Boston, with a deposit of three thousand dollars 
to the credit of Patience Strong ! 

And a cheque-book, to draw the money out with. 



CHAPTER IX. 

INTO THE MIDDLES. 

THAT was nice of Eliphalet. And so knowing. 
So much better than a certificate of stock, to draw 
a dividend on twice a year, and never feel the full 
three thousand dollars' worth of abundance unless 
I should happen to live some eight or ten years 
longer, be lucky in my shares, and keep a running 
account in my head, in a " House that Jack built " 
fashion, of the extra good it had done me. It 
was as much better as fifty coppers, all one's own, 
to spend used to be than the rare silver half dollar 
given to " lay by." It was a clear piece of citron, 
to eat right up, instead of waiting for it in little 
bits, cooked and spoiled, in the cake. It is so 
delightful, once in a while, not to mind the 
proper way, or be wise and prudent, but to be 
as foolish and happy and improper as one pleases. 
Eliphalet remembers old tunes, and knows that 
we don't outgrow, but only overgrow, many things. 
Especially we women. 



92 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

" It would have cost me that, and more," the 
trip to Europe for which I substituted my trip 
down the trammel staircase, so he wrote in his 
note. "Therefore, do just what you like with it. 
Invest it, come out to Europe after us, or spend it 
all in gimp and sugar-plums." 

Now, then, could n't I have outings ? 

Could I, though ? Just where I most wanted to 
go ? Into wishes and wants, into hopes and 
troubles ? Into Mrs. Shreve's kitchen, with a new 
Perfect Rapture cooking-stove and a man to set it 
up ? Into Mrs. Noble's parlor and bedroom, with 
carpet and curtains ? 

When I came to think of it, I 'd got the lever, 
but I was n't so sure of a place to plant it, 
without hurting anybody. 

Not right down on any quick, tender pride, or 
delicate self-respect and independence. That 
would n't do. 

I must take care that my dollars did n't get in 
my way. 

First, I made mother solemnly promise never to 
tell, until I did. 

Then I lay awake the best part of three nights, 
plotting and planning. Taking my share of the 
world's skein to unravel ; the how to make ends 



IZVTO THE MIDDLES. 93 

meet. What everything and every soul is busy 
about, one way and another, from the least to the 
Highest ; from the bringing together of the grub 
and the green leaf to the lifting of men's souls up 
into the Heart of God. 

There is this and that ; cotton on one side of the 
world, machines on the other ; coffee there, dry 
goods and iron and Yankee notions here ; men, 
women and children there, starved and over 
crowded, work and wide lands out here, and 
yonder. 

There are the homely "two ends," income and 
outgo ; there is money in pockets, want in bodies 
and souls ; there is a word to say, and an ear strain 
ing to hear it; the world is running round and 
round. It is in great and small, grave and gro 
tesque ; the kitten after its own tail ; the baby try 
ing to get its big toe into its mouth ; the mystic 
symbol of the serpent ; the planet wheeling round 
the sun ; the fiery beauty of the zodiac. 

I think, what with planning and sleepiness, I 
was a little feverish and confused perhaps ; all 
these things ran through my head in such curious 
associations. 

My little bit was only this, our side of the 
way and over across ; I and my bank-book here ; 



94 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

the Shreves and the Nobles, and their worries and 
puzzles there. How should I get the two to 
gether ? 

I felt myself dreadfully outside, all at once, with 
my three thousand dollars. How should I get in, 
I who thought at first I had got tickets for 
everywhere ? 

Finally, and in the first place, I made up my 
mind that I must learn German. Rose Noble 
knew it, and I did n't. 

Out under the beeches in the old garden, while 
the summer weather lasted ; while Rose's school 
had long vacation, and she was busy making pretty 
nightgowns and under-robings. I could help her 
whip and hem, while I grated consonants between 
my tonsils, and learned long sentences in which the 
nouns were centipedes and the verbs were nobody 
knows where. And over the German and our 
needlework, we should grow intimate, more in 
timate than ever ; and I should find some crafty 
and blessed way of " putting it," the rest of it, the 
little things and the big things, bit by bit, that 
even pride could not resist ; that, in truth, it could 
have nothing whatever, by any pretense, to do 
with. It would be like a game of " solitaire," 
" patience," as they call it in the English novels ; 



INTO THE MIDDLES. 95 

laying this card carefully on that, looking through 
and through the position, catching my chances and 
my sequences, and making it all out gloriously at 
last, with my king and queen at top. 

" I feel as if it was my story," I said to mother, 
who came into my room " visiting." 

I wonder if anybody else has that way of 
mother's of talking about "visiting" ? 

She comes in between her busy times, while 
the cake is baking, perhaps, or Emery Ann is 
sweeping her room, or in the odd minutes before 
dinner, or the twilight after tea, and she sits 
down and says she has come to " visit a little " 
with me. 

They had that way at Dearwood, the sisters 
in the old house ; Aunt Hetty Maria has it too ; 
but it doesn't sound so sweet from anybody as 
from mother. She comes so close and so kindly ; 
her visiting is right into your thoughts and your 
heart. It makes me think of the "gentle visit- 
ings " I remember in some old hymn. I think 
that if she were gone away out of the body, she 
would still come and visit me so. 

" Well, it is your story," she said to me in reply. 
" You 're living right into it. You 're putting 
yourself into the middle of it. That 's all that 



96 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

makes anything our story. The same story would 
be anybody's else if they could stand where we do 
to look at it. It 's the pleasantness of books, 
and" 

" In the middle, yes." I interrupted mother. 
The word struck me. "God is in the middle. 
Everybody's story is his." 

" And it 's the ' joy ' we ' enter into,' " said 
mother, finishing her sentence, and weaving in her 
word and thought with mine. " Is n't it ? " 

" Loving the neighbor as one's self. The ful 
filling of the whole law ; the perfect rounding of 
the circle. Standing in the middle, beside God. 
Self is only the centre-point. We can put it 
where we please. There was ' an angel standing 
in the sun.' ' 

Mother reached over and took up the Bible that 
was on my little table. 

" I wanted to see," she said pleasantly, after 
she had found the place. " Why, it 's a kind of 
a wonder, child ! It comes like what we were say 
ing." And then she read : 

" ' He cried out with a loud voice, saying to all 
the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and 
gather yourselves together unto the supper of the 
great God.' It fits right in, Patience." 



INTO THE MIDDLES. 97 

" It always does come so, mother. One part is 
never put into my head, that the other does n't fit 
right on, and tell more. It fits to the old things 
too. It shows the pattern they were all cut out to. 
4 The fowls that fly in the midst of heaven.' The 
living knowledges and thoughts that go and come 
all through the heavens and between all souls. 
The bird-meaning. You remember, mother ? " 

" That was the supper they could n't come to 
who were taken up with their own ; their little bits 
of land, and their wives, and their merchandise. 
But out of the highways and hedges they came. 
Those who had nothing. It 's the rich that can 
4 hardly enter in.' " 

" If they 're in the ' middle ' of nothing but their 
riches. Or their plans, or their pleasures, or their 
cleverness, or their prettiness. Yes, it's the 
middle that signifies. If you're in the wrong 
middle, move right out of it ; find a new one ; 
they 're all around ; everything is a middle." 

I went on, thinking it out so, and brushing my 
hair. Mother had come visiting while I was get 
ting ready for bed. They are dear little visiting 
times then ; then, and at the early morning, when 
we are beginning new together, and the first 
thing is to find each other for a minute. It has 



98 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

been so ever since I was a little child. I believe it 
will be so when we begin new together by and by. 
The first thing will be to find each other, to look 
in each other's morning faces. Everything is a 
sign, and God will make it all come true. 



CHAPTER X. 

INTO THE SUNSHINE. 

IT was so lovely this morning that we could not 
be content even under the old beeches. It was a 
sort of a truant day. Everything seemed to say, 
" Out ! further ! " One could rest in nothing, there 
was so much all about and beyond. The beauty 
was like a field of pasture fruit ; it was impossible 
to stop to pick, it spread so wide to lure you on. 
The whole world was greedy with gladness. It was 
like the poorhouse boy, only from very fullness, 
not denial, sighing to itself and forth into the 
broad air that held it warm : " More ! more ! " 

The little grasses and late clovers; the leaves, 
crisp and clean with dews and searching chemistries 
of light, and all alert with the spring that is in 
living things; the tall, lithe stems of the young 
trees, and the trunks of old ones mighty with their 
longer glad aspiring that was turned to solid 
strength ; the glistening, restless clouds, the little 
winds of heaven like happy breaths, everything 



100 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

panted and stirred and uplifted itself with an 
ecstasy that was at once replete and insatiate. The 
globe itself seemed to revel in blue space. It must 
needs roll on. One could almost feel how it would 
be impossible to lie so at a still point of bliss. The 
glad, golden orbit was accounted for. 

Down the lane, the wild grape-vines had heaped 
up banks of living green over the low, old wall ; 
the creepers tossed their grace and glory from tree 
to tree ; the clematis was cloudy-white with blos 
som ; the ferns were plumy and fragrant in every 
little angle ; and the dear little life-everlasting, 
with its delicate, mystical odor, was plenty under 
foot. The blackberries were full and sweet with 
their dark wine, and the scent of the pines and the 
cedars came up to meet you from the wood. 

" We must go down there," said Rose. 

" Shall we stop anywhere f " said I. " It 's a day 
to go and seek a summer-fortune." 

So I picked up "Ahn" and the "Lesebuch," 
and we went down. Down into the cool and damp 
by the brown brook ; over and up, into the spicy 
stillness of the evergreen pasture ; close in, among 
the cedars, against the " shadow of the great rock." 

The path brought up here ; or we might have 
walked on until, well, at least until some dusty 

CALIFORNIA WESTERN UNIVERSITY 
RYAN LIBRARY 



IZVTO THE SUNSHINE. 101 

turnpike stopped us. The rock was better. It was 
the best thing about this lane and wood-path that 
it had a natural pause and end. I like an upshot. 
Else you keep on, with many other things as 
well as green lanes, till the turnpike runs across, 
and the green wood shows its limits, and the beauty 
is all over. 

I said a bit by heart, out of the "Lesebuch." 
"Abraham baute einen Altar." And I declined 
the dreadful little German article that stickles so 
for all its cases like any grown-up, significant word. 
And then Rose told me a little about substantive 
declensions. 

I began to see the fog. I knew I had not got 
into it, so I held my peace. But I saw it was com 
ing. That is the reason it is so much harder for 
grown people to learn a language, or any new 
thing. A child just takes the one step set for him, 
never counting on, or thinking, how many more 
there may be, or what they have to do with each 
other. We grown-up simpletons anticipate, ana 
lyze, and try to get hold of the theory, and muddle 
our brains. Therefore, also, we must become " as 
little children," to learn the kingdom of heaven. 

" I 'm not discouraged yet, Rose ; but I wish to 
tell you that I know it 's there." 



102 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

" What, discouragement ? " 

" Yes ; the climax of it ; there 's always a climax 
of discouragement in everything. When you get 
into the thick of it, and can't see how, or if ever, 
you 're coming out. It 's in a poem, or a story, or 
a sermon, or a painting, or a piece of music, or a 
dress-fitting, or a house-cleaning, or a living. It 's 
always there; and you've got to run against it, 
and have your tussle with it. Then, all at once, if 
you 're blessed, you come out of it, into the clear 
daylight, and wonder where the dark was. It's 
the miracle worked in everything. It 's the open 
ing to the knocking. It's the 'horning,' as the 
little child said." 

" That 's a very true thing, Patience. I 'm glad 
you 've said it. Only I can't help wondering, 
once in a while, if some people don't have to live 
all their lives in a climax." 

" I never heard of but one person who did," said 
I, "and that was Mr. Micawber. And you 
know how it was disposed of, simply enough, for 
him. ' If he is going to be continually arrested, 
his friends have just got to be continually bailing 
him out,' says Aunt Betsy. Dickens put it in 
extreme, as his way is, but he puts the very doc 
trine of heaven into it, which is also his way." 



I1VTO THE SUNSHINE. 103 

" Rose," I began again, after a minute or two, 
" I wish you and I had been children together ; or 
else that you were child enough now to believe in a 
fairy story." 

"Why?" asked Rose. 

" Because then we should have got used to 
spending our coppers together, and dividing our 
nuts and candies, and shouldn't think anything 
of it ; and~because I 've got a kind of a fairy story 
to tell. Somebody gave me a nut, and I 've 
cracked it ; and it 's a good deal too much for one. 
And fairy gifts don't keep, you know. Rose, 
when you are married, I don't mean to give you 
a silver flat-iron or watering-pot, or a parlor 
pitchfork and spoolrake " 

" What are you talking about?" 

" Pitchforks ? Spoolrakes ? Why, the newest 
presents for brides, to be sure. Silver things to 
keep hung up by your work-table, and round 
everywhere, to reach after whatever tumbles down 
and rolls away just when you want it, and where 
you can't get it ; or for what is out of arm's-length 
when you 've got your lap full. If they have n't 
got 'em yet, they will by that time. They Ve in 
vented everything else. I 'm not going to give 
you any of these things ; and you 've got your 



104 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

grandmother's spoons. So I want, instead, 
it 's a fairy story, you see, to go a day's shop 
ping with you, dear. Just one day. I want a real 
good outing, you see ; and besides that, my pocket 's 
burnt all through and through." 

Where had all my beautiful craft gone to, and 
my game of patience ? 

I could n't help it ; it was just like me ; my 
heart and my pocket were burning ; how could I 
wait till I could say it in German, and Rose in a 
climax all the while ? 

And besides that, I said before, it was a morning 
of outings. The whole world was reaching, and 
giving, and asking, and brimful, and running over. 

But the open-hearted day was on all sides. She 
was touched and tuned with it as well as I. She 
was n't " Rose Noble," either, for nothing. 

Her face was sweet, and bright, and surprised, 
with a thankful pleasure, as if some little sun- 
shower had fallen ; and there was a high, generous 
understanding in her eyes. 

And she said simply : 

"I can't refuse you the 'more blessed '-ness, 
Pashie, can I ? " 

It was all right and very well ; and the glad out 
going day had made me do it, and fixed it all, a 



INTO THE SUNSHINE. 105 

great deal better than I could have planned. For 
there was plenty to do, somehow, by and by. 

When we came home we found Mrs. Shreve sit 
ting with mother. They had been laughing till 
there they both sat, wiping their spectacles. Mrs. 
Shreve was quivering yet. 

" Why, what is it, little mother ? " 

And so they told it over again. How Mrs. 
Shreve's new, green Irish girl "I shall always 
have a new girl and a raw one, as long as I have 
my old stove," she said, as chipper as ever for all 
that had been found crying at the stairs. She 
did n't know how to go up and down. She 'd 
never learned on anything but a ladder, at home, 
and had come straight from shipboard. 

" It only shows," said mother, when we had got 
a little over it again, " the things we do learn, with 
out realizing. We have to begin when we 're 
babies, that 's certain." 

" And we never know what we 're laying up 
for," said Mrs. Shreve. " I suppose it '11 be so 
between this world and the next, in things we 
never think of." 

" In just this very thing," said I, seized sud 
denly with the meaning. " There are stairs be 
tween the stories, if we knew how to use them." 



106 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

" Spirits crying at the bottom, and spirits cry 
ing at the top, perhaps, and only the angels 
knowing how to go up and down," said mother 
gently. 

" I think," said Rose, " the stairs we learn on 
are the stairs between the stories here, between 
the different human lives." 

" I knew I should get it out of you," said Mrs. 
Shreve. " That 's what I came and told the story 
for. I did n't know what it was, but I had a feel 
ing of something in it, besides the fun. And you 
always have the thing that 's wanted, cut and 
dried, and bottled and labeled. There's always 
herbs and cordial in this house, if everybody else is 
out." 



CHAPTER XI. 

INTO THE SHOPS. 

NOBODY would believe what an excitement it 
was to me, that day's going to Boston. 

In the first place, I had not been away from 
home before, except to go to church, since I broke 
my leg. And then, almost anything, if you don't 
do it very often, and if most times your days are 
taken up with little busy, dutiful doings, makes a 
holiday, especially if you are hearty and thorough 
about it. 

People who live ten miles or so from the city, 
and three quarters of a mile out of the railway vil 
lage, who don't keep any horses and carriages, 
and don't spend money, usually, till they have 
thought at least twice about it, get the full good 
of going to Boston. They begin over night. They 
make their memorandum, and their calculations ; 
these last to be upset and twisted and reversed 
next day by shop experience and all the four parts 
of arithmetic, until, if it don't end in wholly losing 



108 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

their heads, and getting a general wild, reckless 
impression that nothing matters in particular, but 
that they, and their plans, and their pockets, are 
but simply absorbed into the business rush and 
whirl of that day's Washington Street, without any 
reference to personal results, they may congratu 
late themselves on rare presence of mind and tena 
cious individuality. 

There are the styles, and the materials, the im 
portations of the season and no other ; so many 
patterns in a piece, or a losing remnant ; one 
price at all the stores ; no way of substituting or 
saving. What is to be done ? All political economy 
and commercial combination are against the simple- 
minded, little back-parlor plans and reckonings of 
last night. 

But I was beginning with the pleasantness ; I 
did n't mean to get into the craze. Sometimes you 
don't ; sometimes everything falls right in. It is 
all match-grooved ; you make all your connections ; 
another time everything is unhitched. 

We had a smooth day, Rose and I ; from the 
ride down the shady Old Road, in Farmer Graitt's 
covered wagon, with our best bonnets on (people 
who go every day or two keep " Boston bonnets " 
of a meaner sort ; but if we did n't wear our best 



INTO THE SHOPS. 109 

to Boston, when should we wear them?), to the 
coming out at night, galvanized up to the arm-sizes 
with every little nerve and muscle watchful and 
conscious of paper parcels various in shape and 
bulk, never to be lost feeling of till they were got 
safely home, and with only our elbows left to hold 
against our pocket-plackets for fear of the picks. 

The waysides were blue with the midsummer 
flowers of the wild succory. The tansy was getting 
golden tops. There was a little savor of sea-salt- 
ness in the air, that just tingled the nostrils deli 
cately, and made a cordial of the light August 
wind. We met little boys with bare feet and big 
baskets, going up to the pastures, berrying. Round 
the railroad station were gentlemen in summer 
trousers and waistcoats and straw hats, unfolding 
their morning papers ; and ladies alighting from 
carriages, giving each other fresh morning greeting 
with fresh, bright faces. 

What a pretty world it was, this side of it ! 
How easily the day began, and might run on, and 
other days come after, just like this ! 

It was queer, though, to think of dear, good Mrs. 
Shreve, at home with her raw girl, and her pester 
ing stove, and her ironing, on this gay, free day. 
And of people sick on beds, and people tired with 



110 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

night-watching, and people hard at work in dusty 
little shops, and mothers with arms full and houses 
waiting to be put to morning rights, and all the 
worry and ache and weariness that were surely 
about, somewhere. Only, people are so quiet about 
it ! The world has learned to put up with so 
much ! There are the houses, in which such mani 
fold cares of life are going on, hushed, hanging no 
flag out, making no sign ; nobody rushing out at 
the doors to proclaim a grievance, or protest 
against the careless comfort riding by. 

Yet the whole world lies open, skyward ; and no 
walls shut out the heavenly sight and ministering. 
No place, even, is mean to the angels ; they come 
and bring their own glory with them. 

This went through my mind, standing in the vil 
lage waiting for the cars. There was little stir 
except what car-time made ; and presently there 
would be a rush and a shriek and a bustle, and 
then in a minute, the still little place would be left 
to its own stillness as if it had just died. And it 
gives up the ghost so, every day. 

It was something to be part of the ghost to-day. 
To be one of these for whom the fuss was made, 
and whom the little boys looked after, leaning over 
the bridge-rail; little boys, some of them, who 



INTO THE SHOPS. 



Ill 



never went to Boston in their lives ; who stood at 
this end always, seeing the people go and return, 
and knowing that the great city lay at the further 
end of those two iron lines that curved off into the 
little wood beside the river. 

Why, you can't move but you get so much to 
think of. You are in a middle continually, whether 
you will or no. It is spiritually and geometrically 
true. 

The little birds sat on the telegraph wires. I 
wonder if they feel the thrill of the great words 
that run under them along their perch ; and if 
they fly off suddenly to the woods to tell there what 
wonderful things are outside ; or if they think the 
iron strings are spun through the air on purpose 
for them to roost on ; and if so, what their great- 
great-grandmothers did without them ? 

Perhaps we rest on spiritual lines as wonderful ; 
how do we know what quivers back and forth close 
by us, what unseen force is in each thread we 
cling to ? 

There is a good deal in the spirit of things. It 
was so in the beautiful outdoors, the other day, 
when all things were giving and taking ; it was so 
in the shops this morning, when everybody was 
having and spending. It did n't seem so much for 



112 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

me to have the silk measured off for Rose that 
we both decided would be so especially pretty for 
her as it would have done if I had gone alone 
and bought it, and brought it home with the formal 
parade of a present. 

I let her pay in the street cars for both, with her 
ready small change ; and it was several times, for 
I could not tax my weaker limb with too much 
walking about. And I let her settle for the dinner 
checks at Vinton's, while I finished my ice-cream. 
I never thanked her, or took any notice ; it was 
all for granted that we were out on a holiday to 
gether, spending our coppers. 

So she did n't mind so much, I mean when 
I paid at Hovey's. And then I did n't give her 
time to think of anything, except whether I was 
going to break my neck, or at least my leg again, 
as I plunged across Summer Street amongst the 
teams and carriages, threading myself in and out 
against the back wheels, and ran up into the carpet 
store. 

" You see it 's your mother's turn now, Rose ; so 
hush up. I think, myself, it 's the mothers that 
ought to have the wedding presents." 

That was an inspiration. Rose could n't refuse 
for her mother, and her mother couldn't refuse 



INTO THE SHOPS. 113 

after Rose had accepted. I never thought of it till 
that minute, but it was one of the things that fayed 
right in, that blessed day. 

" I don't know," said Rose, with a kind of a 
gasp in her breath as she whispered, for the car 
pet gentleman had met us now, at the head of the 
stairs, " but I feel as if I was going over Niagara 
Falls." 

" Precisely ; so what have you to do with it ? 
It 's the river's lookout. Can you show us some 
small-figured, ingrain carpets, bright colors, 
brown, with a little crimson, sir ? " 

I said it very glib, understanding myself per 
fectly, which I don't always do at the right min 
ute when I go shopping. That 's another dif 
ference in the days, and the state of brain ; the 
memorandums may be all the same. I established 
the rapport directly, between me and the sales 
man and the particular roll of carpet that was 
there, among those walls of rolls, like the statue in 
the marble. It is dreadful when a sort of fog 
comes over you just when you mean to make your 
wishes plain, a distrust of the instant appreci 
ation of your attendant, who, of course, in that 
case, instantly does not appreciate. It is your 
faith that fails ; and so you stand before the moun- 



114 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

tain, the whole enormous stock in trade, and 
nothing moves ; except, indeed, exactly the wrong 
things, which, if he 's very obliging, he goes on with 
till you are ready to cry because you can't possibly 
stop him. 

Now, it was rolled right down, the very thing 
we had thought of and talked about ; little bright, 
brown leaves, and red berries, twisted together 
over a mottled ground of quieter shades; well 
covered in the pattern, and well knit in the weav 
ing ; good to sweep and to wear, and lovely to 
look at. 

" We '11 send the express for it to-morrow morn 
ing," said I ; and I left Rose sitting on a carpet- 
roll while I got away to the desk, to give the ad 
dress and pay the bill. 

That had n't seemed much either; we were 
suited so quick, and there was so little chance for 
comparing and counting up. 

Afterward, we were in and out at Mudge's, and 
Churchill & Watson's, and Holbrook's, jolly 
and reckless as two little drops in the rapids, that 
had just as lief go anywhere now, among the rest, 
as how could we help it once we had got in ? And 
we made up indiscriminate bundles together, she 
choosing, and I choosing, and both paying, till I 



INTO THE SHOPS. 115 

knew she would never unravel the account of it, or 
know exactly how she happened to get half of 
them, the big things and little. I did n't say 
anything about the two lace collars, or the half- 
dozen little vine-embroidered handkerchiefs, or the 
Balbriggan stockings, which she did n't know were 
eighteen dollars the dozen, but which I knew would 
be worth the money, and outlast all the rest she 
was buying. What business had she to interfere 
with my part of the parcels ? 

I never felt so bright, and so wicked, and so 
wise and heart-happy, in all my life. 

I could n't smuggle in the " back hair " among 
the dry goods, so I took her deliberately away to 
West Street, among the waterfalls, and I can't 
think of any other word, I " boosted " up her 
conscience to buy. 

"If it was n't more than six dollars, just a 
little one, perhaps she would." 

And so we went in. 

I had been there last winter with Aunt Hetty 
Maria, to get a frizette, so I felt as if I knew the 
man. When you don't buy a thing more than 
once in a dozen years, it seems as if it stood out 
among the seller's transactions as it does among 
your own. At any rate, I knew them all well 



116 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

enough to-day. I felt intimate and privileged 
everywhere ; for I had or had had a hundred 
and fifty dollars in my pocket, and twenty-eight 
hundred and fifty more at home, in the blue book. 



CHAPTER XII. 

INTO THE YEARS. 

ROSE was as shamefaced over the box of bands 
as if the man were used to blushes. 

Of course there was nothing for six dollars, 
scarcely for ten or twelve ; though at last, finding 
that the law of increase in price was more accord 
ing to the inch or two difference in lengths than 
to the thickness, I matched the bright chestnut tint 
of the head that bent itself so mutely above the 
counter of falsities, with a soft, full fall of hair, 
not quite so fine or quite so long as those we had 
been looking at, but bright as Rose's own, and 
which the dealer said he would let us have for 
eleven dollars. "And cheap, too, for the shade 
everybody 's wearing." 

Rose lifted her head, and moved the box slightly 
from her. " You see it is no use," she said, " and 
perhaps it is just as well." 

But I was so determined that day upon my 
wickedness. 



118 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

I put the hair into her hand. 

" See," said I, " the color is perfect, better 
than those long ones. And I think we can come 
to some agreement. We are country ladies," I 
observed persuasively and confidentially to the 
hair-merchant, " and expect to make bargains, you 
know." 

Meanwhile I had got out a five-dollar bill. I 
could have picked Rose's pocket, let alone my own, 
for all she would have noticed about it. Her head 
was down again. She did n't know what to do 
with the band of hair, or how to get rid of it. I 
believe she was getting vexed with me. 

I held up the five-dollar note over her shoulder, 
between my thumbs and fingers. I nodded to the 
man. " Call it six dollars," said I, as bold as Jack 
the Giant-Killer. "That was the price she had 
made up her mind to." 

The man's eyes looked funny for a minute, be 
tween growing big suddenly and then twinkling. 
I don't think he ever had such extraordinary cus 
tomers before. 

" Well, it is an odd length, and wove in 
the old style, flat, if it suits you, I '11 call it six ; 
though it 's low, very low ; and I should n't like 
the price to be told of." 



INTO THE YEARS. 119 

No danger of Rose displaying her bargain, which 
she was so ashamed to make. 

I took the thing from her, and gave it to the 
shop-man to be put up ; and with it, I tucked the 
five dollars into his hand. 

She got out her little porte-monnaie, and paid 
the six ; and that 's all she knows about it to this 
day. 

I have about come to the conclusion that once 
in a great while even a good, well-meaning action 
is all the more enjoyable if you have to put a little 
spice of iniquity into it. 

Rose was very still, riding up that evening, in 
Farmer Graitt's wagon. Things seemed to be 
coming over her all at once with a sort of realizing 
sense. We had got out of the city whirl into the 
calm country again. 

When she got down at her own gate and bade 
me good-night she said : 

" I don't half know what has possessed me 
to-day, Patience. What will mother say to it 
all?" 

It was the naughty child coming home after the 
fun was over. 

" Never you mind, Rosy," said I, as hardened as 
ever. " Don't tell her everything all at once. I '11 



120 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

come across to-morrow morning, and bear all the 
blame. And help make the carpet." 

The next day was my birthday. I have got into 
a way of having birthdays lately. They always 
used to come, once in a while, but nowadays the 
whiles are shorter. 

There was more than a plenty of time between 
them once ; I got quite tired of being eight years 
old, I remember, before the day came when I could 
say I was nine ; and I was thoroughly used to call 
ing myself fifteen before the dignity of sixteen was 
laid upon me. 

I was in no danger, then, of forgetting my age. 
There was a real mile between each two milestones. 

I traveled in a coach and four in those days ; I 
could see the wheels go round, and count the little 
flowers by the wayside. At some point or other, 
unperceived of me, they took off the horses, and 
put on steam ; and now, whiz ! the milestones flash 
by me, till life seems sometimes nothing but a post 
and rail fence. 

There is, really, such a thing as an " uncertain " 
age. It_j?_ a solemn fact that the time comes when 
you have to stop and calculate before you can tell 
the truth. Why, it is quite hard enough to re- 



IZVTO THE YEARS. 121 

member the year of our Lord, at least between 
January and July. No wonder they make a fes 
tival of the world's birthday. They have to. 
It is a mere practical necessity. Without it, the 
very planet would lose count and go adrift, like 
any other spinster. I hardly got used to 1867 be 
fore 1868 came ; indeed, it seems queer still that 
we are in the sixties at all. I realize nothing far 
ther down than the forties. The rest seems tacked 
on in a hurry. The years are as if they had been 
gathered before they were ripe ; or like what I 
was talking about the other day, the machine 
stitches that you don't have the comfort of as 
stitches ; the first thing you know, you 've got a 
seam. 

That brings me back to this very blessed birth 
day of mine, my thirty-ninth. There was an 
other seam done, I had only got to join off, 
and I meant to have a holiday. I gave myself my 
own treat. I tyrannized over my little mother, 
and made her give up everything she had thought 
of, the special raspberry-roll for dinner and the 
iced-cake for tea, the making of them at least, 
that she was going to help Emery Ann with, 
and come over with me, picnicking and carpet-sew 
ing at the Nobles'. Emery Ann could make the 



122 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

raspberry-roll alone, and bring it after us at twelve 
o'clock. 

We have a fashion round in our little neighbor 
hood, the Shreves, and the Nobles, and we, of 
picnic visits. We did it before great surprise par 
ties were invented. We would take our pie and our 
knitting-work, and " run in." It is a nice way. 
Especially if you choose a day when you know 
that the girl is gone, or any little domestic enter 
prise out of the cooking line, and adverse to it, is 
afoot ; your knitting-work is nothing to lay by, 
you know ; and you are running breadths, or setting 
up china, before anybody notices ; and the pie or 
the roasted ducks come in so " pleasant and unex 
pected " at the end. For it is an understood point 
that though you bring a basket as big as a baby's 
wagon, and only produce four needles and a ball of 
yarn to account for it, and though everybody has 
to walk round it and over it twenty times, it shall 
be an utterly invisible and spiritual presence till 
the surprise comes out of it. 

I killed two birds to-day ; or I made two knots 
in the end of my seam. 

I had something all ready in my pocket for 
Dickie Shreve; that is, for his mother, only she 
would n't know it. It was really a cooking-stove ; 



INTO THE YEARS. 123 

but in fairy dealings, which are all that can 
come of a fairy gift, you never know exactly 
what you have or handle. 

What I appeared, to take out of my pocket and 
give to Dickie Shreve that morning it happened 
nicely " by the way " as I meant it should, for we 
met him as we went across was a year's railway 
ticket. 

He was going to enter the School of Technology 
in September ; and I expected to make a little ex 
pressman of him in his trips to and from the city. 
I told him so ; that I should have books from Lor- 
ing's, and things from dry-goods stores, and Brig- 
ham's rolls, and letters to post, and cheques to 
cash, and bills to pay, and worsteds to match, all 
winter long ; so he need n't be obliged ; he did n't 
know yet what he was coming to. I had made up 
my mind to have a claim upon him, and he would 
be tired enough of his bargain before he got 
through. 

Season tickets are pretty dear on our branch, 
and I knew it would make the difference of the 
cooking-stove, and more, in Mrs. Shreve's plans. 
I saw a new suit of clothes in the perspective of 
Dick's eyes, as I snubbed him up in his thanks 
and sent him off. 



124 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

The carpet arrived at Mrs. Noble's just as we 
did ; and she did n't know which to let in first. 
Gammel was in a hurry, and the great roll was 
right in the door-way and so were we. There 
were so many counter-excitements, and it was so 
exactly as bad for us as for her, blundering right 
upon this particular moment, that everything was 
got over without being really done at all ; giving 
and taking, and blaming and thanking, and walk 
ing in and making welcome. Mrs. Noble never 
got farther, or clearer, than : 

" Well, I never did ! Rose said but I could n't 
have believed what could possess you ? I don't 
know a thing to say, I have n't got a single word. 
Come right in, and lay off your things. I 'm right 
down glad to see you, at any rate." 

We had n't anything to lay off but parasols, and 
then we all fell to cutting the cords and pulling 
away the heavy paper, and letting out the bright 
lengths over the floor. 

" Well, who would f " began Mrs. Noble again. 
" I do declare, it 's perfectly elegant ! And I can't 
say a single word ! " She was as sure of this 
as any speechmaker, and went on accordingly. 
" Why, you could most pick up those leaves, espe 
cially the light-shaded ones, those maple-yellows. 



INTO THE YEARS. 125 

They look so raised. And it 's such a good mixed 
ground ; and the pattern all wove in so close and 
firm. Why, there won't be a pocket in it when it 
wears ; and it never will wear. It '11 turn over, 
and end for end, and anyway. Well, there, I 
have n't got a word ! " 

Sure enough, now she had n't. She had said it 
till it had come true. 

We had a beautiful time, cutting, and matching, 
and sewing ; only there was n't half enough to do. 
There were only five long seams for four of us ; 
and the ends to catch-stitch down, and the short 
pieces to put on for the side windows by the chim 
ney. By the time Emery Ann and the raspberry- 
roll came, we had got all through, and had spread 
it out and were walking on it. 

" You might rake 'em up, all into one corner, 
they 're so natural," Mrs. Noble began over again. 
" I should n't ever have lit on it. They 'd have 
sold me some old thing in squares, or eggs, or dia 
monds. I 'm so old-fashioned looking, you see ; 
they keep things laid by for old women and out 
West. And you can't show 'em half you know, 
that is, if you 're at all polite. Paper hangings and 
carpets are the biggest trials to buy ; I 'd as lief be 
fed with a spoon." 



126 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

It was such a real, good time. It was one of 
the best birthdays I had almost ever had, this 
last of the thirties. 

It was one of the life-outings; one that might 
have been hard and regretful, but filled brimful 
of sunshiny pleasantness for me to remember it 
always by. 

I sha'n't be a bit afraid to go clear out into 
forty. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OF IT. 

MOTHER'S birthday is just a fortnight after 
mine. For a little while, so, I feel after a fash 
ion the oldest. At any rate, I am always her 
oldest child, and she is my youngest mother ; for 
the mother is as many in her family separately 
and specially to each as God is in his world. 

We are both in one month ; the beautiful Sep 
tember. My day is the very first, and hers is the 
fifteenth. I have the earliest touch of the autumn 
time upon me, and she is in the middle beauty. 

For just these two weeks, we can pretend to 
count a whole year less of difference. 

She tells me of those happy two weeks, of which 
the reminder is like a long birthday joy, reaching 
from mine to hers, and making it holy and beauti 
ful all between ; when she was not quite eighteen 
and I had come to belong to all the rest of her life, 
for always and always. I enter so into what it 
must have been for her, that it is as if I, too, had 



128 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

known motherhood. All mutual relations are like 
reflected rainbows. The first is straight from the 
sun ; but the second is over against it and like unto 
it ; and the one light is in them all. 

We almost always make some plan that links 
our birthdays together and keeps them as one. 
We take the fortnight to do something pretty and 
extra for the house, beginning on my day, and 
finishing and setting up on hers ; or we go to Dear- 
wood, or to Boston, to Eliphalet's, taking the 
pleasantness of the plan and the starting and the 
anticipation for me, and the better pleasantness 
of the home-coming for her; and lay up thirteen 
days of things to talk over all winter, between. 
Or we have somebody to stay with us, and keep 
simple festival; without their knowing why, per 
haps. 

This time our hearts were in the same thing, 
Rose Noble's little wedding havings ; we had got 
into the middle of those. I had almost made the 
child believe that she might go on with what she 
knew she could do herself, and leave the rest to 
Providence, that had begun to bring things to bear, | 
and was setting a hope for the bright October in 
both their hearts that would never be let to come 
quite to nought. 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OF IT. 129 

As for the school, Katie was to keep it up now, 
whenever she left it ; so that made no difference. 

And there was something I had got into my head 
to do, that I could do best by way of helping Rose. 

What would become of me if I had what does 
become of people, I wonder, who have thirty, 
or three hundred thousand to do with and to ac 
count for ? My outings crowd so with these three 
thousand opportunities of mine. For I mean to 
spend them every one somehow ; and put out what 
they get at interest. I shall have it all my life to 
be glad of ; and the gladness of it shall be growing 
in other lives. Bank interest is n't the only inter 
est, even in common, selfish money-using. A man 
failed and they took all his money away ; that was 
all they could find though ; he said he 'd had forty 
years of good living, and they could n't touch that. 

How can I tell that I should be here to use it as 
it came, the little income, two or three hun 
dred a year ? Or that some trouble of ours should 
not claim it or sweep it all away? Or that I 
should keep my good mind even, and do with it 
the best it could do, and not be tempted too much, 
here and there, in my own living and having ? 

Of course I could fix it somehow, to all prob 
ability ; I could endow, or bequeath ; but I believe 



130 PATIENCE STRONG' 'S OUTINGS. 

so in that other, living, interest, better than the 
dollars that grow out of dollars, and can only do 
dollars' worth as they come, after all. Nothing 
stops ; percentage is only the sign of a realer thing. 
The box of ointment might have been turned into 
three hundred pence, and doled out here and 
there ; but it was all poured on Jesus' head ; and 
the perfume of it has come down into the whole 
world, and the years of our Lord, and has filled 
this room of the Father full. 

I have got Seelie Eubb on my hands now. Of 
course. Why are we shown first one thing, and 
then another? First blue books full of money- 
orders; and then Seelie Kubbs, if we 're not to 
put this and that together ? 

Why should n't I spell after the Lord as fast as 
He puts his finger on the letters ? Dollars or 
any gifts are only illuminated initials ; the shine 
of them is only the leading to what comes next ; the 
little plain black print that joins the meaning on. 

Seelie Kubb's little pale face and tired figure 
did n't stop under the locusts, and look over into 
our side-yard that very next Monday when I was 
shaking my duster out of the parlor window, with 
out coming into my parsing and spelling. Every 
body must study their own primer. 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PAET OF IT. 131 

" Won't you come in ? " said I. " You 've had a 
long walk from the village." 

She looked surprised. She had never been into 
our house in her life. She had come by twenty 
houses that morning that she had never been into. 

The door stood open, and I went round and 
stepped out on the porch. She turned in at the 
gate, to answer me civilly within earshot. 

" I don't know, I guess not, I 'm very much 
obliged ; I was out for a little fresh air. It 's so 
different in the village, you see." 

" Come right in, and have a glass of milk, Seelie. 
That 's different in the village too." 

I brought her some morning's milk, we always 
set away one or two tumblers to cream over for 
drinking ; you get the sweet top-flavor all through, 
so, and a slice of mother's sponge cake on a 
plate. 

" Why, you 're very kind," said Seelie simply. 
"I don't know as I ought to let you take the 
trouble. How pleasant it is here ! " 

She sat by the west window, up which the creep 
ers came, and beyond which was the chestnut 
shade. It was different from Miss Widger's little 
shop, where she sat and worked at dress-making, 
and where a geranium pot and a great white cat 



132 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

with pink bows in its ears filled up the window- 
seat, and the dust of the street came drifting in. 

" If shops did n't only have to be in villages ! " 
Seelie said. 

" Yes, if work could all be done in the pleasant 
green places ! I think of that, sometimes, in the 
village and in town. How the work of the world 
overlays the world, and blots the color of it out. 
How men come with their mills and theirnBIacE^ 
smithing into the woods by the rivers, and how 
other things have to come after, till everything is 
graveled and planked and bricked and crowded 
up, and the beauty is buried, and a stone put over 
it. And yet the sweet earth with the seeds in it 
is underneath all the while, and the blue and the 
clouds are overhead, and it 's always a place that 
might be, and that there are some scraps left of, 
trees and water, and grass blades coming up be 
tween the bricks, after all." 

" If it was only the planks and the dust," said 
Seelie. " But it 's getting pretty bad lately with 
Badsham's smoke, since he set the new chimneys 
going. They come right up out of the hollow, and 
so just send that yellow choke into our windows. 
Once or twice every day, when they fire up or 
something, it 's dreadful. It 's bad for mother, 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OF IT. 133 

too, since she had the pleurisy. Oh, it 's another 
world the minute you get this side of the hill ! " 

I know how that is. I know how the woods and 
pastures meet you with their sweet breath, as you 
come down just ever so little over the crown. 

" You 're not busy now, then ? The fall work 
has n't come in much ? " 

"No. Miss Widger won't want me till about the 
twentieth. I wish she did. Then the fall hurry 
begins. I 've been out, now, since the second week 
in August. I meant to have gone down East to 
my uncle's for a vacation, but mother has n't been 
well. I wish I could get her up here. It would 
do her a sight of good to come up and breathe a 
little. But she could n't ever walk so far." 

Green pastures and still waters ! What that 
promise must be to so many ! 

I sent some sponge cake and some pears to See- 
lie's mother, and the rest of that day I thought it 
over, till it fayed in. 

" That 's off my mind ! " said mother, putting 
away the week's mending, and turning the stock 
ing-basket bottom up. 

" I don't know as there 's any particular good in 
that," said Emery Ann. "Something else '11 be 



134 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

onto it again directly. I 've spent all my life in 
getting things off my mind." 

" Well, that 's it," said I. " That 's living." 

" Seems so," said Emery Ann, and went out of 
the room. 

" Mother, I want to do something rather queer," 
I began, as soon as she had gone. " I 've been 
thinking of it these two days. It 's on my mind." 

" Well, childie ? " said mother, with faith and 
patience in her voice. 

I did n't want to try them too far. She might n't 
altogether like it, and quite reasonably. 

" Would you mind ? Would you think it very 
queer ? I 've looked at it till I can't tell. It 's as 
straight as can be in a New Testament light." 

"I hope my spectacles won't make it crooked 
then," said mother. As if she ever crooked any 
thing ! 

" It 's the Rubbs ; Seelie and her mother. You 
know Seelie, in Miss Widger's little shop ? The 
very thing that makes it queer is the New Testa 
ment part of it." 

Mother smoothed her gown over her lap, and 
said nothing ; waiting quietly for me for me to end 
my shying about, and come to the New Testament 
part of it. 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PAET OF IT. 135 

She smoothed her gown down so, when she was 
ready and attentive ; when she had put her own 
affairs out of her thought for the minute, and 
* waited to take in somebody's else ; just as she 
might lay her work out of her hands, and smooth 
her lap to take a child up, and hear what it had 
got to say. I could talk out freer when it came to 
this pleasant sign of hers. 

" I want to ask them right up here, mother, for a 
while. They 're strangers, but I 'd like to take them 
in. That 's the queerness, and the other part." 

Then I went on braver. 

"You see they're choked out with Badsham's 
smoke. And Seelie got tired with her hot-weather 
work, and never got rested ; her mother 's been 
sick. And she crawls up here for a breath of 
pasture air, and can't take it home to her mother 
in a basket. And it fits all round, as the right 
piece always does. Rose has got her dress-making 
to do, and we meant to help her along at any rate ; 
and Seelie can measure and baste her here at 
home, and save her ever so much hindrance ; and 
we can all be together, all the birthday-time, 
motherdie, in such a satisfaction ! " 

"Well, dearie, I see the New Testament part 
of it ; but where 's the queerness ? " 



136 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

And the darling little woman smoothed out her 
lap again, motherly and welcoming, and her face 
opened itself like the daylight, and I could n't 
see the queerness myself, now. It had all come 
into place, a part of the things that are ; the set 
tled things, that in a minute are no longer strange, 
hut get an old look directly, as if they had been 
from the beginning. 

I 've got to skip over this fortnight, pretty much ; 
I wish I had n't. There was ever so much in it. 
Rose's pretty work, which Seelie said was a rest 
itself, after the fineries of mill-girls and servants ; 
and the walks down the lane, and in the garden ; 
and Mrs. Rubb's talks about down East, and their 
happy days, and their troubles, and their moving, 
and how they had been " put to it " to get on here ; 
and Emery Ann's nice breakfasts, and dinners, and 
teas ; and Mrs. Rubb's noticing our old-fashioned 
backgammon table in the corner, so odd and 
so handsome, that swiveled round and opened 
over, and had the little side cribs for the men and 
boxes, and was so pretty with the inlaying of two- 
colored woods ; and mother finding out that she 
knew how, and was so fond of it, and used to play 
so much, only their board got broken first, and 
then lost in the moving ; and their games together 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OF IT. 137 

in blindman's holidays ; and everything seeming 
so natural, as if they might have been friends or 
cousins, instead of strange people out of the vil 
lage ; and Mrs. Rubb's saying that there was " one 
more beautiful place in the world, and she should n't 
ever lose it nor forget it ; " and their going home 
in Farmer Graitt's wagon, with some of Emery 
Ann's bread, and mother's cake, and a pair of 
roasted chickens, because their fire had been out 
for ten days ; and a big basket of pears, and Porter 
apples, and tomatoes, and some Hubbard squashes 
under the seat, because we had more than we 
knew what to do with ; and best of all with a color 
in Seelie's cheeks, and a look in both their faces 
as if it was glad and worth while again to be alive. 

This was the between-time ; but I had something 
kept back still, for the real birthday, when mother 
was her dear, bright fifty-seven. 

I took her to walk in the warm sunset, we 
were having beautiful days, and great, ripe harvest 
moons, and we went away through the cedar 
woods till we came out on the Edge Rock, where 
our land ended, and a piece came in cornerwise, up 
out of the hollow ; a beautiful little piece, three 
acres and a half or so, of oak and maple woodland, 
opening out on the other side upon the little 



138 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

twist of cross-road, and squaring so with our own 
boundaries further up. 

Mother never cares to own things just for 
owning ; but sometime or other the old home-place 
would be Eliphalet's ; and men like things square 
and shipshape ; she knew he 'd think of it by and 
by, and she 'd often been half a mind to speak 
about it; but she'd rather buy it herself, if it 
should ever come convenient ; and I know she 
would like to call it hers a little while, too, for she 
always loved this rock, and the beautiful, billowy 
outlook over the trees, and she had memories with 
it. 

Now this land was Rose Noble's ; a part of 
what her father left her, separate from the old 
farm which was sold out in the early days of their 
trouble, and nobody had wanted it enough to give 
a good value for it, or it would probably have gone 
after the rest long ago ; so they had sold some 
wood, and paid the taxes, and Rose laughed about 
her " real estate." 

The other day, I bought it of her in mother's 
name, giving her four hundred and twenty-five 
dollars. And to-night I had the deed in my 
pocket ; and while we stood there on the Edge 
Rock, and the maples were splendid in the sun- 



INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT PAET OF IT. 139 

shafts that shot through their bosoms and showed 
the first gleams of their ripening glory, while 
everything was at its prettiest, and mother was say 
ing, as she always did when she stood here, that 
there was n't another spot on the whole farm like 
it, I put the paper in her hand, and told her 
that the Little Red Wood-lot was her birthday 
gift. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 

I 'M sure I did n't begin to know what I was un 
dertaking when I set out to write down about the 
Outings. 

Why, there is no end to them ! They are the 
forever-beginnings. The very flow of the river of 
water of life, that cometh out of the Throne. To 
say all about them would be to make a Bible, or a 
world. Even all of them that there is in the very 
quietest life ; for each touches and takes fast hold 
of the whole. Besides the think-outings, and the 
do-outings, and the give-outings, which are life 
and love, and some simple shape of which we every 
one must discover in ourselves, there are the 
come-outings, and the find-outings, and the grow- 
outings, and the turn-outings, which are the 
wonderful gift and dealing and disclosure and pro 
vidence of God, in and for and about us. It was 
for Life the Lord bade us " Watch ! " Not for 
death and doom. It is to Life we are blind and 



GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 141 

unconscious; not knowing what hour He doth 
come. 

It Was a little thing, to tell of after words like 
these, that made me think of this so, just now. 

It was a finding-out of myself. I have painted 
a little picture. 

I did n't know as I could. I learned something 
about it years ago, at school, as all the girls did ; 
just as I learned a little music, and left off practi 
cing gradually, after cares came and kept me busy, 
and the old piano gave out, and everybody's else 
had an octave and a half more, and the new, beau 
tiful music was all written for the grand instru 
ments. Besides which, after Aunt Judith came 
she could n't bear the noise. 

I think I always noticed lines and shades, and 
had an eye for what was true and in symmetry. 
And somehow it must have been " mulling " quietly 
in me, as a lesson does, learned over night and 
slept upon ; gathering to itself little hints here 
and there, unconsciously ; training and unfolding a 
possibility that sometime should come to the light 
suddenly. I suppose I never darned a stocking, or 
shaped the curves of a dress, or looped up a win 
dow-curtain, or, more than all, set delicate flower- 
stems in branching harmony, and made their bright 



142 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

tints lie against each other in the accord of color, 
so as to spell the meaning meant, without this art- 
instinct which is the translation of heavenly lan 
guage, catching insensibly and laying up some new 
and beautiful phrase. 

I suppose that eye and touch and feeling are all 
educated, by the commonest, teasing little every 
day things ; the trying to fit things and lay them 
straight ; the making of beds ; the setting of tables. 

I suppose an orderly room, when we make the 
order, and have to study how, teaches a lesson in 
grouping and perspective, and Heaven only knows 
what more. That one cannot trim a bonnet with 
out learning truths of lines and contrasts ; that do 
ing any one thing well even setting stitches and 
plaiting frills puts a key into one's hand to the 
opening of some other quite different secret ; and 
that we can never know what may be to come out 
of the meanest drudgery. 

The Lord hides away the seeds of wonderful, 
joyful life in us ; and we sleep and wake, night 
and day ; and they spring up and grow, we know 
not how. 

At any rate, something put it into my head all 
at once that I should like to try to make the beauti 
ful lines and touches that I studied every day in a 



INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 143 

certain little copy of Ellenreider's lovely cherub- 
picture of the " Gloria in Excelsis." Gertrude 
lent it to me when she went away, to hang in my 
room ; and I have looked at it, and into it, ever 
since, until it has seemed to grow into my mind 
and apprehension, and become a real possession ; as 
if I could put my finger right upon it anywhere, 
on any secret of its beauty. 

So now that I was rich, and could afford to try 
experiments, I went one day and bought paints 
and brushes, and a little square of canvas which I 
brought home and set up on a shelf, and looked at, 
wondering if there would ever be anything on it ; 
if the little face and wings would really grow there 
upon the blank priming ; and the beautiful mean 
ing shine out at me. 

And, without my knowing how, or whether I 
could ever do it again, it has ; and I have got the 
" Gloria in Excelsis " for my very own. 

I have a feeling that I could do other things in 
the same way ; that everything is linked together ; 
that music and sculpture would come ; and that it 
is not so bad a matter, after all, that we seem to 
get a glimpse of the many things, and scarcely to 
achieve the one, in these short lives of ours ; since 
that in the little we are so surely laying hold of the 



144 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

much ; and that, in our few and tiny steps upon 
the earth, we do draw the great globe itself toward 
us, with all its wealths, in every footfall. 

We know not, verily, that which is laid up for 
us. There are such beautiful things put by. In 
God's house, and in God's time, there are such 
treasures. It comes true so, what I wished once 
when I was a little girl, and mother gave me some 
things out of an old trunk I watched her looking 
over. " If I could only have great boxes full of 
things saved up to pick out from always ! " 

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a house 
holder. 

/ It has made me very glad, with a new and 
large forth-looking and expectance, just the 
painting of this little picture. 

I have got a little easel now, in my window, and 
mother sits by, knitting, while I paint. I am do 
ing autumn leaves, to burn upon the walls inside 
when the outside blaze is over. I have got the gold- 
brown of the hickory, and the deep bronze of the 
ash, and the amber and flame of the maple, and 
the shining crimson of the oak ; and I am grouping 
them together, and unraveling their marvelous 
interweavings of glorious color, and matching and 
mocking them with umber and carmine, and sienna 



INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 145 

and vermilion ; and finding one speech in the 
dead minerals and in the living leaves. 

Mother is so pleased. 

But her pleasure gets a meaning in it, now and 
then, that makes it seem a sadness to me. 

I catch her thought so quickly ; before she has 
fairly got it herself, she says sometimes. We do 
understand each other almost too well. 

It is in her face, " Yes ; one thing more, to fill 
up life^and to satisfy ; if the lonely days should 
come." 

Against this look, I thrust, the other day, a sud 
den word of blank diversion. 

" Motherdie ! What is, mostly, in Aunt 
Hetty Maria's dark closet, I wonder ? " 

I had been promising myself a talk about this, a 
long while. 

" John Halliday." 

I had been forgetting John Halliday these ten 
years. I never knew him much. He was ten 
years younger than I, and he came to Dearwood 
when he was seven or eight years old, and I was 
out of my childhood then, and had left off making 
the long play-visits in which I should have come to 
know and care about him. Our busy and troubled 
days at home with Aunt Judith and father 



146 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

began not very long after that, and I only heard a 
little bit here and there of what went on between 
Jack, as she called him, and my Aunt Hetty 
Maria. 

He was away at school some years, and then at 
college ; and then I know he went to Germany, 
to study professionally, they said ; and that he dis 
appointed her and worried her somehow ; and she 
was pretty strict with him, even in her way of 
doing everything for him ; at any rate that they 
did n't get on together, and that she stopped him 
short at last, suddenly, and called him home ; but 
that he went away somewhere again, soon after, 
and had never come back to her ; and that there 
had been a cloud, as it were, behind her, in the 
lengthening years, which she was afraid to turn 
and look back at. Without really knowing any 
thing, or ever before asking a word, I had felt this 
about Aunt Hetty Maria ; so that I understood 
what she meant when she said, that day, " I tell 
you, for I know ; " and I was not a bit surprised 
at mother's answer of the simple name : 

"JohnHalliday." 

" What did Jack do, exactly, mother? " 

" Well, it was n't so much, perhaps, what he did 
do, as what he didn't; and your Aunt Hetty 



INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 147 

Maria Well, she 's as good a woman, you know, 
as ever grew, except, indeed, it may be the mis 
sionaries, but there, some people have n't any 
whiskers, and it 's no use." 

" Whiskers ! mother ! " 

" Yes ; I 've thought a good many times that 
half the troubles in the world came of that. 
There 's two kinds, you see, besides the cats' ; 
outside and inside ones, and if people don't have 
them, why, they 're forever knocking their elbows, 
and breaking the noses off their pitchers, and tear 
ing their sleeves on door-latches, and undertaking 
things generally that they can't get through with. 
Your Aunt Hetty Maria was always rather apt to 
try to get through holes and put other people 
through that she had n't measured. 

" Jack came there when his mother died, Mr. 
Parmenter's only, dear sister ; and Aunt Hetty 
Maria never had a boy, and he grew up to be just 
like their own ; but she was always strict in her 
ways, and more than all if people only knew it 
upon herself. She never would half 'let on,' 
as Emery Ann says, what she cared for anybody. 
And then little Mabel died, and Jack was all ; and 
then she held him tighter than ever, in a queer 
way. She did everything, and let him have every- 



148 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

thing, really, only somehow she took the clear 
comfort out of it, she was so afraid of his being 
spoiled. She gave him a good piece of cloth, and 
a long thread ; only she put a pin to it instead of a 
needle, for fear he should make a botch. She sent 
him to school, and through college, and out to 
Europe ; and he did pull the pin-head through, 
and made a pretty big hole in the cloth ; he got 
into a way of having, and expecting, and spend 
ing, more and more ; and she looking forward, all 
the same, to his coming back and earning his liv 
ing, and putting a man's shoulder to the world's 
wheel. Especially after the hard times of '57 
came, and so much of her money went in the great 
Life and Trust Company smash. Then she had to 
draw in ; and she expected him to, right off ; and 
then it came out that he wanted ever so much more 
to pay up with abroad. And then, at last, he got 
back ; and things did n't open right out for him, 
and he was there at home. Idle, she thought, and 
not in enough hurry to bestir himself ; and though 
she would n't but have done for him, she was too 
high-spirited for him to like his willingness ; so 
she had plain words with him, at last ; nobody 
knew what ; but there was more working in him of 
independence, may be, than showed, or than could 



INTO GOD'S TREASURE-BOX. 149 

well stand being doubted ; and he spoke back, 
and took himself off; and she's never seen him 
from that day to this. Once in a while there has 
come a letter from somewhere, just to let her know 
that he was alive, and not bearing any ill-will ; 
but no accounts of what he was doing, or word of 
coming home ; only that in the last of the war he 
was a surgeon in the army under Sherman ; she 
heard from him at Chattanooga, and he came round 
in the Grand March to Savannah ; that was the 
last she knew of him ; and she 's proud of him, 
and worried out of her life about him, and turning 
her back all the time on something she can't bear 
to look at or make up her conscience about, in her 
dealing with him ; and she 's grown an old woman, 
and her hair and her teeth have all gone, in these 
ten years." 

" Where was he before he went into the war ? " 
"There never came two letters from the same 
place. I suppose that was a-purpose." 



CHAPTER XV. 

INTO THE FAIRY STORY. 

"DON'T talk to me," mumbled Aunt Hetty 
Maria, "when I can't tell which is teeth, and 
which is bread-and-butter ! " 

Aunt Hetty Maria had come down again for a 
fortnight. To go to the dentist's, this time. I went 
with her, and it was pretty funny. 

"I 've come for the permanent set," said my 

aunt to Dr. T , whom she had not seen for 

three years, when she took ether and pulled his 
hair. " I never wore the temporary ones. They 
were too temper-y. I lost all my patience with 
'em. They kept me thinking of the ' wailing and 
gnashing,' and so of all my sins. But I 've made 
up my mind to learn how, now." 

When we asked her what for, she would n't tell. 
She was queer all through that visit. When we 
reminded her of what she said when she threw Dr. 

T 's first work across the room, and " took to 

her gums again," she only answered, "Well, 1 



INTO THE FAIRY STORY. 151 

could n't use 'em, it was only looks ; and who 
cared then ? " 

When we asked her what had made the differ 
ence and changed her mind, and who cared now, 
the teeth and the bread-and-butter were in the way. 

When we saw that she wanted to get off, of 
course we didn't ask her any more. But some 
thing had evidently made a change in Aunt Hetty 
Maria, in more than this one thing. Every once 
in a while she would break out with singing to her 
self some line of the old song, " There 's nae luck 
about the house," " There 's nae luck at a'." She 
could n't remember all the words ; but the music 
ran in her head, she said, and so she filled it out 
between the teeth with any sort of syllables. 

" Te i de urn te diddle um 

Te diddle cluni te dair ; 

His very step has music in 't, 

As he comes up the stair ! 

" De do de rol de diddle ol 

De do de rol de dore ; 
Give me my cloak, I '11 du de dol, 
I '11 see him come ashore ! " 

She kept practicing what she called her " wailing 
and gnashing," with crackers and apples, and bits 
of this and that, between her visits to the dentist's 



152 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

and his little filings and fittings, till we thought she 
would ruin her appetite and digestion by the time 
she got the full use of her teeth ; but she was in 
such a hurry ; she " would n't go blundering back 
to Dearwood not knowing what order of natural 
history she belonged to, or whether her bones 
were outside or in. Here, there was nobody to 
notice ; but there, there was never any knowing 
who might come." 

She had one little double tooth on each side left 
out ; she did n't care ; her own were so for five and 
twenty years while the six in front were good ; and 
she wanted to look natural. And the left large 
incisor must lap over its mate ; her old ones did. 

Something came out in Aunt Hetty Maria's 
face, with her new teeth, which had never been so 
plain there before. It was a sweetness and open 
ness ; the curve of her lips lost something that had 
grown set and hard in it. 

I have noticed in people who have had this aid 
and replenishment of art, that almost always some 
expression comes to light, suiting so curiously with 
all the other features that it is like a revelation. 
I know one woman who looks sly ; and a man 
whose jaws, filled out with their new furnishing, 
gleam cruel, like a tiger's. I can think of others 



INTO THE FAIEY STORY, 153 

who have had disfigurement and disguise replaced 
with what seems more truly to belong to them, 
and to have been intended from the first ; faces 
that look more gentle, generous, or delicate. And 
I do not believe, somehow, that anything can come 
out of us, by any accident, but what is in. 

When Aunt Hetty Maria was packing her trunk 
to go away, she spoke out ; her mouth was made 
up to it by that time. 

" I 've had a letter from Jack Halliday." 

We might have known it was coming, even 
before Aunt Hetty Maria, and the teeth, and the 
singing. Why else did we get talking of it, that 
day, just a little while ago, mother and I ? 
Things in this world always come marked with a 
" to be continued." They never rise up suddenly 
and go right down again into their graves, like the 
South American mummies they tell of in the earth 
quake. And if they did do it, I don't believe it 
would be the last of them. 

" * When the chestnuts are ripe in the old woods, 
and the new cider is making,' I expect some 
to hear from him again." 

We knew that first part was in quotation marks. 
She said it as we say words that have been laid by 
in our hearts. 



154 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

" And then you have got to come up to Dear- 
wood." 

" Why, it will be almost right away, auntie." 

" Yes ; almost right away." It sounded like 
music and dancing, the tone she spoke it in. 
Like the music and dancing the oldest son heard 
in the parable. 

" Now, where is my second-best cap-box ? Pa 
tience, won't you just see whether Emery Ann has 
done pressing out that piece of bobbinet ? And 
give her this yard of wide black silk for an apron, 
and these two pocket-handkerchiefs." 

And this was the last she would say to us then 
about John Halliday. 

It was two weeks later when we got word and 
went up. 

The old house was all open and sunny. Aunt 
Hetty Maria had delicate little lavender ribbons in 
her breakfast caps, and white satin ones for dinner 
and evening. She had left off the old black lace 
and purple, except when she was dusting or cook 
ing. She looked as I remembered her fifteen years 
before. 

It all went right through me, that morning when 
he came. Just as if I had been John, and Aunt 
Hetty Maria, and myself, all at the same identical 



INTO THE FAIEY STORY. 155 

time, and as if I had two or three different memo 
ries, and two or three different ten years were be 
hind me. We can't help giving and taking. We 
can't shut ourselves up in our own separate years 
if we try. Then, indeed, there really would be 
only the threescore and ten, after all ; and God 
\never thought of stinting us so. He need not 
have made so great a world and filled it so full, if 
nobody was to get more out of it than that. 

All John's pride and resolve, and Aunt Hetty 
Maria's secret tenderness and patience and pain ; 
the work, and success, and the waiting ; the mis 
takes and the mercy; the long silences and the 
shield that had been over them ; the good end and 
the gladness ; I entered into them all. They had 
been gathering and going on in ten years that were 
also of my life. 

" I never meant to come back till I could pay 
it," he told Aunt Hetty Maria. " It was money- 
pay and money-pride at first; but it changed to 
something different as the time went on. The 
thing you really cared for ; I found that out ; the 
proof that the money's worth was in me. I was 
only afraid of the Boston papers. That some 
day I might see your name, and know it was too 
late." 



156 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

" But what about your name, Jack ? Did you 
think I would n't look for that ? " 

" My name has been in the papers, now and 
then, I guess. Most men's have, of late years. 
But I <iut the head and tail off, and threw them in 
the fire, in the first place ; as the White Cat did in 
the fairy story, when she wanted to be turned into 
something better," Jack answered lightly. 

When he said that, I jumped right off my chair. 
As true as I live, it never came into my head 
before. I had n't remembered it for years and 
years ; but now it flashed across me, the boy's 
long name as I had heard it sometime when he 
first came to Uncle Parmenter's. 

John Robert Haile Halliday. 

" What 's that for, Patience ? " said John, as I 
sat down again. 

" I don't think it was a good plan. Or a right 
plan," said I, catching my breath from my surprise, 
and speaking quite decided and resentful. " What 
if it did n't turn out so wonderfully much better, 
after all, and the head and tail had to be raked 
out of the ashes and tacked on again ? Or if some 
people somebody had come to like the middle 
part best ? As they couhl n't ever, perhaps, like 
the rest of it, or any name, again? I think it was 
too bad upon them ! " 



INTO THE FAIRY STOET. 157 

John came right over to me where I sat, and 
deliberately pinched me. So that nobody else 
could see, however. 

" Patience Strong ! You 're rather confused in 
your analogy, but you know a good deal too 
much ! " he whispered. 

Everybody knew it pretty soon, though. It was 
a turn-outing ; such as they pretend to keep for 
stories ; but such as happens every day in the life 
that stories are made up out of. And I had been 
in every bit of it ; first one part and then another. 
Whose story was it, I should like to know, more 
than mine ; or half so much, seeing that they 
could n't possibly be on both sides of themselves ! 

It was a little hard for Aunt Hetty Maria at the 
very first, to be sure ; just as if she had only got 
him back to give him right away again ; but almost 
before she knew it, she was taking Rose straight 
into her heart and home, planning which rooms 
would do for her, and thinking whether she had 
better put up red curtains or white ones in the 
long chamber ; and that " it would have to be be 
fore the dreary weather came, she could n't bear 
to think of a wedding in November. Mightn't 
we make it out for the thirtieth ? There was some 
thing so glad about October ; the very sound of it 



158 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

was yellow and bright, like fruits and sunshine and 
tingling juices and clear, frosty air." 

All this, taking it for granted that Dearwood 
should be their first home ; that she had a right to 
them both. All talked over, again and again, 

while Dr. John was down at M making 

" head and tail " of it as best he could with the 
Nobles. And then he brought Rose up for a three 
days' visit to his mother ; and she, in her own dear 
little way, settled everything as she chose. 

" Let us come back and build our own nest, with 
you to help us, please," she said to Aunt Hetty 
Maria, when Jack was out of the room. " Don't 
you tire yourself all out alone, and take away all 
the good of it. You see we should have nothing 
to do but to sit right down in a finished place, and 
that's always disappointing. People that do the 
making ready, put thoughts and thoughts into it, 
one after another, with every little fixing and 
touching ; and then, just in a minute, the folks that 
come are shown in, and it 's all over. Let 's have 
the thoughts and the comfort together, please." 

And so it was the nicest nest-building that ever 
was. We were all there, and there was plenty of 
room for us all, beside the long chamber and the 
" little bay," that we were fixing up. 



INTO THE FAIRY STORY. 159 

And they had been married a fortnight, and 
Rose coiild speak her mind, and say how she wanted 
things ; and John Halliday's books and pictures, 
and Rose's piano and plants and wedding presents 
had all come ; and we were nailing, and hanging, 
and consulting, and placing ; and nobody did any 
thing that all the rest did n't stand round and ad 
mire. And Hannah Ferson Aunt Hetty Maria's 
Hannah whenever she came to look, said it was 
" so pleasant and folksy ! " And Aunt Hetty 
Maria herself was everywhere ; and everybody was 
calling her from everywhere else, to ask her this 
or show her that. 

" Auntie ! " 

" Mother ! " 

" Hetty Maria ! " 

" Mis' Parmenter ! " 

came from upstairs, downstairs, and the lady's 
chamber. 

" Here I am, all four of me ! " she would call 
back. And in a minute, all four of her would be 
there. 

" She was just the spryest ! " old Mrs. Whitgift 
said, making the little entry carpet, and being 
stepped over twenty times a day. 

" Nobody gave me a silver pitchfork, after all," 



160 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

said Rose Halliday, up at the top of a flight of 
steps, hanging a basket, and looking for scissors to 
cut the cord. 

Jack made a stride across the room to where 
they lay, and a long arm up to her to give them. 

" And I don't know that I really see the need," 
she added, " if this is to last." 

I guess it will last, all the help and comfort 
John Halliday can give her, to the end of his 
life. 

I have had the beauty of it, I who never was 
married, or like to be ; and it makes my heart 
warm. 

And mother and I are going home again, now. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

WITH THE SUNDAY STRAYS. 

IT is strange how one little glimpse, one little 
taste, of another person's living or gladness, - 
stays by you, and opens the door toward all the j 
rest. 

Every morning, now, when the northwest air is 
crisp with mountain frosts, and the smell of ripe 
ness comes with every stir, and the sun-glory is 
keen in the clean-swept atmosphere, and the crown 
of the year's joy lies upon the earth, I think, the 
first thing, of the pleasantness up there at Dear- 
wood ; of the new, bright home there ; or, rather, of 
the fresh, beautiful soul in the old. Of John and 
Rose standing always on the morning-threshold, 
looking into the years together, as we look into the 
hours when the day is prime ; of the cosy break 
fast, and the after-breakfast settling ; of Rose with 
her work-basket in her window among her plants ; 
of Doctor Halliday reading ; of Aunt Hetty Maria 
looking in every little while, as she goes up and 



162 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

down, upon this new acquisition of hers of young, 
beautiful life ; continually wanting fresh little 
views of it, as we do of pretty and comfortable 
things we have just got and brought home. 

When the night draws in, and the fire is cheerful, 
and the winter-lamp is lighted that has been set by 
through the warm, twilighted evenings, and all 
the comfort that has ever been in one's life, or that 
one has read of, seems to wrap itself around 
one in a delicious fullness, then again I think 
of Dearwood, and of all the long, happy winter 
that is before them there ; before them to whom 
a single hour together was but a little while ago 
so much. Of the pretty worsted work Rose meant 
to do, that she never had had time for in her 
busy, careful life at home ; of Aunt Hetty Maria 
knitting, and John drawing, or wood-turning, 
for he does all sorts of charming, ingenious things, 
and of all the pleasant choice of thought, and 
talk, and occupation, which that free time gives 
when there are no old things to mend, no hurry of 
providing, no anxious complications to unravel, 
such as come with the living on, but all is new 
and plentiful, and smooth with the smoothness of 
that which is unbegun. 

I Why, it is beautiful just to know of it! And 



WITH THE SUNDAY STRAYS. 163 

they, after all, can't more than know of it them 
selves. Possession is only intimacy of knowledge. 
The good and the beauty of it is the fact in God's 
worldT I thmirthat is the blessedness that foretells 
itself in the "knowing as we are known." Then 
everybody's joy will be fully ours. Then they 
shall sit down by fifties and by hundreds, and one 
bread shall be given to all ; and of the fragments 
that remain shall be taken up baskets and bas 
kets full; and worlds, perhaps, shall be fed with 
the crumbs that fall from the Master's table. 

But the worst of it is that, if I don't look out, I 
sha'n't do my own living. That is the reason why 
we may, now, see only in part. It is so easy to 
abide in that love which is only loving imagina 
tion ; the love of act may be waiting, meanwhile, 
in our own unlived days. 

My days ought to be very full this winter ; so 
much crowds upon me to do and to care for. 

Now that I have found out I can paint, I 
think of so many people who can't buy pictures 
that T might make them for. I gave Mrs. Shreve 
a maple branch crossed by a stem of sumach. 
She hung it over her mantel, and said it was as 
good as a fire. I must do something for Seelie 
Rubb. And I want to copy the Mater Admira- 



164 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

bills, with the lily and the distaff, for my dear 
little mother, at Christmas time. 

Besides that, the new horse-railroad is opened at 
last, as far as Hibben's Lane. Only five minutes' 
walk from our door. Why, we are almost city 
people ! But mother and I don't go in much. At 
first I thought we should n't be much concerned. 
I did n't worry about the Sunday people, and 
the fruit-trees, and the gardens, as some of the 
neighbors did. In fact, I have had so many other 
things to take up my mind that I really thought 
very little about it, until all at once, when we got 
home from Dearwood, we found that the cars were 
to run, and that we were to be Metropolitans the 
very next Monday. Things always do get finished 
up, or broken off, or changed somehow, while 
you 're gone. 

It has come to me since the force of it 
talking with Seelie Rubb. She was here one day 
last week, to cut my new brown empress cloth. 
It 's just more outings ; these very Sunday out 
ings. 

" I 'm so glad," Seelie said, " of these new horse- 
cars. Susan came out last Sunday, with her hus 
band and two of her children, to drink tea. The 
other two are coming next time. Why, it seemed 



WITH THE SUNDAY STB AYS. 165 

almost like Thanksgiving. Mother said she didn't 
know as she should ever have used her best cups 
and saucers again, they 'd been put away so long. 
They 're real, beautiful china, Miss Patience ; and 
the plates ; there 's only seven left of them, but 
they 've each got a separate figure. There 's cur 
rants on' one, and strawberries on another, and 
cherries, and plums, and peaches, and grapes, and 
a cut pomegranate ; and with every fruit there 's 
a little blossom of its own dropped on one side. 
Mother says it always makes her feel like people 
again to set them out." 

Seelie set up the shoulder-puff of my sleeve half 
an inch higher, as she spoke, giving an air, I 
suppose, more " like people " to my plain, winter 
dress, than it might have had but for the little 
accompanying puff and set-up of her spirits, as 
she told about the plates. 

"That isn't too high, is it?" I asked, a little 
anxiously. 

" Oh, dear, no, miss ; the higher and squarer 
the better, now. Why, they actually put little 
crutches under their shoulders, somehow, they say, 
to raise them up. And what with the buckram 
fronts, and the panniers behind, and other things 
that they just whisper about, why, besides need- 



166 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

ing to be a qualified architect and engineer before 
you can be a real dress-maker, I ain't truly sure, 
sometimes, that it is n't a downright wickedness 
altogether ! " 

" People talk," said I, " about Boston not being 
finished. I wonder if the women ever will be. 
They 've been added on to and taken off rom, and 
lengthened out and cut short, and humped up and 
flattened down, and I don't know how many differ 
ent things, since I can remember. I wonder if 
they'll ever find out what is just right and pret 
tiest, and stop there and be comfortable." 

"No, indeed" said Seelie Rubb, with a simple 
little consternation in her voice at such a foolish 
looking for. 

" Do you know, Seelie," I said soberly, " that 
when I hear these things, I feel as if I saw the 
* abomination of desolation standing in the holy 
place ' ? And I can seem to understand the ' woe ' 
to those who shall be mothers ' in those days ! ' ! 

" It is pretty bad, Miss Patience," little Seelie 
repeated, shaking her head. " And it does make 
me feel wicked, learning to make a trade of it. 
Why, it is n't hardly much better, seems to me, 
some of it, than selling liquor to the men ! " 

" Only you work for the plain people, Seelie ; it 



WITH THE SUNDAY STRAYS. 167 

does n't touch your conscience quite so closely. 
And you don't contrive the fashions, you know, to 
lead the silly women captive." 

" Why, Miss Patience, there are n't any plain 
people ! The delaines and the alpacas have to be 
humped up and flounced out, just as much as the 
silks and the poplins. And there's just where the 
wickedness comes in or out, at least. It is n't 
so much for the rich women, who only drive to the 
dress-maker's, and give their orders ; but I know 
lots of mothers and girls who have to spend all 
their time and their brains on the home-made 
things, and more money, besides, than they 've any 
business to. A merino gown, or a poplin-alpaca, 
is n't much ; but by the time you 've got the but 
tons, and the ribbons, and the braid, and the hair 
cloth, and have spent a week putting it together, it 
gives you a feeling in the pit of your stomach as if 
you 'd got a broken commandment there." 

" But about your sister, and the horse-railroad. 
How nice it is this coming out to Sunday home- 
teas for the city people ! " 

" Why, you don't know ! " said Seelie. " I go 
down to church in the car, sometimes, now, it 's 
such a long walk ; and the fathers and mothers, 
and little children that get in and out, with their 



168 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

hands full and hearts full of the country, just this 
once a week, it 's beautiful ! It makes me think 
of the Lord walking in the corn-fields. And it 's 
true for more than the walking, too, I 'm afraid. 
I guess the poor things are pretty well a-hungered, 
some of them, before they get back. They don't 
all have home-teas to come to." 

" They ought to, Seelie, somehow ! " 
That was my first thought about it ; and it 
stayed by, although I had to turn it over awhile 
before I could quite see the New Testament part 
without the queerness. 

I dont want to be crazy-queer, about anything ; 
and I know it 's no use to expect to provide for all 
the Sunday strays, and that it would n't always do 
if you could ; but then to think of the young 
fathers and mothers, week- workers, bringing 
out the little children into the blessed country on 
the day of the Son of Man, and going back, any of 
them, worn and hungry ! He always had compas 
sion on the multitudes, and cared lest, possibly, 
there might any faint by the way. If we could get 
out of this world into the nearest edge of the 
heavenly places, once in a while, would the angels 
shut their doors, I wonder? Would n't they 
rather take us in and feed us with the bread of the 



WITH THE SUNDAY STEAYS. 169 

kingdom ? I think we should look for them to do 
so, and that our idea of the heaven we may go into 
by and by is, first of all, of somebody coming to 
meet us. 

I thought and thought, till I felt there was 
surely something, in the way of a loaf, for me to 
do. And that was the beginning. 

Mother and I talked it over. And so, Saturday, 
we baked a basket of crisp gingerbread and fried a 
panful of doughnuts, and Sunday morning we set 
out a pitcher of milk from the milking. And then 
we were all ready ; if the little children did come 
along. 

Then, being all ready, I began to be afraid 
they would n't come, our way. So, about three 
o'clock, I said to mother : 

" Motherdie ! I believe I '11 put on my hat and 
shawl, and walk down toward the head of the lane, 
and see what I can see." 

And mother laid her spectacles down on the win 
dow-sill, and smoothed out her lap, saying : 

" So I would. They might turn off the other 
road, by the brook ; and that would be a pity, see 
ing the doughnuts and the gingerbread are up 
here ; besides the lane, that of course they would n't 
know of." 



170 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGjS. 

We had really begun to expect sofiie special 
" they." 

It was a lovely late autumn day. It seemed as 
if the sun had done his summer work and the 
spare fragments of his glory were flung down upon 
us for pure joy. As if human creatures might 
have them all, now that the grain was ripe and the 
grass gone, and the fruit mellow. It was like 
" after the party." 

I met them just there, by the brook ; or rather I 
saw them coming, and managed that they should 
overtake me with my face toward home, as I stood 
and picked some bits of bright leaves out of the 
hedge. 

They came up chattering, the little ones. I 
had been puzzling what I could say if they did n't 
take our road ; indeed, what I could exactly say 
if they did. But you always see as you come to it. 

" Let 's go this way," says the biggest girl. 
" Down here where this pretty water goes." 

" No," says the boy sturdily. " I don't care for 
the water. I saw a squirrel up here on the wall. 
I want to see where he goes to." 

" It 's quieter this way," suggests the man. 

" And sunnier this," replies the woman. 

" Well, mother, what do you say ? Say quick ! " 



" WITH THE SUNDAY STB AYS. 171 

These last were evidently words of habit with 
the husband, spoken always in that smiling way 
and cheery tone, meaning : 

" All you have to do is to settle your own wish. 
My way 's yours. And I 'm not in the least bit of 
a hurry. So say quick I " 

I took it to myself ; feeling in such a hurry lest 
they should choose the other road. 

So I " said quick " just what came into my 
head. 

"If you want to take the children a pleasant 
walk, ma'am, I can show you a beautiful green 
lane up here a little way that leads down into the 
woods." 

" Oh, thank you ! Come, James, we '11 go this 
way, if this lady is so kind." 

So we walked on together, and mother, looking 
out of her window, saw me coming up, just as if 
I had been to meet Eliphalet's folks down at the 
cars. I almost caught myself calling up to her, 
" Yes, they 've come ! " They were so exactly the 
very people we had been looking for. 

Of course I did n't suppose they were hungry 
yet, and I could n't do everything all at once. I 
showed them down the green lane, and left them 
to find their own way and their own happiness by 



172 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

themselves ; only I did just bethink myself to turn 
back and say to the elder girl, lest they should 
happen to get out by the turnpike, and so 
round : 

" Come back this way, dear, and stop a minute, 
and I will give you some flowers." 

So we were sure of our company now, mother 
and I ; and we went and sugared a plate of dough 
nuts, and had mugs handy for the children ; and 
then I sat down again and went on reading to her 
out of the " Schonberg-Cotta Family." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 

So that began it. And now, as I said, I have 
plenty to plan and to do. Because, although the 
pleasant autumn weather is soon over, and the 
winter-time is no time for Sunday-outings, yet I 
know how it will be when the spring comes ; and 
how Fast Day, and May Day, and every day that 
they can get, will be bringing them, those that I 
have got acquainted with (and it is wonderful how 
one gets on in any particular world of people when 
one once begins with one or two), and many more. 

And they shall all be welcome. We shall have 
to bake bigger baskets of gingerbread, and fry 
huger pans of doughnuts, and keep out whole 
bowls of milk ; but there shall not one of them go 
by our door wishful or weary. 

And it gives the chance for other things. One 
doing lights the way to the next. All the little 
paths and aisles toward the light of the Great Love 
open into each other. 



174 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

There are books and pictures and things to 
look at, for the fathers and mothers, and the little 
children. Books to lend, too ; they like so to take 
something home. So I have got plain-bound 
copies, and copies second-hand, nicely covered, 
quite a bookshelf full, of pleasant, useful reading, 
on purpose; and it is nice to have plenty of 
money to do this with so comfortably. I buy 
cheaply, and make the most ; for I like to keep the 
feeling of being rich behind my doing, as long as 
I can. Some things must cost ; the stereoscopic 
views, for instance. I have two glasses, and a 
great many pictures ; I can never have too many 
of these. Why, when they get out here, these 
friends of mine, which is as far as they will ever 
get, most of them, in point of fact, I can take 
them right on into all the beautiful unknown places 
of the wide world. Into the Alp-heights, and the 
Yosemite ; to Niagara and Trenton and Mount 
Washington ; up the Saguenay and the Missis 
sippi ; among the Dalles of the St. Croix and to the 
falls of the Minnehaha. These are the people that 
ought to go in this way. What a shame it would 
be to keep such wonderful glimpses in rich parlors 
and libraries only ; for people who can go far and 
wide, if they choose, among the realities ! 



INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 175 

Of them all, that which gives most awe and 
pleasure is the moon-picture. The great telescopic 
moon, hanging in black space, with its jagged 
mountains catching the beams of the eternal sun, 
and flinging down the self-same actual points of 
light that have so rested there, on the little card 
held up to it for its portrait two hundred and forty 
thousand miles away. 

The great Nothing that it is in ! The upholding 
of its separate round mass ! The present hand of 
God, more truly recognized because no hold is 
seen ! Foundationless ! If the old Eastern tradi 
tion had any truth, if the earth were a flat plain 
and seemed to rest on anything ; if its great pillars 
stood upon an elephant, and the elephant upon a 
tortoise, and the tortoise on something untraceable 
in depth, but not beyond conception, where 
would be our thought of the environing spirit? 
This wonderful, awful floating of everything, from 
the sun-globes to the meanest atoms, this utter 
separateness, it is by this we get an inmost 
notion of that rest, that reliance, that nearness, 
that strength, in which we lie ! 

It comes into their faces, every one, more or 
less dimly or consciously, as they look at this 
moon-picture. I need not say a syllable, I know. 



176 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS. 

It will tell it to them for itself. The word it 
speaks will bury itself in their souls; a seed to 
grow up into the grandest, holiest knowledge. It 
is something to minister such sacraments as these. 

" It is all very well," Emery Ann says, " with 
the decent mechanic people. But how will you do 
when the ragged boys and the coarse men get wind 
of it and come along ? " 

" I suppose I shall think when the time comes," 
I answered. " And if they are too coarse, I dare 
say nothing will drive them away sooner than 
politeness." 

" There 's something in that," said Emery Ann. 
" My sister Loviny used to tell her little boy, 
' Don't come into the parlor unless you can be 
polite.' So one day he stood in the doorway when 
she had company. ' Why don't you come in, Ho 
ratio, and take off your cap ? ' says Loviny. ' I 
don't feel as if I wanted to be polite,' says he, and 
cleared. It don't alwers take a perleece officer to 
keep folks out from where they ain't fit, not 
even, forzino, out of heaven." 

Mother says she 's " proper glad " we thought of 
it. Dear mother! What shall we do when the 
quaint old people are all gone, and the quaint old 
words are all used up ? They are a part of speech 



INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 177 

by themselves ; not common, not ill-bred, nor any 
thing like modern slang ; but full of pure meaning 
and time-flavor. The old Puritans sent them down 
to us, many of them ; this, certainly. They were 
so self-contained ; and words were so chastened in 
their using. Nobody was ever extravagantly glad ; 
nothing was ever excessively pleasant ; only " pro 
perly " so. Yet the sober word meant all that they 
could say, as much as our words do ; and the mean 
ing grew more and more, as they crowded all their 
feeling into it, until the very term of moderation 
and restraint came to have a most lip-smacking 
sound of the superlative. 

Sometimes I think I get more out of other people 
than is fair ; I have grown so into the way of put 
ting myself in their places, and feeling just how 
things must seem to them. It is almost like read 
ing their letters, or listening at their doors. I 
wonder if it 's old maids' way ; and if that is how 
we get such a character; because we must needs 
borrow so much ? I wonder if it is the essence of 
prying and gossiping? 

I think the difference must be in the point of 
view. If you stand outside, and peer and pick and 
criticise, if you look for what had better not be, 
then I 'm sure choking in the sea is n't a bit too 



178 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

bad for such a haunting and possessing ; but if you 
go right down into their hearts, and feel their joys 
and troubles with them, I think that is even 
what our Lord himself did, and how he helped 
them, and "bore" their sorrows and iniquities, and 
gave them of his peace. 

I try to have it so. For my imagination what 
ever that is, and I think it is the power that goes 
out of us into spiritual places, gathering realities 
will reach forth and lay hold of what is not, alto 
gether, my very own. 

I go here and there, in this fashion. To Dear- 
wood, as I was saying ; and lately, very much, just 
in this way, to Mrs. Shreve's. 

She has had a piece of good fortune. She has 
had some money left her. Money that she never 
expected or heard of. " Things are never done 
happening, in this world," Emery Ann says. 
*' Everything can wait, but chickens and children." 

Late in life, after many pinches and worries, it 
has come to her. Not an enormous fortune ; but 
that large " enough " to her quiet wants, that sets 
her heart at rest. 

And it is so pleasant to feel how it is with her. 
And she shows it so simply. Not by any airs or 
pretenses, no, indeed ! Only by breathing free ; 



INTO OTHEB PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 179 

as if some band were loosened that had drawn tight 
around her life. 

She makes half-a-dozen new night-gowns ; " in 
case of sickness," she says, " it is good to have a 
store," and I know, with the high price of cot 
ton, she did not have more than two new ones to 
gether, for many a year ; and she sends by me to 
buy Coventry ruffling, by the piece, for the necks 
and bands. She gets nice, new napkins, I 
marked them for her with an old English S in in 
delible ink, and she hires a woman by the day 
to help her girl with the washing, or when there is 
extra scrubbing to do. She has let Dick go to a 
tailor, and the world is thereby a shade brighter all 
over to the boy. She has a fire and a large lamp 
in the best room, of evenings, when he comes home ; 
and when mother and I go over, neighboring, the 
whole house looks as if it were always so, and could 
be as well as not. Nothing is very strange or new ; 
only safe and sure and hearty. When a thing 
breaks, she says, " Never mind ! " not keeping the 
" mind " all to herself, with a pain, like a secret re 
turning echo. I think she can't help a sort of satis 
faction, now and again, in a little loss or a giving 
out ; knowing that the replacing is no longer a tak 
ing from one thing to make good another. 



180 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

The way it happened was this. 

I know that if I were putting together a story, 
for the sake of the story, which I never meant 
to do, and never could have done in all my life, 
the way it happened ought to have come first ; in 
deed everything ought to have come first, except 
the very thing that I was driving at. Not by any 
means with A, B, and C regularity either ; I know 
better than that, too ; you must " say it, skipping 
about ; " I have not read the new style of novel and 
magazine writing unobservantly. You must dip 
first into a little bit of the end ; then plunge into 
the middle, talking about people and places and 
things, as if everybody had been regularly intro 
duced, and then gradually, by little dashes and 
allusions, catchings up and hitchings on, get the 
antecedents and the connections together, with the 
help of the clever reader, and nobody else has 
any business with modern literature, in a manner 
equally creditable to his sagacity and your own in 
genuity. . 

But as I am not writing a story, only putting 
down things and thoughts as they come to me, in a 
very plain, small, everyday living, I put down 
first what interests me most, dear Mrs. Shreve's 
long breath. 



INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 181 

The way it happened, then, was this : 

I was looking out of my window one day when I 
saw a very queer little man getting out of a very 
queer little chaise, at Mrs. Shreve's door. 

The man was short and thin ; the chaise was tall 
and thin ; and the horse was a roan, chunky and 
low ; so low that he made me think of a little 
spotted dog, trained to run between the wheels, 
and that the real horse must be somewhere, invis 
ibly, beyond, or round the corner. 

The man had wiry little legs, and a round ball 
of a head, and he wore the roundest of brown felt 
hats ; and his thick, short sack-coat, also brown, 
set out round his body so as to complete another 
ridiculous notion that came into my head, that he 
was like an unfinished piece of knitting-work ; the 
needles stuck into the ball at one end, and the piece 
of web rounding out between. And his name was 
according to my fancy, and bore it out curiously, as 
I learned afterwards. It was Mr. Knott Webber, 
the keen little Boston lawyer. A certain client of 
his Aaron Eachfield had just died. 

Some years ago, this Aaron Eachfield, a master 
mechanic, came into his office, for the first time, in 
company with Richard Shreve, whose widow, as 
he said at this point of the interview which Mrs. 



182 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

Shreve mostly repeated to me, word for word, here 
and there, from time to time afterward, quite in 
the approved constructive style I was just speaking 
of, and which I, with the due cleverness, patched 
and pieced together, till I have got the whole in 
cident very clearly and prettily in my head, 
whose widow, he said, he believed he had now the 
pleasure of addressing. 

Mr. Shreve had been in a large way of business, 
and had gone into many building speculations. 
These it was that ruined him, as to money's worth, 
finally; but meanwhile, he had put work and 
money in others' way, and had built up many a 
modest little fortune, although failing, at last, of 
his own. I believe there are books somewhere, on 
which there will be found records that make him a 
heavy stockholder in a kind of Mutual Company 
whose dividends pay largest and best after all 
earthly accounts are closed. 

" I 've brought you a man, Mr. Webber," said 
Mr. Shreve to his lawyer, " who wants somebody 
to draw up his will. My friend, Mr. Aaron Each- 
field ; my friend, Mr. Knott Webber. And now, 
as I have an important appointment in a quarter 
of an hour, I '11 leave you to get better acquainted 
without me." 



INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 183 

And that was the last Richard Shreve ever knew 
of the business. 

Aaron Eachfield turned round to the lawyer. 

" Yes, sir. I 've laid up a snug little property, 
of some thirty thousand dollars. And that man, 
sir, who 's just gone out, is the man that put me in 
the way of it. I may say it 's his gift. For a gift 
comes down, sir, through many hands ; and in 
every one it 's as real a giving as though God 
Almighty were n't at one end, and a fellow's own 
hard work at the other. But that 's taking up 
your time ; I beg your pardon. What I want is a 
will, right and tight ; disposing of this said thirty 
thousand dollars in two equal halves. One to my 
wife, Rebecca Eachfield, and I 'm sorry to say I 
have n't seen her for as many years as I 've given 
her thousands, and them more, I 'm afraid, than '11 
do her any real good. Then, provided I leave no 
child or child's child, and the only one there is 
is n't likely to marry or to outlive me, poor thing, 
the other half to Richard Shreve, Esquire, or his 
widow, or his oldest child, whichever stands to rep 
resent him, if so be, after I 'm gone. And that 
being the whole of it, I don't know as I need to 
bother you much longer now. When it's done, 
I '11 come and sign." 



184 PATIENCE STRONG- 1 S OUTINGS. 

And the little lawyer having unraveled himself 
of this, held out his hand, and shook Mrs. Shreve's 
warmly, and told her he was glad in his soul to 
have to come and tell her of it. 

" For Aaron Eachfield was a grand good fellow ; 
and Richard Shreve, well, you know, ma'am, 
what he was ; and it 's good money that comes 
through such men's fingers ; and I wish you well 
of it ; well of it, ma'am ; in my soul I do ! " 

After that, I saw the rest of it ; the little knit 
ting-work man sticking his brown ball (apparently) 
on its pins again, and rolling himself up as if he 
had done his stent for that time, and getting into 
his tall chaise again, and rattling away with the 
little roan horse trotting underneath. 

And so that night, happening in, I saw that Mrs. 
Shreve was rather nervous ; and lighting her lamp, 
and putting the globe on, she let it slip, and broke 
it into fifty pieces against the stove-foot ; upon 
which, while I picked up the scraps of glass, she 
sat down and burst out crying. 

I knew she couldn't well spare the dollar it 
would take to buy another ; but I was afraid, for 
her giving way like this, which was n't usual to 
her, that the knitting-work man must have brought 
some botch or other to worry her ; and I began to 



INTO OTHEE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS. 185 

be quite angry with him in my heart, and to feel 
as if I should like to pull out all his stitches. 

And then, when she got over it a little, she told 
me not to mind ; what made her cry was, that it 
was no kind of matter ; that she could get as many 
lampshades as she liked ; and that nobody had ever 
had such a husband ; and that it would be an ache 
in her heart all her life that she 'd never seen 
Aaron Eachfield, to tell him what she thought of 
him, and to say God bless him ! 

And if that was n't beginning in the right mod 
ern style to tell a story, I should like to know what 
would have been ! 

So first and last, between us, it 's all the same. 
If any one likes it better so, they can begin at this 
end and read it again, backward. Anyhow, there 's 
a new chamber firelighted and warm in my heart ; 
a new place to go into and be glad in ; every time 
I think of Mrs. Shreve and her lampshades, and 
her bonnets, and her table-cloths, and her night 
gowns, and all the little things that used to fret 
and trouble her, and that now she can be so easy 
about. 

And, as Emery Ann says, We can all wait 
our turn ; things are never done happening ; every 
body can be patient but children and chickens. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

INTO THE MIDNIGHT. 

WEEKS ago, I wrote those last words. 

How can I bear to put it down here, that 
which came after? 

The pleasant heart-chambers are all shut up. 

God has called me out into the darkness. I 
grope and grope, reaching after my life that is 
taken away from me, and set so far onward. 

I know that it is the evening and the morning 
that are the day ; I know the morning is beyond ; 
I but the midnight is heavy upon me. 

O mother ! my dear, dear little mother I 



CHAPTER XIX. 

INTO THE DAY-GLEAM. 

HER empty chair is before my eyes. 

The little stand is there, and the work-basket ; 
and her spectacles are lying on the window-ledge. 

Nobody touches them but me, and I place them 
every morning as she did. I do not let the dust 
'lie on them, but I will never put them away. 

Yet it is not the chair, nor any place that held her. 

When she was there, to my sight, it was not all 
of her. It was only the sign of her. Her real 
presence was in all the room, in all the house. 
In all the world, lighting it up for me. 

Is it different now because the sign is set else- 

I L. 1 

where in another chamber, higher up ? When I , ^ 

was down stairs and she above, the house was no 
less full of her. When I went miles away my life 
was no less full of her. 

I am coming to think of it so. I am coming, 
through days and nights of pain, to the beginning 
of the sun-break. Not out into darkness, but out 



188 PATIENCE STEON&S OUTINGS. 

into the breadth and glory of the many mansions, 
has the Good Father called my soul. 

When I think how it has been between us, 
how the blue of the morning, and the sweetness of 
the summer, and the little pleasantness of home, 
and the thought that from anywhere came to touch 
us both, were the things that held us really close, 
and that our hearts met in, I know that the 
bodily presence was not much, was not our liv 
ing. And that our real life can not be broken. 

I set her place straight, and put the little things 
about, there in the window, and make up the dear 
look of the pleasant day we are to have together ; 
and the same love is in it that was in it then ; and 
so the soul is in it ; and so the pleasant day must 
be, and is. 

Does not she know ? How did she know it then? 

It was not in the table, nor the chair, nor the 
book, nor the basket ; only that our thought met 
in these, in that which was within them, rather, 
and behind the signs. 

It is only that, that she has gone behind the 
signs. 

Into the very peace of the blue morning, into 
the very rest of the tender twilight, into the very 
joy of the new-springing thought that wants and 



INTO THE DAT-GLEAM. 189 

waits not words; into the continual promise and 
forelooking of the pleasant day that is always just 
begun. 

When these things touch me, through the types, 
she is in them with me, without the types. Just 
as she was before. She has entered the within. 
The within that is also the beyond, and the un 
bound. 

Out, into the wider life, into the spiritual 
places. Is this whither He would lead me now, 
by her dear drawing and guidance ? Then ought 
I to be glad ; gladder than in any other leading He 
has ever given. 

Only, the pain and the strain ! The reaching 
forth one's hands, with the clog of the flesh upon 
them, to lay hold of things in that world the 
things of which may neither be touched nor han 
dled ! 

This blind walking in the midst of glory ! I 

~ / 

know that it is here, and close ; and to her it is 
manifest. But I am as the beggar crying by the 
wayside, among the crowds that looked upon the 
face of the Lord, feeling only that he is here, and 
that the great multitude is about him, crying 
only, " Have mercy on me, that I may receive my 
sight ! " 



190 PATIENCE STRON&S OUTINGS. 

Yet, when my heart is warm, I know, as the 
blind know, that I am in the sunshine that I can 
not see. 

I had a dream of her. 

It seemed to me that I had work in my hand ; 
large work, sewing ; and that I went down the 
garden with it alone. I came to a wall a wall 
freshly built, - that stopped me. I wondered, 
and then I remembered. " The sepulchre ! In 
my garden, also, there is a new tomb, now ! " 

When, behold, in the seeming sepulchre, a door ; 
which, when I opened, showed me a fair room, 
full of sunshine ; and in the sunshine, as if 
she were the heart of it, she sat. And she had 
work in her hand, like mine ; only it was finished. 
And she spoke in the dear old tone, and the light 
was all around her, and in her look. 

" Childie ! Come to sit and work with me ? 
That is good. Sit here, where it is warm and 
pleasant ; sew your seam, while I pick out the bast 
ing-threads from this of mine." 

And I never felt her company so dear and sweet, 
in all my waking life, as I felt it in that moment 
of my dream. 

Words woke me, that were spoken in the spirit. 
" I am the Door ; by Me ye shall go in and out." 



INTO THE DAY-GLEAM. 191 

And the rest of it came after; the word of my 
vision. 

Motherdie ! I will bring my work in my hand, 
and sit with you in the sunshine. I will patiently 
sew my seam of life that is not yet ended, while 
you draw out the earth-threads from your beautiful 
finished garment. And all the same, our labor is 
one, as it was before. 

I am glad you can draw out the threads, mother- 
die ! the threads of the seam that I have still to do ; 
and I am glad, and I know, that you still work on 
somehow beside me. I am glad of the sunny man 
sion, and of the door that opens easily and gently 
inward. Close by, out of the garden, out of 
the nearest pleasantness of visible things. 

Everybody thought, at first, that I would go 
away from here. Why, where should I go? If 
this were lonely, what would the wide world be, 
where she never was ? And if this were her home, 
where her spirit clung so long, where else should I 
find the sweet haunting of her life and love, that 
are the only presence, let the body be laid down as 
it may? 

No ; I shall stay here. If I went away, I must 
needs come back, haunting, too. And I feel as if 
I should meet, in the spirit, a tender reproach, a 



192 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

sigh of " How could you ? " through the dear, old, 
forsaken rooms. 

At first I was afraid that I should not have 
Emery Ann. She, too, had made up her mind 
for me, that I must needs go ; and her brother had 
written to her, again and again, from away down 
East, at Skowhegan, that he wanted her there to 
keep his house. 

So there came to be so much said and thought 
about it before she realized that I would still cer 
tainly want her here, that it divided her mind. She 
felt, she said, " as if she had actually moved, and 
the thing was now to come back again." I wanted 
her to take her free choice, and I told her to think 
it over as long as she liked. 

" That means, keep moving. Why, I shall be 
all wore out, going back and forrard in my mind ; 
and good for nothing for either of you by then I 
stop. I tell you, Miss Patience, you don't know 
what an awful waggle a settled kind of a mind gets 
into, when once it is upsot ! " 

So poor Emery Ann lay awake nights, and came 
down with her eyes all dropped in, in the morning, 
and brought in breakfast like an Affery Flintwinch 
in a dream. 

She looked sometimes as if she wanted me to 



INTO THE DAY-GLEAM. 193 

question her, to get a decision out of her that she 
was quite beyond producing for herself^ 

" Well? " said I, one morning,. more as an answer 
to her own eyes than as an inquiry. 

" Well," she replied ; as if the forced decision 
were coming, and glad too, and then suddenly 
caught herself back into the debatable ground 
again. She set down the tray, and lifted up her 
hand, moving her thumb to and fro, as the children 
do in the game of " Simon." 

" Well, ma'am, Simon says Wigwag ! " 

And every morning after that, for about a week, 
she would set down the tray without a word, and 
lift up her hand, and make the sign. 

But at last she came in with a brighter face than 
she had worn since since the change and shadow 
fell ; and when she had emptied her hands of their 
burden, she made a great sweep in the air and 
brought her right thumb downward upon the table, 
planting it there as if she stamped some solemn 
and irrevocable seal. 

" Simon says DOWN, ma'am ! " 

And I believe it is down, now, for as long as we 
both shall live. 

I asked her how it had come about. 

" Well, ma'am, I 've been tossed by the winds, 




194 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

and in jeopardy. But the Lord has kept me in 
one mind now, for I just left it all to him when 
I found I could n't stay there a minute myself, 
for twenty-four hours together ; and so he 's brought 
me to land. I can tell a sign when it does come, 
besides its being a thankful deliverance." 

I believe nothing lifts us so far forward as pain 
and hardness. 

I do not think, as I sometimes have thought and 
been afraid, that they, in the heaven-peace and free 
dom, will go on so fast beyond us as to go away. 
I think that we who stay and bear are climbing by 
rough, grand steps to as beautiful a height. And 
that they must see it so ; as we see hard lives and 
great anguishes here, and behold them with a rever 
ence. 

I believe the earth life is grand ; almost grander 
than the first heaven of rest it reaches to. I think 
the Father's angels must have looked with a more 
worshiping awe on the Son of Man in the glory 

of his suffering than in the glory of his power, 
e & j r 

It can only be that it is one same world, where 
one same work of love and faith is done under dif 
ferent conditions. And I can think, somehow, of 
how it may be, and of things it is like. 

The man, for instance, grapples numbers in his 



INTO THE DAY-GLEAM. 195 

brain, and sum and relation are beautiful abstract 
truths ; abstract, but real ; the more real ; and he 
feels that he gets hold of them somehow. The 
little child slides colored balls on wires, and cannot 
go beyond his sight. Yet they are both reaching ] 
into the same realm, and touch, mentally, the same 
things. 

We work in the spiritual relations by signs. 
The angels work in the inner things themselves. 
And these inner things are not in one corner of the 
universe and their signs in another. I believe it is 
one great Here. 

I think of it when I walk in the streets of the 
wonderful, busy city. I think of what is there be 
side the stones and the buildings. Of what they 
stanTTTor, or else they could not stand at all ; of [c, *-. 
the real grandness and strength ; of the thought- 
work and living energies, and of the needs and 
loves out of which these things grow ; and I think 
that behind the things which we " behold," and of 
which, some day, perhaps, " there shall not be one 
stone left upon another," there is something im 
mortal which shall not pass away ; some word of 
God ; and that, in the midst, the spirits of God 
are walking with us even now. 

Of God, or of evil ; for the kingdoms may be 




196 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

growing together, their very stones interlocked 
and cemented ; yet in the unseen, knowing each 
other not. Divided by the great gulf which is not 
depth or distance, only utter unrelation ; as there 
are powers and properties in nature that coexist, 
yet never touch or recognize or invade each other, 
because they have no common end or tending. 

I think of it in the simplest things of every day 
and of our doing; as our tastes develop and our 
life expresses itself ; as we make about us the look 
that we love best ; that we are building, so, the 
very home in the heavens, that is now, and shall be. 

Perhaps I cannot so much as put a flower in a 
vase, or hang a picture on the wall, or make any 
thing sweet and clean and let the sunshine in upon 
it, without putting what the flower and the picture 
and the sun-lighted purity mean into the unseen 
mansion that is here, and is waiting. 

It always seems as if one did more than the 
mere thing. If I move about a little furniture, 
and make some room that I had not before, the 
range and spaciousness are not just exactly the feet 
that I have gained, but a grand, indefinite open 
ing. It is an idea of latitude that is as good to 
me, and signifies as much, as any breadth of empti 
ness that could be built around with walls. 



INTO THE DAY-GLEAM. 197 

Children see this poetry of things, which is 
their spirit, always. The high, broad steps or 
stairs they always like to play on are more to them 
than a mere way of getting up. The little cricket 
in the corner, the nice corner itself, the seat in the 
apple-tree, these things to the child have life and 
importance, because the child does "always be 
hold " the inward of things. Growing older, we 
forget ; or greater things displace these little ones ; 
we can sit anywhere ; yet we do like our corner 
still. Enough lingers with us to keep the soul of 
the home-idea ; and we go on gathering round it 
the body which fits and sets forth the spirit. We 
are " building better than we know." 

I think, I am sure, motherdie ! that we 
have built together. That you are in it with me, 
still ; the home that this is the sign and the out- 
showing of ; the home that is not " very far off." 



CHAPTER XX. 

INTO THE MORNING. 

THE sunshine among my flowers, to-day, made 
me so glad ! It came in among them from away 
through the far heaven, and touched every little 
stem and leaf with a thread, a pulse, of the glory 
that is also at the same moment, unbroken, in the 
deep heart of the Sun ! 

It tells so much. Everything is such a showing. 
When we begin to look at it so, all life is such a 
divine parable. And the things of this world are 
what we cannot possibly stop in; but ways out; 
every way, into the everlasting life. 

Ways out! That was what I began, in my 
simpleness, to write about, not knowing how far it 
would take me, or how much I was meaning in the 
little things that I was trying to say. 

I found out what my "outings" were, that 
reached, by insight, or imagination, or sympathy, or 
little doings of some sort of kindness, into life and 
range beyond my own little quietness and abiding. 



INTO THE MORNING. 199 

I found so many doors stood open ; that that 
which seemed the very stop and closure was only a 
gate that swung on easy, delicate hinges, to let me 
through into a wider place. 

But I hardly knew how it was all one, the 
nearest and the farthest. I hardly thought what 
narrowing of loss and pain it would be that should 
come and shut me in for a season, only to broaden 
out as it is broadening into glimpses of that 
life our living all takes hold of,_and all our loving^ 
is projected into; of that kingdom, the gates of 



which are never shut at all by day ; and, as to the 
night-time, there is no night there ! 

This is the beautiful Easter-time. 

Yesterday there were flowers in the church ; 
sweet spring flowers, white and tender, like new 
born hopes, and bright, fresh, living green. 

To-day, motherdie, there are flowers in your win 
dow, Easter flowers ; white and purple crocuses 
and snowdrops. You love the crocus, mother! 
You used to say it was " such a comforting little 
flower ; it came before you expected it." So I put 
them there to-day ; and the comfort looks out at 
me from their delicate faces. 

The house is pleasant, mother ! 



200 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

The winter is gone; and in the winter-time I 
found new ways of making pleasantness, for you 
and me ! For you are in it all, and it is for your 
sake. I learn so the deep sweetness Christ meant 
for us, when he bade us do for his sake ! 

We are not lonely here. You never were lonely ; 
and I would not let any dreariness come down 
about your home. 

When Emery Ann made up her mind her 
good, kind, faithful mind to stay by me, by 
us, mother! she had a hard indecision to win 
through. 

"For you see," she said, "the main thing is, 
that now Matilda is going to be married, ma was 
talkin' some of breakin' up and going to Penuel's 
to live. And she and little Rhodory would kind o' 
want somebody along with 'em this winter, because 
Penuel thinks of going in." 

" In ? Where ? " I asked her. 

" Camp. Lumbering. They would n't hear from 
him, may be, for six months ; and then, there 'd be 
no tellin' what first. It 's a precious anxious time 
in the spring, you may believe, amongst the lumber 
men's folks, up and down the Kennebec. When 
the river comes tearin' and ragin' by their doors 
and windows, day long and night long, straight 



INTO THE MORNING. 201 

from where the boys are, as if it did bring news ; 
and they can think of nothing else. When they 
know the big rafts are making, and the log-drivin' 
beginnm', and the freshets, and the jams ; and 
them that comes home safe '11 be most sure to bring 
some news of trouble for somebody, out of the six 
months' winter, and the silence, and the danger. 
I did think I 'd ought to be with her." 

It was the same love, motherdie ! Yours and 
mine. What could I say, then? 

I feel so tender for everybody's mother now ; 
and for all women who are beginning to grow old. 

That is what mother, and daughter, and sister 
hood, and all, are given for. Little bits of what 
holds all together. The heart-work and the heart- 
life of the world. So that all motherliness is our 
mother's, and all child's love and brother's love, or 
even what might be, is ours. As it was His who 
said, " Of these who do the Father's will, each is 
mina, in every tie ; each is my brother, and sister, 
and mother." 

I saw it the other day I wanted to come home 
and tell you in a plain, common man ; this beau 
tiful recognition ; and it warmed my heart for 
many days. 

I was coming out in the car. The conductor 



202 PATIENCE STBONG'S OUTINGS. 

was a young, bluff, fresh-faced fellow ; and among 
the passengers was a tidy, comfortable old Scotch 
woman. She " wanted to stop at Mrs. M'H- 
very's ; a little, low, brown house with a lattice 
work porch way, and steps through it up to the door. 
Did he know ? Just past Grover's Corner." 

" All right, mother ! " says the young conductor. 
That touched me to begin with, and made me 
watch. 

By and by, the woman and I, and a little boy 
who jumped on to the platform, and called the con 
ductor " George," with a great air of pride in the 
familiarity, were the only people left. And then 
it came out that she had but ten cents' change to 
pay her fare, which should be twelve. 

" I 've got," she said, looking in the young man's 
honest blue eyes, and putting her hand toward the 
bosom of her gown, " a bill ; it 's twenty dollars ; 
but I took ten cents for my fare, for that was all 
Susannah said it would be." 

"Never mind, mother," says George again. 
" All right." And took the ten cents. 

" I believe," says the Scotchwoman, " you must 
be from the old country yourself." 

" No, I 'm a Yankee. We ain't all lean kine, 
mother ! " 



INTO THE MORNING. 208 

" What did you call her 'mother ' for, George ? " 
whispered the boy, as his friend in authority pulled 
the strap, and chivalrously helped the old lady 
down before the latticed porchway, and then 
sprang on again while the car started. " She is n't 
your mother." 

"She's somebody's mother," said George. 
" And I 'm somebody's son. It 's all the same. 
The world 's all fathers and mothers and chil 
dren. Don't you see ? " 

It was beautiful that he saw ; and it did me days' 
good ; and in my heart I turn with it to you, as I 
do with everything. 

So I said to Emery Ann, " Why not ask the 
mother here to spend the winter with you ? She 
and Rhodory can have the little kitchen bedroom, 
and you can come upstairs." 

I felt as if I could do for you, dear, if I only 
did for " somebody's mother." 

And old Mrs. Breckenshaw and the little girl 
are here ; and the house has been pleasant all 
winter with what ought to be in a home. It has 
been motherly and daughterly, here, again, for 
your sake. 

Is that taken from the Lord hi anything ? 



204 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

When their sakes are his sake, and all the 
mothers and sisters are his ? 

See how I write to you, and tell and ask, as if, 
somehow, the very words were to go ! 

My " outings " are all toward you. 

Why not ? I think that all providings for this 
life show the providings for the unseen. Did men 
piece out God's work with their cunning device of 
letters and messengers, inventing something new 
under the sun, the pattern of which was not in all 
the heavens ? Or did He put it carefully among 
the possibilities and intents and the things to be, 
as He did the oak-seed and the mustard-seed ? 

I was thinking of it so the other day, when word 
had just come again from Eliphalet and Gertrude. 
Of the wonderful thing it is that there should have 
been a thought and a way put by, against the need 
of far-separated people to communicate and under 
stand upon the earth ; of the strange, possible signs 
that men were sure to find and put together as they 
were to speak ; of the great system that grows out 
of them ; of how the whole world is busy sending, 
carrying, and receiving, and the very air is alive 
with the rush of its written messages, to and fro. 

How it was truly meant and a part of God's 
plan and supplement for us ; as truly so, as that we 



INTO THE MOBNING. 205 

should walk about or speak to each other. And 
everything being but a showing and a parable, it 
came to me so surely that He will take care of 
our hearts, and of the spiritual distances ; and by 
his dear providing messages do go to and fro ; that 
the heavenly air is full of loving and helpful and 
remembering words; and that each soul may get 
some and may senJ]jome_eyery day^ " That 
which is spoken in the ear in closets is heard upon 
the housetops." Out of God's mails no letter is 
lost. 

That is what I think about what they call " spir 
itualism " in these days. That it only cumbers 
itself. That the thought is so real and so sure, 
that each soul has its own so certain and direct com 
muning, that this dealing in signs and second 
hand is as if, in a land and a time when everybody 
knows or may know how to write his own letters, 
the public scriveners should set up their stands, as 
they did in the old, untaught places and genera 
tions. I am afraid men may ask for signs and 
cling to them, and be satisfied ; not seeing the mir 
acle ; not perceiving the inner splendor, the real 
spirit-working ; the kingdom of God coming nigh, 
and already at the doors. 

I wish I could put into words some inward per- 



206 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

ception of this life in which we live. This that we 
do touch, and breathe, and see ; only as with our 
souls. But they are the " things in heaven above " 
that we may make no graven image of. They are 
only spiritually discerned. 

I find a word in the New Testament, a word, 
indeed, of the New Testament, has found me, 
newly, a word burning with its own light, and 
shedding its blaze over all the gospel, from every 
sentence in which it is put. A word, the letter of 
which is radiantly one with its spirit ; and taken 
simply in its letter translates to as perfect an image 
as things can give, the deep, unspeakable truth. 

The word is " glory." 

A shining Presence. 

A lightening forth of that which is always here, 
the " coming " of which is as the flash " from the 
one part to the other part under heaven." The 
electric fact abides ; so does the spiritual. It en 
velops us always. When the fine, subtle condi 
tions are met, then, all at once, heaven and earth 
are full of its brightness. The beginning of mira 
cles done in Cana of Galilee " manifested it forth ; " 
and every act and word of the Son of Man reveals 
it, to that appearing of Him which is and shall be 
** in the glory of the Father and with his angels." 



INTO THE MORNING. 207 

" Said I not," he asks, " if ye would believe, ye 
should see the glory of God?" Not sign, or 
wonder, or stroke of power; but disclosing ; out 
shining of that which filleth and worketh in all ; 
the living nearness ; the heaven in which, and not 
up to it from afar, we pray as he has taught us. 

That is what " glory " says to me all through 
the holy pages ; that is the key it is for me to the 
great invisible ; making it shine out of darkness 
with every word of truth and every teaching of 
life ; from the prayer that, holding not a word too 
much or unavailing, begins with no mere ceremony 
of address, but with a sentence put into our lips to 
make us feel all heaven about us, and ourselves 
face to face with the Father in his holy place, be 
seeching for his kingdoms of outer and inmost to 
be both made one, to the hope of the city that 
shall have no need of the sun, because the glory of 
God shall lighten it. 

The Easter flowers are in the window ; and the 
Easter joy is in my heart. 

II shall not always be blind ; I feel what touches 
me. 

Even the Son of Man, who came down from 
heaven and who was in heaven, bore also the condi 
tions of the flesh. Even after his resurrection he 



208 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGS. 

had not fully " ascended." He touched that realm 
as we touch it ; it was close and warm about him ; 
he knew that at any moment he might ask of the 
Father and have twelve legions of angels ; yet only 
now and then they " appeared " out of the glory, 
strengthening him visibly ; or " out of the excel 
lent glory " came the loving, audible voice of God. 

Can we not wait as he waited ? 

Oh, I believe that there is no away; that no 
love, no life, goes ever from us ; it goes as He 
went, that it may come again, deeper and closer 
and surer ; and be with us always, even to the end 
of the world. 

" Out of the body, to God." That shall be the 
last outgoing ; the everlasting entering in. 

That is what we wait for, the adoption ; the 
redemption of our body ; the full manifestation of 
the sons of God. 

That is what shall certainly come in my turn, 
even to me also : the outgoing of the morning ; 
the instant flowering of this life into the larger; 
the new birthday ; and as we found each other 
here, when this life was to be for us, so surely your 



face waiting for me there, 



Motherdie I 



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