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HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
ffitoetfibe $ restf , Cambribge
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.
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.
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
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
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,
4 PATIENCE STEONG'S OUTINGS.
" Pashie, you ought to go too. You don't get
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 can't help lotting on it all the time," she
says, out of her window, over her lapful of night
" 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
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
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
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
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
"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-
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-
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
" Without the Word was nothing made that is
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
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
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
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 !
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
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
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
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
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
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
" 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
" 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
Emery Ann always rubs everything down.
" Hum ! " she said again. " Like as not. That
accounts for all sorts of flightiness."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
" One less little life in the world," said I hyper-
" 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,
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
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.
But then, " forzino," again. How far do we
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
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
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
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
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
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
I said something of this to Emery Ann. Not as
I have said it here, but just in the way of common
"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
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
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
things go on; but in their stead one universal,
melancholy fadge and wrinkle, from sixteen to
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
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
forth, well, we lose our peaches and our golden
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
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
Jesus hung between the malefactors.
They " knew not what they did ; " God knew,
and meant it so.
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
" 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
And so I went and got the packet, which I had
fairly forgotten since I had been able to be about
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 "
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,
" 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.
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
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
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
"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
" 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
" 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
" 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
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
" 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.
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
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
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
" 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I sha'n't be a bit afraid to go clear out into
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
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
" 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 ! "
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
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
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
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
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
/ 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
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
" 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
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 :
" 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
" Where was he before he went into the war ? "
"There never came two letters from the same
place. I suppose that was a-purpose."
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-
" 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
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
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
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
" Here I am, all four of me ! " she would call
back. And in a minute, all four of her would be
" 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
I have had the beauty of it, I who never was
married, or like to be ; and it makes my heart
And mother and I are going home again, now.
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
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
" 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
" 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
" 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
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
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
170 PATIENCE STRONG'S OUTINGjS.
We had really begun to expect sofiie special
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
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
"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
" 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
" 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."
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
" 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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."
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
"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,
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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,
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