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Full text of "Recollections of my mother, Mrs. Anne Jean Lyman, of Northampton; being a picture of domestic and social life in New England in the first half of the nineteenth century;"




RECOLLECTIONS 
OF MY MOTHER 




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RECOLLECTIONS OF MY 
MOTHER 

Mrs. Anne Jean Lyman 

of northampton 

being a picture of domestic and 
social life in new england in 
the first half of the nine- 
teenth century 

BY 

SUSAN I. LESLEY 

" If thine eye be single, thy lubolc body shall be full of light'''' 
11 Bear ye one another'' s burdens, and so fulfil the laiv of Christ " 







BOSTON AND NF.W YORK 
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

(CI)C luiKt'sitic press, CambriDjje 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 



The memoir, of which this volume is a reprint (with the 
omission of some letters and the addition of a few anec- 
dotes and two or three letters not printed before), was 
originally written for the private use of my nieces and my 
daughters, and was dedicated to them. This alone justi- 
fied the occasional address to " my dear girls," which I 
have not left out of this volume, as I found that one 
change would necessitate others. 

One hundred copies were printed in 1876, and Rev. Dr. 
Edward E. Hale, who was a frequent guest in the old 
Northampton home, wrote : " It seems to me that such 
a sketch or view of the social life of New England should 
not be permitted to drift out of sight. This generation 
has a sort of right to know how it came into being ; 
what it was born from, and who trained it. . . . If it were 
printed only for those who shared your father's and 
mother's hospitality for fifty years, that would be a large 
constituency." In accordance with my friend's suggestion 
two editions of the book have been issued as "printed, 
not published," Rev. James Freeman Clarke kindly fur- 
nishing the Introduction which is here reproduced. It is 
now for the first time published. 

The photogravure portrait of my mother which forms 
the frontispiece of this edition is from a crayon (after an 
old daguerreotype) by Mr. D. O. Kimberly, and gives 
a true impression of her personality and presence. It is 



2 INTRODUCTION 

repeating the touching lines of Goethe, in his Introduc- 
tion to Faust : — 

" Again, fair images, ye hover near, 

As erst ye rose to meet the mourner's eye, 

And may I hope that ye will linger here? 
Will my heart beat, as in the days gone by ? 

Ye throng upon my view, divinely clear, 
Like sunbeams vanquishing a cloudy sky. 

Beneath your solemn march my spirit burns ; 

Magic is breathing, youth with joy returns. 

" What forms rise beautiful of happy years ? 

What happy shadows flit before me fast ? 
Like an old song, still ringing in the ears, 

Come the warm loves and friendships of the past. 
Renewed each sorrow, and each joy appears, 

Which marked Life's changing, labyrinthine waste, 
And those return, who passed in youth away, 
Cheated, alas ! of half Life's little day." 

The town of Northampton, where Judge Lyman and 
his wife spent so many years, was in those days a speci- 
men of the best kind of New England villages. Not so 
large but that all its inhabitants might know each other, 
it was one of those genuine democracies which fulfil in 
reality the motto which is often only true as an aim. — 
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." There was a manly in- 
dependence which pervaded every household, the inde- 
pendence born of Puritanism. Kindness was welcomed, 
but favors were out of the question. Those who were 
next door to want would hardly accept assistance. More 
diplomacy than might disentangle the intricate compli- 
cations of Stales would be required to induce the poor- 
est people in a New England town to accept a load of 
wood or a barrel of potatoes. All were equal on this 
plane of independence ; but it was a genuine equality, 
which recognized willingly superiority of faculty in any 



INTRODUCTION 3 

one, which accepted readily any mastership or culture 
or inbred ability. It was an equality which went hand 
in hand with mutual respecr. And, above all, there was 
brotherhood. The fraternity for which we now struggle 
so ineffectually was, a hundred years ago, a part of the 
life of each New England town. All knew each other. 
There was no luxury or display to separate. Habits were 
simple, and economy universal. The prayer of Lemuel 
was fulfilled ; for no one was in absolute poverty, and no 
one was so rich as to be above prudence and self-denial 
in expenditure. 

Emerson wrote, after reading this memoir, "One won- 
ders as he reads how much resource of event and char- 
acter and happiness a genial mind and heart can find in 
one inland town. It makes me proud of my country." 

In such a society, natural qualities have their due 
recognition. A man or woman of superior judgment, of 
practical talent, of large and generous nature, became at 
once an influence, and was looked up to as a natural 
leader. Thus, in this town of Northampton, Mrs. Lyman 
was the centre of a bright social activity. The people 
read books, and mostly the same books ; and they were 
sufficiently educated to take an interest in good con- 
versation. They did a large portion of their household 
work in the morning, and had leisure for a little social 
intercourse in the afternoon or evening. Society was not 
divided into "sets" or "circles," but the humblest might 
feel at ease in tin: company of the most distinguished. 
In such a community, Mrs. Lyman was at home, and in 
her true sphere. Her active intellect, her joyful disposi- 
tion, her cheerful faith, made her a radiating point of 
light and warmth. Frank and sincere, she said just what 
she thought : kXA just what she believed right ; was 
wholly unconventional ; and yet all saw that she was 



4 INTRODUCTION 

anchored by conscience to primal truths, and was in no 
danger of drifting into any dangerous extreme. She was 
conservative by education and habit, but progressive by 
the independent activity of her mind. 

As all this, and more, will be found in this work, we 
leave its readers to discover it and enjoy it without 
further comment. We must repeat, in concluding these 
few remarks, that if scholars call on men to rejoice at 
the discovery of the mummy of an Egyptian king, or the 
finding of a scrap of Cicero in a palimpsest, how much 
more glad should we be to have disinterred for us some- 
thing of the past home life of a former generation, so 
that we can say to our children, " This is the way in 
which your grandparents lived and thought and acted 
fifty or a hundred years ago " ! 

JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

Anne Jean Robbins. — Her Birth and Surroundings. — 
Her Grandfather, Rev. Nathaniel Robbins. — Dr. 
Estes Howe's Letter about her Father. — Stephen 
Brewer's Reminiscences. — R. B. Forbes's. — Her 
Mother. — Her Hutchinson Ancestry. — Anne 
Hutchinson. — Edward Hutchinson. — Family- 
Pride, 17-30 

CHAPTER II. 

Her Childhood.— Milton Hill.— Dr. Holbrook.— Her 
School. — Miss Ann Bent. — Funeral of George 
Washington. — Winters in Boston. — Birth of her 
Little Sister. — Ladies' Academy. — Her Room- 
mate. — Removal to Brush Hill. — The Earlier 
Inmates. — Her Interest in Education. — Emma 
Forbes and Mary Pickard. — Aunt Catherine's 
Letter describing Brush Hill. — The Misses Bar- 
ker's Politics, and Religious Interests of the Day, 31-46 

CHAPTER III. 

Recollections of Brush Hill. — Cousin Mary Ware. — 
My Aunt Howe. — Anne Jean's Taste for Read- 
ing. — The Books the Sisters studied. — Her 
Commonplace Book. — Sally's Sonnet in Memory 
of Mrs. Whipple. — Their Winter Visits. — Their 
Dress. — Channing and Buckminster, 47—55 



6 TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IV. 

Anne Jeans Letters. — Visit to Hingham. — Letter 
dictated to Mary Pickard. — Anecdotes of Hing- 
ham. — Letter to Eliza Robbins. — Visits of the 
Sisters to New York. — They meet Washington 
Irving, Paulding, and Jeffrey. — The New Salma- 
gundi. — Anne Jean goes to New York. — Letters 
from New York in 1810 and 181 1, 56-64 

CHAPTER V. 

Anne Jean visits Green Vale. — She there meets Judge 
Lyman. — Becomes engaged. — Description of 
Judge Lyman by Mr. Rufus Ellis. — News of 
Anne Jean's Engagement reaches Brush Hill. — 
Sisters in Commotion. — Sally writes the News 
to Eliza. — Death of Aunt Forbes. — Her Portrait 
by Copley. — Anne Jean marries. — Removes to 
Northampton. — Description of Northampton at 
that Day. — "Aunt Dwight." — The Large Fam- 
ily. — " Burty." — " Lyman Floodgates." — Her 
Treatment of Children. — The Bidefuls. — Fine 
Health and Ignorance about 111 Health, .... 65-83 

CHAPTER VI. 

A Handsome Pair. — State of Society in the Town. — 
Beauty of the Scenery. — Stage-coach Days. — 
Story of a Stage-driver. — My Father's Indus- 
try. — Social Qualities. — Hartford Convention. — 
Correspondence with Brush Hill and Milton 
Friends. — -Birth of Joseph. — Description of the 
House. — My Mother's Music. — Her Instructions 
in Humanity. — Her Annual Visits to Boston and 
Brush Hill. — My First Journey. — Journeys of 
Judge Lyman and Judge Howe. — Anti-slavery 
Talk in a Stage-coach. — The Home Coming and 
Welcoming Friends, S4-96 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 7 

CHAPTER VII. 

Judge Howe. — Sally's Visits to Northampton. — Be- 
comes engaged. — Letter from Catherine Robbins 
describing Worthington. — William Cullen Bry- 
ant. — Dr. Bryant. — Eleanor Walker. — Visits be- 
tween the Sisters. — Judge Howe's Change of 
Religious Opinions. — Letters of Mrs. Howe to 
Miss Cabot containing Accounts of her Wedding 
Journey, Worthington Home, etc. — Her Reading 
of Tacitus, "The Giaour," and Virgil. — Allusions 
to the War of 1812, the Embargo, etc. — The Lit- 
erature of that Day. — Visit from Mary Pickard. — 
Scott's Early Novels. — Sismondi. — Loss of a 
Child. — Death of Mr. Thacher, 97-119 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Mrs. Lyman's Letters to Emma Forbes, and Births of 
her Daughter Anne Jean and her Son Edward. — 
Letters.- — Village News. — Visits from Friends. — 
Reading Miss Hamilton's " Popular Essays." — 
" North American Review." — Mrs. Howe's Let- 
ters to Miss Forbes. — Allusions to President 
Kirkland and Mr. Thacher. — Story of Louisa. — 
Mr. Edward Everett. — Life of Mr. Edgeworth, 120-133 

CHAPTER IX. 

Marriage of her Sister to Mr. Joseph Warren Revere. 
— Family Love for " Aunt Lyman." — Marriage of 
Abby Lyman to Mr. William Greene. — Her Love 
for Abby. — Letters to her. — Letter to Emma 
Forbes containing Dissertation on Friendship 
and Lord Clarendon. — Visit from Mr. and Mrs. 
William Lyman. — Mentions John Lowell, and his 
reading " Yamoyden." — She goes to Troy and 
Saratoga. — Meets Attorney-General Wirt, and 
sees Joseph Bonaparte. — Mentions tollhouse's 



8 TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Poem of the " Last Judgment," and " Percy's 
Masque," Cullen Bryant's Poem, " Life of John 
Wesley," etc. — Mrs. Thomas Cary. — Destruction 
of the " Albion," and Loss of Anne Powell and 
Professor Fisher, the Betrothed of Miss C. 
Beecher. — She visits Stockbridge, and describes 
the Sedgwick Family. — Death of Mrs. Inches. — 
Death of George Tyng. — Birth of a Daughter, 134-169 

CHAPTER X. 

Religious Interests. — Agreement of my Father and 
Mother in Liberal Views. — Patience with Nar- 
rowness. — "Parson Williams." — His Interest in 
my Father as a Boy. — My Mother's Efforts for 
Liberal Christianity. — Her Sunday-school Class. 
— Her Letter to Mrs. Murray on Controversial 
Topics. — My Aunt Howe's Letter to Miss Cabot 
on Calvinism. — The Establishment of the Round 
Hill School, 1 70-191 

CHAPTER XI. 

My Mother's Health and Happiness. — Letters to 
Miss Forbes and Mrs. Greene. — Village News. — 
Round Hill School. — Joseph Lyman and John 
Forbes. — Mary Pickard. — Caroline Lee Hentz. — 
Court Week. — Cattle Show. — Miss Sedgwick. — 
Miss Rotch. — Cousin Emma. — Letters from 
Mrs. Lyman and Mrs. Howe to Emma on her 
Departure for Europe, 192-213 

CHAPTER XII. 

Typhoid at Brush Hill.— Death of Mr. Marshall 
Spring. — Aunt Howe goes to nurse her Sis- 
ters. — A Faithful Servant dies. — Letters from 
Mrs. Lyman. — A Dramatic Entertainment in 
Northampton in 1S26. — "The Lady of the 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 9 

Lake." — Letters to Mrs. Greene, Catherine Rob- 
bins, Mrs. Hentz, etc. — She reads Wordsworth's 
"Excursion" with Delight. — "Woodstock" and 
" Hope Leslie." — First Acquaintance with Mr. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson. — Letter to Miss Forbes. 

— Death of Judge Howe. — Extracts from Mr. 
Rufus Ellis's Memoir of him. — Grief of my 
Father and Mother. — Extracts from Aunt Howe's 
Memoir of her Husband, 214-239 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Letters to my Mother after Uncle Howe's Death. — 
Letter from R. W. Emerson. — To Emma Forbes. 

— Marriage of my Sister Mary to Mr. Thomas 
Jones. — Death of Annie Jean Greene. — Letter 
from R. W. Emerson, introducing Mr. George P. 
Bradford. — Annie Jean goes to Mr. George B. 
Emerson's School. — Mrs. Lyman writes to Annie 
Jean on the Subject of her Dress. — -To Mrs. 
Barnard. — Her Father's Deaths — Letter of Con- 
dolence from R. W. Emerson. — Letter from G. B. 
Emerson. — To Mrs. Greene. — News of Miss 
Debby Barker, 240-259 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Her Kindness to Young Men. — A Lonely Law Stu- 
dent. — Her Habitual Beneficences. — To Miss 
Forbes mentions Mrs. Hall. — Death of Elijah 
Mills.— Letter to John M. Forbes. — To Mrs. 
Greene. — To Miss Forbes. — To C. Robbins. — 
Describes her Sunday-school Class. — Revere 
Twins. — The Cholera Year. — Sister Jane's En- 
gagement. — "Ware on the Formation of the 
Christian Character.'* — Sister Jane's Marriage. — 
The Factory Village. — Anne Jean goes to Cin- 
cinnati. — Her Consideration for her Father. — 
Dramatic Entertainment, etc. — ■ Edward leaves 



io TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Home. — Judge Lyman to Edward. — Birth of 
Hannah E. Brewer. — Death of James Jackson. — 
Mrs. Lyman to Edward, 260-289 

CHAPTER XV. 

Judge Lyman goes to Cincinnati for Anne Jean. — 
Birth of William Greene Jones. — Deaths of Sister 
Mary, Brother D wight, Uncle Lyman. — Sally 
Lyman. — Letter to Edward. — To Martha Coch- 
ran. — On Bulwer's Novels. — Letter to Catherine 
Robbins. — -"Recollections of a Housekeeper." — 
"Silvio Pellico." — To Edward. — Illness of Mrs. 
Bliss. — Celebration at Bloody Brook. — Edward 
Everett's Oration. — Miss Martineau. — Death of 
Mrs. Bliss. — Anne Jean's Severe Illness.— To 
Mrs. Greene. — Mrs. Roger's Beauty.— Letters 
to Dr. Austin Flint. — Daniel Webster's Visit.— 
Death of Mrs. John Howard. — My Mother's 
Power of Language. — Anecdote of Aunt Eliza. — 
Miss Sedgwick. — Letters to Edward. — Her Suf- 
ferings from Sciatica. — Death of Mrs. Barnard. — 
Illness of Anne Jean. — Judge Lyman to Edward. 
— Death of Anne Jean. — Wonderful Aurora. — 
Mrs. Lyman to Dr. Flint. — R. W. Emerson to 
Mrs. Lyman, 290-320 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Mourning for Anne Jean. — Letters to Edward and 
Mrs. Greene. — To Dr. and Mrs. Flint. — To Mrs. 
Greene. — "Letters from Palmyra." — "Pickwick 
Papers." — Criticism of Novels. — To Edward. — 
Marriage of H. Shepherd. — S. G. Bulfmch. — Dr. 
Abbot. — Miss Hannah Stearns. — To Edward. — 
Clay's Abolition Speech. — Her \ T iews on Abo- 
lition.— Betsey Wallace.— Billah.— To Mrs. 
Greene. — Takes a Journey to Niagara. — To 
Edward. — Death of Dr. Follen. — J. S. Dvvight, . 321-345 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 1 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Her Relations to her Neighbors. — Absent-mindedness. 

— Martha Cochran. — Dr. Willard. — Visit to Mrs. 
Howard with Dr. Willard. — Extract from Sophia 
Howard's Letter. — Anecdote of Martha Cochran. 

— Sewing Circle. — Mrs. Hall. — Gossip. — Plain 
Speaking. — Judge Huntington and the Melons. — 
" Philothea." — Her Faith in Children. — Shades 
in her Character. — Want of Order. — Contrast in 
Household Arrangements of Forty Years ago to 
those now. — Judge Shaw's Visit. — Her Views 

about Dirt. — Baron Roennd, 346-365 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Letter to Catherine Robbins. — Death of Mrs. James 
Fowler. — To Edward. — John S. Dwight. — De 
Wette's " Ethics." — Theodore. — Jouffroi and 
Constant. — Fichte's " Nature of a Scholar." — 
Quotation from J. S. Dwight's Sermon. — Prof. 
Henry B. Smith. • — ■ To Miss Robbins. — De- 
scribes J. S. Dwight. — Death of Stephen Brewer 
by Drowning. — Letters after his Death. — To 
Mrs. Greene about Books. — To Miss Stearns. — 
Rufus Ellis. — To Edward. — Catherine's Engage- 
ment to Warren Delano. — Catherine's Marriage. 

— Coming of the Railroad to Northampton. — 
To Miss Stearns on the Death of Mrs. Joseph 
Cabot. — To Miss Robbins. — Private Theatricals. 

— The Rivals. — Lyceum Lecture from President 
Hopkins. — To Mrs. Howe. — Death of Mrs. Hard- 
ing. — Her Severe Illness. — Edward"s Engage- 
ment. — Letter to Mrs. Greene about Edward's 
Marriage.— Catherine's Return from China. — To 
Mr. Richard L. Allen on her Husband's Death. — 
"Jane Eyre," and her Criticism on it. — To Edward 
on the Birth of his Child. — To C. Robbins. — 
Mr. Simmons. — Mr. George Ellis. — To Sarah. — 



12 TABLE OF CONTENTS 

John Quincy Adams. — Theodore Parker's Eu- 
logy. — To Mrs. Greene. — To William Sydney 
Thayer. — Mr. Theodore Lyman. — Cordial Men- 
tion of Mr. Rufus Ellis. — To Edward, after Birth 
of his Second Son, 366-411 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Reminiscences of my Father. — My Mother's Daily 
Life. — Characteristic Anecdotes. — Her Embroid- 
ery. — Her Hospitality. — Style of Living. — Read- 
ing. — Gladness in giving Pleasure to the Young. 

— Court Week. — The Judges. — Her Friendli- 
ness. — Mrs. Bulfinch. — Shakspeare Readings. 

— Her Wit. — Anecdotes. — Views on the Educa- 
tion of Children. — Their Dress. — " Blue Mortifi- 
cation." — Story of the Garters. — Her Freedom 
from Resentment. — Letter to Catherine on Moral 
Teaching. — The Marchioness. — Dislike of Affec- 
tation. — Her Small Interest in Externals. — Anec- 
dotes, 412-449 

CHAPTER XX. 

My Father's Death. — Disparity of Years. — Her Lack 
of Patience. — 111 Health and Overwork tell on 
her. — Summer of 1848. — Memoir of Dr. Chan- 
ning. — Her Friendship for Mrs. Thayer and In- 
terest in her Sons. — Note from John G. Whittier. 

— Grave of William Sydney Thayer at Alexan- 
dria. — Lady Duff Gordon. — Mrs. Ross. — Letter 
from Prof. J. B. Thayer. — Chauncey Wright. — 
"Goblin Tapestry." — Her Narrow Means and 
Rich Heart. — " Cheeryble Sisters." — Anecdote 
of Aunt Howe's Kindness. — Death of Little 
Edward. — Marriage of Susan Inches. — Mr. 
R. W. Emerson lectures at Northampton. — 
Her Loneliness. — She leaves Northampton. — 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 13 

Spends a Winter in Cincinnati. — Death of Dr. 
E. H. Robbins. — Returns to Milton for a Year. — 
Visits Northampton. — Returns to Milton, . . • 450-468 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Takes a House in Cambridge in 1853. — Death of Eliza 
Robbins. — Her Character and Intellect and 
Friends. — My Mother moves to another House. 
— " Mary Walker." — Her Life in Cambridge. — 
Her Steady Decline. — Kindness of Neighbors and 
Relatives. — Extracts from her Letters. — Death 
of Sister Jane. — Two Incidents in her Later 
Life. — She goes to the McLean Asylum. — Nancy 
Young. — Kindness of Dr. and Mrs. Tyler and 
Miss Barbour. — Her Death. — Funeral. — My 
Brother Joseph's Letter. — The End, 469-479 

Appendix, 4S1-498 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

Mrs. Anne Jean Lyman Frontispiece 

From a crayon by D. O. Kimberly. 

The House at Brush Hill, Milton 36 

From a drawing by Fllen S. Bulfinch. 

The House at Northampton 72 

From a drawing by Fllen S. Bulfinch. 
Judge Joseph Lyman 84 

From a painting by Chester Harding. 
The House at Cambridge 470 

From a drawing by Ellen S. Bulfinch. 



CHAPTER I, 

From yon blue heavens above us bent, 
The gardener Adam and his wife 

Smile at the claims of long descent. 
Ilowe'er it be, it seems to me, 

'Tis only noble to be good. 

Kind hearts are more than coronets, 

And simple faith than Norman blood. 



Tennyson. 



ANNE JEAN ROBBINS was born in Milton, 
Massachusetts, on the third day of July, 1789. 
She was the third child of the Hon. Edward Hutch- 
inson Robbins, a man of noble character and warm 
heart, who has left to his descendants the richest of 
all inheritances, in the fine flavor of humanity that 
has kept his memory green, even to the third and 
fourth generation. The house where Anne Jean 
first saw the light is still standing on Milton Hill, 
and is known as the Churchill house. The maiden 
name of Anne's mother was Elizabeth Murray, and 
Anne was named by her for two Scotch aunts, Anne 
and Jean Bennet. She was a woman of great intel- 
ligence and force of character, and had passed the 
greater part of her life in Milton, — marrying in 
youth the son of the former beloved minister of the 
town, the Rev. Nathaniel Robbins. 

In a sermon preached in Milton at the two 
hundredth anniversary of the First Church, by 



1 8 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Rev. Frederic Frothingham, occurs this passage : 
" Mr Nathaniel Robbins was ordained February 1 3, 
1750-51. A long and honorable service was his, 
running through four and forty years, closing with 
his death, May 19, 1795, — a period heaving with the 
agitations of the Revolution. Mr. Robbins was a 
patriot. At the battle of Lexington, fought when 
he was fifty years of age, two of his brothers were in 
Capt. Parker's company. He seems to have been 
eminently a man of affairs, and in 1788 was sent by 
the town to the convention which adopted the Fed- 
eral Constitution. His practical wisdom showed 
itself in various ways. At his ordination a settle- 
ment of ;£iooo old tenor — equal to $500 — was 
allowed him, and a salary of ^500, or $250, per 
annum, and 25 cords of wood. But he bought land 
and built him a house and gradually acquired a 
considerable farm — now owned by Col. H. S. Rus- 
sell — which doubtless was a faithful friend to him, 
as well as an abode of hospitality to many others in 
those distressful days. Then he showed rare tact 
and skill in adjusting apparently unmanageable dis- 
putes. It appeared again in his high personal integ- 
rity, which, did men but know it, or would they 
but believe it, is really wisdom. In his preaching, 
says Thos. Thacher , ' he refused to call any man 
master on cartli, or to sacrifice truth to prevailing 
opinions, however conducive to popularity, to con- 
sideration and consequence. Such candor and lib- 
eral principles were the more deserving of praise, 
since, in the first period of his ministry, such a spirit 
and temper were not common.' So, in preaching, 



INHERITANCE AND INFLUENCE 19 

' plain and pathetick ; ' in prayer, ' apt and easy ; ' in 
charity, so large and just that he would not allow 
even the good in bad men to be forgotten ; in ser- 
vice to the unfortunate, the sick, the sorrowing, and 
the young, tender and faithful ; is it wonder that he 
kept his church free from fanaticism and united and 
rational ? How much he may have served to pre- 
pare for the changes that were to come when the 
Unitarian controversy broke out, we may imagine, 
though we can never know." 

The history of any life must necessarily include 
the lives of many others. A friend once said to me, 
"No one can be a Christian alone." And in fact 
no human being leads an isolated life. One is as 
surely all the time acted upon by one's inheritance, 
surroundings, and companionship, as one reacts on 
these. In the condition to which she was born, the 
scenery amidst which she lived, the persons by 
whom she was surrounded, and the family traditions 
dear to her childhood, Anne Jean was peculiarly 
blessed; and I shall tell you all I know of them, 
because her personal individuality, though striking, 
was not more ■ so than her quality of family and 
social affection. 

My cousin, Dr. Estes Howe, writes of our grand- 
father, and the father of Anne Jean, the following 
sketch : — 

"Our grandfather I presume you do not remem- 
ber, as you were so young when he died. He was 
a tall, large man, very erect and dignified in his look. 
His face, as his picture shows, was very like his 



20 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

son's, our uncle Edward's, in his later years. His 
countenance had the same benign look — a look 
which I think comes finally to the face of every one 
who leads, as he did, a life full of good will and good 
works. He was born as you know in 1757, and 
graduated at Harvard in 1775, being eighteen years 
old. He must have taken his degree at Concord, to 
which place the college was removed when the army 
were collected at Cambridge. The last time I saw 
him at Brush Hill was on the 4th of July, when I 
was a freshman, in 1829. He pointed out to me a 
wooden-bottomed armed chair as his college chair, 
and told me that he had only one coat all the time 
he was in college — this notwithstanding he was the 
son of a lady who was considered rich. 

" He soon became a person of note at home, and 
was at the age of twenty-three a member of the 
convention that formed the constitution of the State 
of Massachusetts. He was married in 1785, and 
went to house-keeping on Milton Hill, where I 
believe all his children except my mother were 
born. She was born in Boston, in a house he in- 
herited from his mother, near Brazer's Building, on 
State Street. In 1786, he bought a township of 
land in Maine, and called it Robbinston. He took 
several Milton families clown, whose descendants — ■ 
Brewers, Voses, Briggs, &c. — are still there. He 
built several vessels there, and continued in fact to 
work busily and earnestly over the enterprise till 
the day of his death. He always went there at least 
once a year, — a voyage that had to be made in a 
coasting vessel. His last visit was made only a 
couple of months before his death. 



EDWARD HUTCHINSON ROB BINS 21 

"The enterprise was not a profitable one; and 
what with that and the loss of several vessels by 
French privateers, he lost all his property, and about 
1804 sold out at Milton Hill, and removed to Brush 
Hill, which place belonged in part to his wife, our 
grandmother ; the other part belonging to her sister, 
Aunt Forbes, was purchased. And so the family 
ark rested there, where your mother and mine, and 
all the rest, grew up. 

" Our grandfather was constantly in public life ; 
and, in 1793, he was elected Speaker of the Massa- 
chusetts House of Representatives. His remarkable 
memory for men and their faces, his knowledge 
about them, and his general popularity caused his 
re-election annually for nine years ; at the end of 
which time he was chosen Lieutenant-governor, an 
office he continued to hold for seven years, soon 
after which he was appointed Judge of Probate. In 
this office he died. 

" This last office gave special scope to his kindly 
qualities. The widows and orphans of the county 
found in him a sure and sympathizing friend and 
guardian, and his wonderful memory made him in a 
short time acquainted with the genealogy and busi- 
ness and property of the whole county. 

"But you want to know what I remember of him. 
I remember him simply as one who always had a 
kind or thoughtful word for me when I met him ; 
who seemed to be, as he was, most tenderly loved by 
his children, and very full of love for them, lie 
was away from home almost every clay, either over 
at Dedham or in Boston, and was very apt to be at 



22 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

home rather late for tea. I recollect riding home 
from Boston more than once with him. He had a 
habit of talking to himself, and I was a little fright- 
ened at it, which he seemed to appreciate, for every 
now and then he would stop, whip up the horse, and 
begin talking to me ; then very soon he would fall 
off into his own line of thought and talk to himself 
again. When my father died he was deeply grieved, 
and his heart seemed to be oppressed and full of 
sympathy for mother. I was at that time at school 
at North Andover ; a few weeks after father's death, 
he drove up there in his chaise on Saturday night, a 
journey of twenty-five miles, and brought up Tracy 
to spend Sunday with me. He was then more than 
seventy, and I think few old gentlemen of that age 
would have made such an exertion for a school-boy ; 
but it seemed so natural an act for him to do that it 
did not impress me then as it has since. But that 
was the way he passed through life ; and although 
never prosperous in business, indeed sometimes 
really pinched by poverty, I think he had a very 
happy life, because he took so much pleasure in 
doing kindly acts, and he did so many of them. 

"The last time I saw him was on his death-bed. 
He died at Aunt Mary Revere's, where he was ill 
about a month. A few days before his death I 
went in to see him, and he gave me a most affection- 
ate parting benediction, with a few words of advice, 
which I have not followed so well as would have 
been for my benefit. This seems a meagre state- 
ment, and so it is. It is forty-five years since he 
died, and what is left to me of him is the impres- 



STOCKINGFUL OF SPANISH DOLLARS 23 

sion of a noble, high-minded, affectionate man, whom 
I revered and loved. If I can leave as pleasant an 
impression upon the memories of my grandchildren 
I shall be happy." 

I will not add much to the simple and beautiful 
statement of my cousin Estes about our grandfather, 
for I have only one recollection of him, as I was but 
six years old when he died. I recall one of his visits 
to Northampton, and his standing at our front door, 
where he took leave of my father and my uncle, 
Judge Howe. Although they were tall men, he 
towered above them, and there was something grand 
and majestic in his whole aspect; although nothing 
impressed one so much about him as the wealth of 
affection in his heart, which gave to his whole 
manner and bearing a warmth, cordiality, and sym- 
pathy one rarely sees so fully expressed. 

I remember our brother, Stephen Brewer, who 
knew him well, speaking of him in the highest 
terms after I was a woman grown. I had so little 
recollection of him myself that it was delightful to 
me to hear him talk of grandfather. He told me 
once, that when he was a boy, a clerk in some store 
in Boston, where grandfather had placed him, the 
old gentleman walked in with a gray stocking in his 
hand, the foot of which was full of Spanish dollars. 
"Stephen, my little man," said he, "take care of 
this for me ; it's a new stocking, and my daughter 
Cassy knit it for me." So Stephen put it away, and 
grandfather forgot it from that hour. But, three 
months later, he came into the store in much afflic- 



24 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

tion. "Stephen, my little man," said he, "I've 
lost a stocking like this," showing the mate ; " and 
I'm so sorry. My daughter Cassy knit them," he 
said tenderly, " and I would not lose them for any- 
thing." " I produced the stocking, with the Spanish 
dollars tied up in the foot," said Stephen, "and there 
was no affectation about it : he really cared more 
about finding the stocking his daughter had knit him 
than he did for the money." His careless habits 
were proverbial ; and my cousin Bennet Forbes re- 
lates the following : — 

"Your grandfather Robbins was not remarkable 
for the nicety of his dress or equipage. He for a 
long time drove around the country in an old yellow- 
bodied chaise, with an aged bay mare, that he called 
'the colt,' for many years. I remember very well 
his habit of talking to himself and to the mare, while 
driving along, and my amusement at this, to me, 
great novelty. I remember his coming to see us 
before we built the mansion house on Milton Hill, 
about 1828, in a sleigh. The weather was very cold, 
and he had no mittens or gloves. I bought a nice 
pair of fur-lined gloves and sent them to him. He 
came again, apparently nearly frozen, and still with- 
out gloves. I asked him if he had received the pair 
I sent him. He answered, ' Oh, yes, my dear, they 
arc in the sleigh ; ' on examination I found them 
under the cushion, and it was clear they had never 
been worn." But cousin Bennet adds, what every 
one thought who knew him, that his desire to bless 
and serve others, and his untiring kindness, were the 
prominent traits of his character. 



A MASSACHUSETTS POST IN 1739 25 

My grandfather possessed one striking character- 
istic, which has been handed down to more than one 
of his descendants, but which my mother inherited 
in a rare degree. It was that power of taking cog- 
nizance of the relations between persons and events 
which grows out of a large humanity and not from 
an interest in idle gossip, except as giving opportu- 
nity for service. The following little anecdote related 
of my grandfather not only illustrates this quality of 
his mind, but throws a side light on the inadequate 
postal facilities of that early time. 

One day two gentlemen were walking through the 
State House, about the year 1795, when one said to 

the other, " My friend, Mr. , is very anxious to 

get a letter to his wife in Hardvvick no later than 
Sunday (it was then Friday), and the weekly post does 
not go till next Wednesday. Can you tell me of any 
way he can send it?" "No, I can't," replied the 
friend ; " but the Speaker of the House, Mr. Rob- 
bins, is sitting there at his desk, and, if any man in 
Massachusetts can tell you, he can." They ap- 
proached the desk, and asked the question. "Why, 
yes," said Mr. Robbins, directly: "the member from 
Petersham is going home to-morrow to spend Sun- 
day with his family. Now Petersham is only six 
miles from Hardwick, and his hired man is courting a 
girl at Hardwick and goes over there to see her 
every Sunday, and he will carry your friend's letter." 

Of Anne Jean's mother, there are many that can 
still recall her stately air and manner, her vigorous 
mind and high spirit. But she must have been a 
very different person from our grandfather; and I 



26 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

cannot but think that her life had many trials. For 
she had strong family feeling, and stronger proclivi- 
ties for Old-World customs and habits ; and the 
restricted life she had to lead, with many cares and 
small means, must have been hard for one who had 
been sent to England for her education in youth, and 
who was not permitted by her aunt to wear a thimble 
lest it should injure the shape of her finger. The 
names of her children were Eliza, Sarah Lydia, Anne 
Jean, Edward, Mary, James, and Catherine. They 
had reason to be grateful for strong traits of char- 
acter inherited from both parents. 

Many interesting facts might be told about Anne 
Jean's ancestry to those who are curious in such 
lore ; but, as the streams are numerous which flow 
into the river of human character, our arithmetic 
fails us when we come to trace the various lines, all 
more or less interesting. She herself took pleasure 
in thinking of the homes in the Old World from 
which her mother's family, the Murrays, had sprung; 
but the interest was purely romantic and historic, 
and only helped to inspire her imagination. It was 
as far as possible removed from that family pride 
that delights to claim connection with titled or 
wealthy ancestry. In our late war, when all New 
England suffered from that lack of sympathy with 
our cause shown by Old England, it was impossible 
for the English to understand our sensitiveness. 
They had no realization of the tenderness of our 
hearts towards the home we came from, nor how all 
descendants of the Puritans look back, as Anne Jean 
did to that of her ancestors, as if they have still a 



ANNE HUTCHINSON'S DESCENDANTS 27 

belonging there ; very different from any feeling we 
can have about any other country. I never heard 
her speak of a crest or a coat-of-arms in her life ; but 
the motto on the crest of the Hutchinson family, 
" N011 sibi, scd toti" might well have stood for the 
watchword of her own unselfish life. 

It is a little odd, that, out of one's eight great- 
great-grandmothers, we should select one as our 
especial ancestor, and prize the infinitesimal drop of 
her blood that has come down to us more than an 
equal amount from other good sources. But the 
truth is, it is impossible to know much of any one 
whom history has not recorded ; and so it is in 
human nature to value the known above the un- 
known. 

The mother of Anne Jean's father, born Elizabeth 
Hutchinson, was a descendant of the famous Anne 
Hutchinson, in the fourth generation. The history 
of Anne Hutchinson and her tragical career has 
been ably treated by many historians — Drake, Hil- 
dreth, Ellis, and Bancroft ; so that it is not worth 
while for me to dwell on it here. In an account of 
the Hutchinson family, written by my cousin Sarah 
Howe, and in possession of my Aunt Revere, she 
quotes from Bancroft the following sentence : " The 
principles of Anne Hutchinson were a natural con- 
sequence of the progress of the Reformation. She 
asserted that the conscious judgment of the mind is 
the highest authority to itself. The true tendency 
of her principles is best established by examining 
the institutions which were founded by her followers. 
The spirit of the institutions founded by this band 



28 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

of exiles on the soil which they owed to the benevo- 
lence of the natives (Miantonomoh) was derived from 
natural justice. The colony rested on the principle 
of intellectual liberty. The colony at Rhode Island 
consisted of William and Anne Hutchinson, William 
Coddington, and John Clarke. It was ordered in 
their constitution, ' that none be accounted a delin- 
quent for doctrine;' and the law of liberty of con- 
science was perpetuated. They were held together 
by the bonds of affection and freedom of opinion ; 
benevolence was their rule ; they trusted in the power 
of love to win the victory, and the signet for the 
State was a sheaf of arrows, with the motto, Amor 
vincit omnia" 

A little tract was published in 1676, under the 
title of " A Glass for the People of New England," 
by S. Gorton, in which he says, " The next piece of 
wickedness I am to mind you of, is your barbarous 
action committed against Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, 
whom you first imprisoned, then banished, and ex- 
posed her to such desolate condition, that she fell 
into the hands of the Indians, who murdered her 
with her family. 

" In contemplating the furious and desperate viru- 
lence of the colonists towards Anne Hutchinson, we 
discern a striking illustration of the destructive 
influences of bigotry and persecution upon all the 
finer and more amiable sentiments of humanity. 
Indeed, no excellence of nature or of principle, no 
strength or refinement of character, is proof against 
the debasing power of intolerance. To be bigoted 
is to be cruel ; to persecute another is to barbarize 



THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY 29 

one's self." Bancroft says of the Antinomians, that 
"they sustained with intense fanaticism the para- 
mount right of private judgment. The founder of 
this sect was Anne Hutchinson, a woman of such 
admirable understanding and profitable and sober 
carriage, that she won a powerful party in the col- 
onies, and even her enemies could not speak of her 
without acknowledging her eloquence and ability. 
She received encouragement from Mr. Wheelwright 
and Governor Vane, and a majority of Boston 
people sustained her against the clergy. Scholars 
and men of learning, members of the magistracy and 
the general court adopted her opinions." 

I would record here the noticeable fact of which 
my cousin makes mention, that the honored name of 
Edward Hutchinson was borne by the father of 
Anne Hutchinson's husband, who lived and died in 
Alford, England, not far from Old Boston, in Lin- 
colnshire. It was very probably borne before his 
day, as the family can be traced back to 1282. But 
he was the first Edward Hutchinson we know, and 
the name has been borne by some descendant in 
every one of the ten generations since, a period 
extending over nearly two hundred and fifty years. 
The grandson of Anne Hutchinson, who bore the 
name of Edward, was one whom we should remem- 
ber with peculiar gratitude. He removed to Boston 
in 1644-45, was chosen deputy from Boston in 165 1, 
and in 165S, when the sanguinary laws against 
Quakers were made, he and his friend Thomas 
Clarke requested that their dissent might be re- 
corded. The daughter of Thomas Clarke had mar- 



30 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ried the son of Edward Hutchinson. In Drake's 
" History of Boston " he mentions that " these two 
eminent merchants Thomas Clarke and Edward 
Hutchinson entered their dissent against the cruel 
laws in regard to the Quakers, which seems a more 
potent expression in regard to the only men who 
appear to have been influenced by motives of hu- 
manity towards an oppressed class." 

So much for Anne Jean's Hutchinson ancestry. 
1 have heard her say, in later years, that the virtues 
of one's ancestors were as much a subject for per- 
sonal humiliation as for family pride. For if we 
have only taken the virtues handed down to us, 
without adding to them or exalting them, we are like 
the receiver of talents who has laid them up in 
a napkin. 



CHAPTER II. 



" Assist us, Lord, to act, to be 
What Nature and Thy laws decree : 
Worthy that intellectual flame 
Which from Thy breathing spirit came." 



ANNE JEAN'S early childhood was passed on 
Milton Hill, and through life she retained the 
happiest associations with that beautiful scenery. 
As any other healthy child would, she lived much 
in the open air, and roved about the hill, rejoicing 
in the distant view of the Blue Hills in one direc- 
tion, and Boston Harbor in the other, and the rising 
and falling tide of the Neponset below the hill, 
which gives such variety to the whole scene at 
different hours of the day. She was a remarkably 
vigorous child, and delighted in climbing trees and 
walking on stone walls, and in all other out-of-door 
sports. She was a great favorite with Dr. Hok 
brook, who was the esteemed and beloved physician 
of that scattered neighborhood. He often took her 
in his chaise when he went to visit his patients; 
and in his old age he spoke to me of her beautiful 
childhood, her witty little remarks, and her cease- 
less activity. He never tired of relating his diffi- 
culty in keeping her quiet, after she had broken her 
arm in falling from a stone wall, where she had 



32 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

climbed to witness a raising ; and what a miracle it 
was that the bone knit so nicely when she was in 
such perpetual motion. 

When I was a child, and visited at the Forbes 
mansion house on Milton Hill, the little old-fash- 
ioned school-house was still standing on the opposite 
side of the road, where Anne Jean went to school 
in her childhood. The little belfry, from which the 
bell sweetly called the children to school, seemed 
to me then a fine structure. At one time Miss Ann 
Bent, a woman of rare and noble character, and 
a life-long friend of the family, kept the school ; 
and Anne always loved to recall the months that she 
passed under her instruction. 

The recollections of childhood seldom leave, in 
later life, especially if that life be overflowing with 
activity, any very marked incidents to dwell on. 
And this was the case with Anne Jean's. She once 
spoke of being much pleased that, when the funeral 
celebration of George Washington occurred, she was 
dressed in white with a broad black ribbon around 
her straw hat, and a black sash around the waist. 

Some years the family were in the habit of going 
into Boston in the winter, and they either took 
a furnished house for a few months, or went to 
a boarding-house. They were always forced to 
practise habits of close personal economy; but an 
open-handed hospitality, united to simplicity of liv- 
ing, made them rich in the best sense of the word. 
And so Anne grew up in an atmosphere of cordial 
giving ; and that quality which was hers by nature 
and inheritance must have become a second nature, 



HER EA RL Y SELE- CONFIDE A 'CE 3 3 

from the habitual influence of those around her. 
My grandmother was kind to old family friends or 
dependants, never forgetting the humblest servant 
who had at any time formed a part of the house- 
hold ; and Anne inherited this trait, along with that 
wider humanity which belonged peculiarly to her 
father — a humanity that took in every one, of any 
name or race or color, that needed kindness. 

When Anne was ten years old, and many years 
after there had ceased to be any young children in 
the family, my grandmother had a little daughter, 
whose birth excited the warmest emotions of affec- 
tion and delight in Anne's heart. Her sister, my 
aunt Mary Revere, tells me that when it was stated 
in the family a month later, that the baby was to be 
sent to a wet-nurse who lived three miles away, 
Anne's grief and indignation knew no bounds. 
When the nurse was starting from the front door 
with the baby, she cried and screamed loudly, calling 
out, " I can take care of the baby, I can bring her up 
by hand ; I know I can." And when, in spite of her 
protestations, both nurse and baby disappeared, she 
cried till she was nearly worn out. In this behavior 
at ten years of age, a prophetic eye might have 
seen a foreshadowing of that grand self-confidence 
that never in later years shrank from any responsi- 
bility. 

After passing her childhood alternately at the 
Milton village-school and a few months of nearly 
every year at some school in Hoston, until she was 
between thirteen and fourteen years of age, Anne 
was sent to Dorchester for what was considered a 



34 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

rather superior course of education, at the boarding- 
school of Miss Beach and Miss Saunders ; and there 
she remained two years. I have in my hand the old- 
fashioned blank-book — its paper yellow with age — 
on the fly-leaf of which she had printed, in large 
clear letters, "Ann Jean Robbins's book, at the 
Ladies' Academy, Dorchester; July 20th, 1803."* 
One half of the book is taken up with sections, as 
they are called, describing the "Use of the Globes." 
And the fine, large, clear handwriting, the exact 
definitions of globes, spheres, properties of spheres, 
climates, circles, declinations, and ascensions, to- 
gether with the perfect spelling, make me believe 
that the child of thirteen received excellent instruc- 
tion at the Ladies' Academy; although she left 
school at sixteen, with few accomplishments, and 
no knowledge of languages except a small acquisi- 
tion of French and Latin. Even these she valued 
through life simply because they had taught her the 
derivation of English words, and thereby enlarged 
her understanding of her own language. But she 
left school with that acquisition of intellectual taste 
and wisdom which two years of intercourse with 
such a woman as Miss Beach could not fail to impart. 
Her room-mate at this school was a sweet, attrac- 
tive, refined little girl, two years younger than her- 
self, named Elizabeth Beach. When they went to 
their room the first night of their companionship, 
the little girl looked at her elder acquaintance with 
a dawning respect, as she was so large and tall, and 
to her eyes almost a woman. " Which side of the 

* She always wrote it Anne in later years. 



AT THE DORCHESTER ACADEMY 35 

bed shall I sleep, Miss Robbins ? " she said defer- 
entially. "Oh! it's perfectly immaterial to me 
which side you sleep," said Anne in her clear, 
ringing voice, " for / always sleep in the middle." 
The next morning, when seated around the break- 
fast-table, the other girls eating with the pewter 
spoons which were thought good enough for board- 
ing-school children of that day — and really were 
so — Anne cheerfully pulled a bright silver spoon 
out of her pocket, and began to eat her breakfast. 
"As long as there are silver spoons in the world" 
she said in an undertone "I shall eat with one; 
and, when there cease to be, I will put up with 
some inferior metal." When Anne left the Dor- 
chester Academy her little room-mate and she were 
parted, and they never met but once again in the 
whole course of their lives. But, sixty years after 
those school-days ended, an accident, or rather the 
good hand of Providence, led me to occupy the next 
house to the dear old lady, Airs. Richard Smith, 
my mother's early friend. She came to offer kind- 
ness to a stranger, because she was a stranger ; and 
when our conversation revealed to her that I was 
the daughter of her old-time companion at the Dor- 
chester Academy nothing could exceed her joy. 
She embraced my children with warmth, told them 
the little tales I have repeated above, and ended 
with saying, "Don't think, dear children, that your 
grandmother did not give me my full share of the 
be I, and more too. That was just her funny way 
of putting things. She was really the most gener- 
ous Lfirl in the whole school." During the two 



36 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

years that we were permitted to enjoy the society 
of this lovely old lady we experienced untold pleas- 
ure in it, and have never ceased to mourn for her 
since death removed her. 

On leaving school Anne Jean did not return to 
the home on Milton Hill where she was born. 
About the year 1805 the family removed to the 
Brush Hill farm, two miles and a half from Milton 
Hill, a place inherited by my grandmother and her 
sister, Aunt Forbes, and very dear to them from 
long and varied associations. As Brush Hill still 
remains the home of their children I cannot help 
wishing to preserve some record of its history, so 
dear to us all. The house at Brush Hill was 
erected in 1734 by Uncle Smith, a sugar-refiner 
in Brattle Square, Boston, who was twice married, 
but had no children. His last wife was the widow 
Campbell, formerly Miss Betsy Murray, who sur- 
vived him, and afterwards became Mrs. Inman. 
She was the aunt of Elizabeth and Dorothy Murray, 
and they had passed their youth with her at Brush 
Hill, and were warmly attached to the place. Eliz- 
abeth afterwards married our grandfather Robbins ; 
and Dorothy became the wife of a Scotch clergy- 
man, named Forbes, and they were the grandparents 
of our cousins Robert Bennet and John M. Forbes. 

A finer instance of the strength and durability of 
family attachments and friendships can hardly be 
found than those that were formed among the young 
people who were brought together at Brush Hill 
by the marriage of Uncle Smith, and which have 
been handed down to this present time from one 
generation to another. Uncle Smith's first wife, 



,< ( ATT *-..■. J 




i t < i aB 



: t:'r: i ML ril 






- ■jr-^*';w"^: ^ "!*j£? . * *""" 



'T ^BS& J 



I 



X *>«*?- n^sv^ "^T*r -TTw tecs i »*i -." T ~ ; 




BRUSH HILL ASSOCIA TIONS 37 

whose maiden name was Prudence Middleton, had 
three nieces — Mary, Annie, and Prudence Middle- 
ton — who for years were inmates of Brush Hill; 
they were very fine girls, of strong and excellent 
character ; and when Uncle Smith's second mar- 
riage brought to Brush Hill the two Misses Murray, 
an ardent attachment sprang up between the five 
young people, which was destined to exercise an 
important influence over their whole lives. One of 
the Miss Middletons married Mr. Lovell, and be- 
came the mother of Mrs. Pickard, who was the 
mother of Mary, afterwards Mrs. Henry Ware. 
Another was always called "Aunt Whipple" by my 
mother and aunts ; and the third, Mrs. Bent, was 
the mother of Miss Ann Bent, a woman whose 
unique character and large benevolence will never 
be forgotten in the Boston circles where her remem- 
brance has been widely cherished. 

Such were some of the fine characters who had 
passed either the whole or a portion of their youth 
under the hospitable roof of Uncle Smith at Brush 
PI ill ; and the traditions of that time were still vivid 
and oft repeated when Anne Jean and her brothers 
and sisters went with their parents and Aunt 
Forbes to restore the home of their mother's youth. 
Brush Hill had been rented for many years, and 
though it was a magnificent farm of one hundred 
and fifty acres, with fine orchard, large garden, 
meadows for grazing, and lawn covered with ancient 
elms, it had sadly run down for want of care, and 
needed all the industry of the whole family to put 
it in the old condition of thrift and comfort it had 
maintained in Uncle Smith's day. 



38 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To this beautiful home, where Nature had done 
her best, and where the whole scene glowed with 
associations, came Anne Jean, at the age of sixteen, 
with an eye quick to perceive and a heart to feel 
all the glories of the landscape, and an enthusiasm 
and energy and health rejoicing to bring aid in 
every possible way to the hard-working family on 
the Brush Hill farm. She rose early and sat up 
late, and no clay was long enough for the varied 
occupations that filled the hours. But first among 
her self-imposed duties was the care and education 
of the little sister over whom she had cried so 
bitterly because not permitted to bring her up by 
hand. My Aunt Revere tells me that she was full 
of theories of education and delighted in teaching; 
as it was very much the fashion of that day to 
follow Miss Edgevvorth's views on these subjects, 
she adopted them with much enthusiasm, and was 
never so happy as when she had induced our cousin 
Emma Forbes and Mary Pickard, who were near 
the age of her little sister, to come and stay a few 
weeks, when she would practise her theories of 
education on all three with great perseverance and 
success. 

My Aunt Catherine writes : " I have some strong 
impressions of my childhood, but for the most part 
thev are vaarue. We came to live at Brush Hill in 
the spring of 1805; your mother had then finished 
her schooling, and returned home to live. 

"Our familv was a lanre and confused one, with 
many interests to be cared for; the children all 
lived at home at that time, except your Uncle 



A PATRIARCHAL HOUSEHOLD 39 

Edward who was away at school, and afterwards 
at college, and was only occasionally an inmate. 
When we came to Brush Hill Aunt Forbes came 
to live with us. She had before lived in Boston, 
but had become too infirm to live by herself any 
longer. She was a settled invalid, crippled for 
thirty years with the gout. She never left her 
room, except occasionally during the warm weather, 
but was always to be cared for in it, food specially 
provided to suit her, and all the little things so 
helpless a person needs to be attended to, and no 
special attendant to do it. Your grandmother and 
your Aunt Howe did it for the most part, but the 
others took their share of it at times. All of us 
were glad to sit with her, and help to entertain her 
and hear her Old-World stories, for she was a very 
bright and cheerful person, who did not lose her 
spirits through all these many years of suffering. 
Your mother was thought to resemble her in tem- 
perament and in looks more than any of the family. 
Except under severe attacks, which occurred two or 
three times a year, she saw all the visitors, and was 
interested in everything that went on in the family. 
"Our farm arrangements were a great care and 
occupation. The place had been sadly neglected 
for years, and your grandfather employed many men 
to get it into condition, and all were provided for 
in the house. It was not unusual for us to have 
eight or ten men in the summer, which complicated 
the house-keeping very much. I assure you the 
providing for numbers, caring for the house, nursing 
the sick, and receiving friends (which went on all 



40 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

the time), with a great many changes, and coming 
and going both in parlor and kitchen, made an 
establishment which required skill and industry and 
activity to carry on with any comfort to the mem- 
bers of it. Your grandmother always superintended 
the kitchen department herself, including the dairy; 
but all the daily care of the house, the sweeping and 
dusting, and arrangement of the table, with a small 
boy or girl to wait, came to the young ladies of the 
house, with only occasional help from the second 
woman. Then the sewing for so many persons — 
no seamstress ever called in, except a dress-maker 
for fitting — was no light matter, but a business 
never done, with the utmost efforts of the girls 
(your grandmother never sewed). I assure you the 
younger members of this family were not in need 
of a ' career,' while they remained in it, except 
your Aunt Eliza, who hated domestic business, and 
stayed away at Hingham and other places a great 
deal of the time. Your mother also visited a great 
deal, but when she was at home she took a full 
share in all these various works, and was very 
helpful and efficient. She taught me my early 
lessons, and took more care of me than any one 
else, and made my clothes. Then I think she 
learned that peculiar style of dress-making that you 
remember, exercising it upon me and certain small 
maids that we had at different times, to whom it 
was well adapted. I tell you these things, not that 
each one is important, but to show you that your 
mother's life was by no means vacant or inactive, in 
consequence of her isolated position here. 1 ler 



HA BIT OF FA MIL Y RE A DING 4 1 

music too was a great interest and occupation to 
her ; she had begun to take lessons while at school 
at Dorchester, and continued to do so for some 
time after leaving there, and made a regular busi- 
ness of practising while she remained at home. 

" Then all the family were readers, the old ladies 
and the young; and among them were all kinds of 
tastes ; and they did a great deal of reading aloud, 
while the audience were diligently sewing. Our 
sister Eliza would have one kind of reading going on 
in her room with some of the children, and the old 
ladies another kind in theirs. History, philosophy, 
poetry, novels, and plays, each had its turn. I well 
remember hearing the ' Paradise Lost ' read when 
I was between eight and nine years old ; and I 
received it as an authentic record of the beginning 
of the world, and recurred to it as such in imagina- 
tion many years after. Reading was the constant 
resource and amusement when the more exacting 
business of the clay was over. 

" Your mother was, as you know, very handsome 
and animated, and a favorite with all the family 
friends. She would often be invited in Boston and 
other places, and make up her things to wear, often 
out of remains of her mother's dress-clothes, with 
the least expense possible ; and she looked hand- 
somer and better dressed than many who were elab- 
orately adorned. 

"The winters of 1809 and 1810 she spent entirely 
in town, with an old friend of her mother's, and went 
constantly into society, and was much admired and 
attended to. The next winter she spent in New 



42 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

York, with the Murray relatives ; she also visited 
her cousin James G. Forbes' family. 

"With regard to our visitors at Brush Hill it is 
difficult for me to tell you much. Your grandfather 
never had dinner company, or formal visiting in any 
way; he would bring home a stranger from town, 
or some person with whom he had business, to spend 
a night or stay over a day, but seldom invited com- 
pany on his own account. Mr. Fisher Ames, of 
whom Channing's biographer says that 'he held 
private circles and public assemblies spell-bound by 
the charm of his rich eloquence,' was his most 
intimate and life-long friend. He was a man of 
great ability, and rare conversational powers. He 
died in 1808. I do not remember ever seeing him 
except the last time he' came to the house, when he 
was far gone in consumption. With Mrs. Ames we 
always kept up a most friendly relation ; and a rare 
person she was : a large, stately woman with fine 
eyes and a remarkably dignified and gracious pres- 
ence, most friendly to all sorts of people. An 
immense reader and an admirable talker, it was 
always a privilege to be with her. I do not know 
any one at all like her now. There was about her 
a certain largeness of nature that was full of repose, 
perfect self-possession, with great consideration for 
others, and desire to give pleasure and put one at 
their ease, entirely apart from conventional polite- 
ness. 

"But the most constant visitors at Brush Hill 
were Mr. and Mrs. Pickard, the parents of Mrs. 
Ware, and other members of the Lovell familv, who 



GIRLHOOD FRIENDS 43 

were often coming out from Boston in the pleasant 
season, and whose houses were always open to us 
when we went to town. The Miss Bents and Mrs. 
Barnard were cousins to Mrs. Pickard, and inti- 
mately associated with her ; and there was a great 
deal of friendly intercourse among us all. Mrs. 
Pickard was more a woman of the world than Mary 
Ware, and not so spiritually-minded a person ; but 
she was a very admirable woman, very agreeable in 
conversation, kindly in her nature, and fond of young 
people. She was warmly attached to your mother 
and aunts, and often had them to stay with her. 
She had been in England a great deal, and had seen 
something of the Old World, which was a rarity then, 
when very few women went abroad. She took great 
interest in your mother and in her marriage. She 
died about six months after that event, deeply 
lamented. 

" Your mother used to visit both the Perkins 
families. Mr. James Perkins, the grandfather of 
Mrs. Cleveland, was a very cultivated and agreeable 
man, fond of the society of women; and he liked 
to talk with her and make her talk, which she was 
never slow to do in her early days as well as later. 
The Brimmer family were among your grand- 
mother's early friends, and when Mrs. Inches came 
to live in Milton the younger members of the 
family became intimate with her, which intimacy 
lasted as long as she lived. She was a remarkably 
disinterested and conscientious person, always 
ready to serve others, though she was literally worn 
to death with an immense family, and with trying 
to do more than any mortal could. 



44 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

"The Brush Hill family also kept up a great deal 
of friendly intercourse with the people of the town. 
They had quite an intimacy with the Sumner family, 
but none of them exercised any special influence 
over your mother's mind, like the other friends I 
have mentioned. 

" I must not omit to mention the Misses Barker, 
also hereditary friends. They always visited at 
Brush Hill every year, often passing several weeks. 
Three single ladies of very peculiar and original 
characteristics, they lived in Hingham, were quite 
poor, owning a house but having a very small in- 
come; they lived in the most frugal but independent 
way. About twice a year your grandmother would 
go down to Hingham, with her chaise laden with all 
kinds of good things in the way of provision, to give 
them a little help and comfort. They were great 
readers, two of them especially — readers of history 
and old English literature; and, when Miss Debby 
was eighty years old, she would repeat her favorite 
passages of poetry in the quaintest way. They 
were remarkable also for having kept up the idea of 
loyalty to the king all their lives, and would talk 
about William IV. as their liege lord fifty years 
after the Declaration of Independence. When they 
came to visit us the talk was very much about things 
before the war, and the friends who went back to 
England, with whom they kept up correspondence. 

"During the period of your mother's youth when- 
ever people came together politics was the all-ab- 
sorbing subject of conversation. Your grandfather 
was a strong federalist, and in common with others 



POLITICS, RELIGION, FINANCES 45 

of those views, through the administration of Jeffer- 
son, when the embargo was made and other meas- 
ures carried which culminated in the war of 1812, 
they all felt that the country was ruined, the repub- 
lican experiment had failed ; and these subjects for 
years kept up as much excitement and as constant 
discussion as slavery and the prospect of war did 
with us during the last conflict. This made a lasting 
impression on my mind, because I had a vague terror 
of evil to come, and knew not what it might be. 

" I do not remember that the conversation at 
home was often on abstract subjects, or even upon 
religious topics ; for the Unitarian controversy had 
not then begun, and we went to church as a habit 
and matter of course, without the least interest in 
the preaching. Your mother even in her youth 
was fond of fine preaching, and would make great 
efforts to go and hear Dr. Channing or Mr. Buck- 
minster, who was a great favorite for a few years. 

" In closing these brief reminiscences, I ought 
to mention one condition which exercised a con- 
tinued influence upon the lives of all the Brush Hill 
family, restricting them in many ways, and- occa- 
sioning a great deal of worry and anxiety. Your 
grandfather and grandmother had an ample income 
for many years of their married life, and lived much 
as they pleased ; but he was a person fond of new 
enterprises and large experiments, which by the 
time they came to Brush Hill began to cause em- 
barrassments, and later when the difficulties in 
business came on, and the war disturbed everybody's 
plans, occasioned him a great deal of trouble. In so 



46 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

large a family this was peculiarly trying, and could 
not but occasion a good deal of unhappiness. Yet 
it never so depressed the spirits of the young people 
as to prevent their enjoying life a great deal. But 
it affected their general condition, and allowed them 
fewer indulgences than the beginning of their lives 
had promised." 



CHAPTER III. 

And perfect the clay shall be when it is of all men understood 
that the beauty of Holiness must be in labor as well as in rest. Nay ! 
more, if it may be, in labor; in our strength rather than in our weak- 
ness ; and in the choice of what we shall work for through the six 
days, and may know to be good at their evening time, than in the 
choice of what we pray for on the seventh, of reward or repose. . . . 
For the few who labor as their Lord would have them, the mercy 
needs no seeking, and their wide home no hallowing. Surely, good- 
ness and mercy shall follow them all the days of their life ; and they 
shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. — Ruskin. 

A LTHOUGH my dear Aunt Catherine only wrote 
■*^*- the letter that closes the last chapter as a sort 
of guide to me in this life of my mother, and with- 
out thought of my printing it, yet I have copied it 
entire ; for what could my imagination do towards 
piecing out the records of a life that went before 
me, that could be half as valuable as these simple 
outlines? I remember my mother's frequent and 
warm allusions to her early life, the lovely walks up 
and down the piazza at Brush 1 1 ill with her beloved 
father, the shadows of the old elms upon the lawn 
in the splendid moonlight evenings, the view of the 
distant light-houses in Boston Harbor, which they 
would pause in their loving talks to watch. These 
evening strolls on the wide piazza were brief but 
happy rests after days of activity and healthful toil 
and hours of separation, and they were enjoyed as 



48 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

only hours of rest from toil can be. My Aunt Mary, 
Anne Jean's younger sister, tells me that there was 
no day in summer when it was not considered the 
established duty for Sally, Anne, and herself, as 
soon as their dinner was over, to prepare two large 
trays containing plates of bread and butter, cut very 
thin and doubled ; silver baskets of cake which they 
had made in the morning, and dishes of strawberries, 
which they had gathered and hulled themselves. 
These trays, covered with white napkins, were 
placed in a dark, cold closet, ready for their addi- 
tion of the tea-pot and pitchers of rich cream, to be 
brought out at evening when the friends from Boston 
would be sure to come out, always a number of un- 
invited but most welcome guests. Cousin Mary 
Ware once said to me : " Oh, if I could give you a 
picture of the Brush Hill girls — how they worked, 
how they read, what a variety of things they accom- 
plished ! There was your Aunt Howe — Sally as 
they called her then ; why the girls of the present 
day would think themselves ruined if a tenth part 
of what she did was expected of them ! All summer 
she rose at four o'clock, that she might weed the 
strawberry beds, or make her cake, or gather the 
fruit, in the cool of the morning. But I have seen 
her many a time, when things crowded, obliged to 
gather the fruit under a broiling sun. But never 
an impatient word fell from her lips. She was one 
of the most self-sacrificing, hard-working, devoted 
creatures the sun ever shone on." 

To this beloved sister Sally, nearest to her in age, 
and enough older for Anne Jean to look up to with 



SA LL Y ROB BINS \S" CHA RA CTER 49 

a special reverence as well as affection, she owed 
through life a debt of love and gratitude that cannot 
well be computed. It is hard to speak of her as she 
deserves, or to find words that can describe her 
beautiful character. She was a person of very un- 
common powers of mind ; yet, as the necessities of 
her life always obliged her to be constantly active, 
reading and intellectual reflection were her pastime, 
and rarely an occupation. She had the same ardent 
temperament as Anne Jean, the same deep and 
glowing affections, the same love of Nature, and the 
same appreciation for fine character. But here the 
resemblance ceased. For Sally was from her youth 
to old age a wonderfully chastened spirit, her ardor 
tempered by deep religious trust, her vivid imagina- 
tion held in check by an excellent and considerate 
judgment. So rare a combination of noble qualities 
it is not often our fortune to meet, and Anne Jean 
justly looked upon her as a superior being; and 
while she valued every fine trait her sister pos- 
sessed, she said to herself, " It is high, I cannot 
attain unto it." I can scarcely think of her, even 
at tins distance of time, without a crowd of images 
forcing themselves upon my mind, full of tenderness 
and unspeakable pathos. In youth, the mainstay 
and dependence of her excellent father, the devoted 
care-taker of her beloved invalid aunt, the confiden- 
tial friend of every brother and sister, ready to 
devote herself body and soul to each member of her 
family — she became later in life the chosen com- 
panion and wile of one ol the noblest of men, my 
father's cousin, judge Howe. Not many years per- 



50 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

mitted to enjoy this rare companionship, she took 
up her solitary burden without a murmur, devoting 
herself for the remainder of her days to the care 
and education of her large family of children, and 
earning for them by personal labor a large portion 
of their means of support. And this hard-working 
woman had a thirst for knowledge, a love of intel- 
lectual pursuits, rarely to be met with. How often, 
when a day of toil was ended, has she sat up late 
at night to write a lovely story for some Fair for 
a charitable object for which she had no money to 
give, or a beautiful poem full of freshness and 
originality, or a volume of charades ! With as boun- 
tiful and affluent a nature as Anne Jean's, and as 
fine health, Sally possessed a more rarely-cultivated 
intellect and a more delicate imagination. She was 
less brilliant in conversation than Anne Jean, partly 
from a sweet abstraction and profound humility very 
genuine with her. But her judgment on all matters 
of importance was more reliable than her younger 
sister's. 

I never heard any one read heroic, or fine, or 
pathetic passages of poetry or prose in so moving a 
manner as my dear Aunt did. She lost herself com- 
pletely at such times, ceased to be for the time herself 
and was her character. I walked into her dining- 
room one day at Cambridge, with a paper in my hand 
containing Mrs. Browning's poem, then new, of "My 
Kate." She had just sent off her army of young 
men from the dinner that had occupied her for hours 
to superintend, but laid down the dish she was re- 
moving, and read the poem. I shall never forget it, 



EXCURSIONS IN PHILOSOPHY 5 1 

and can never read it again without recalling her 
tones. When she came to the line, " She has made 
the grass green, even here, with her grave," I could 
not speak, but had to leave the room. 

I cannot help pausing thus over the recollection of 
my Aunt Howe, for her companionship and sisterly 
affection were so much to my mother through a long 
life that they form a striking part of her history. 
Rarely is it permitted to one to enter into life in 
such precious companionship. 

My Aunt Mary tells me that when Anne Jean 
left the Ladies' Academy at Dorchester, though only 
sixteen, she was and had been for two years a very 
large and fine girl, with the form and figure of a 
woman ; and also, that she was very handsome. 
Besides the time which she now gave to the educa' 
tion of her little sister, her elder sisters Eliza and 
Sally thought it best for her own mind that she 
should give daily some hours to the study of met- 
aphysics, which were considered more important then 
than it now is. Accordingly, the three read together 
with great avidity Dugald Stewart's "Philosophy," 
"Alison on Taste," Smith's "Theory of the Moral 
Sentiment," and other works of the same character. 
They became intensely interested both in meta- 
phys : cs and ethics, and before Anne Jean was 
twenty years old she had read all the authors on 
these subjects that were then best known. I have 
beside me her commonplace book of this period, a 
singular medley of poetry and prose, with recipes of 
various dishes pinned to the fly-leaves, and rare 
quotations from various authors. There are news- 



52 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

paper slips pinned to blank leaves, Bryant's earlier 
hymns and poems, and many fine copies of passages 
from her favorite authors ; such as Hannah Morc's 
"Coelebs," Dr. Johnson's " Rasselas," "Ossian's 
Poems," &c. Several pages are devoted to Blair, 
wherein sincerity and truth are recommended ; and 
a wonderfully beautiful " Evening Prayer " whose 
author is not named fills several pages. There is a 
letter from Madame de Roubigne to her daughter 
which reads like a translation, and is full of pious 
advice. Then follow what is called "A Matrimo- 
nial Chart," and "An Enigma," by Lord Byron; 
some lines written by Miss Cranston, wife of Pro- 
fessor Dugald Stewart, the first four lines of the last 
stanza being added by Burns, as he himself says 
in one of his letters. There is also, "The Burial 
Hymn of Sir John Moore;" "The Flower Angels," 
translated by Mr. George Bancroft ; a poem by Pro- 
fessor Frisbie, and a few valuable extracts. Evi- 
dently she thought that a sonnet of her beloved 
sister Sally's, on the death of the old friend whom 
they both called "Aunt Whipple," ought to be saved 
from destruction by insertion here at a later day, 
and for the same reason I copy it: — 

Lines in Memory of Mrs. Whipple. 

"When the free spirit wings its heavenward flight, 
And soars to realms of everlasting light, 
All human praises may superfluous seem; 
But memory still must dwell upon the theme 
Of one whose patient virtue, kind and wise, 
Humble and cheerful, was above disguise. 



WINTER CO A TS AND PARTY DRESSES 53 

She drank affliction's bitter cup, and owned 

The hand that gave it, and her griefs were crowned 

With hopes that reached beyond the grave ; 

She knew her Lord, and felt His power to save. 

Nor yet disowned the social ties that bind 

(While being lasts) each creature to its kind, 

Felt Friendship's power to soothe the wounded heart, 

And knew to take the sympathizing part ; 

Forgave all injury, and is forgiven 

If inward peace marks the sure path to heaven." 



Anne Jean also kept a journal, as well as a com- 
monplace book; but, alas! that has perished, as well 
as many another record of the Brush Hill life, that 
now can never be recalled. The time of her youth 
with its varied and incessant occupations passed 
swiftly by ; but each and all were fitting her for the 
life of responsibility that was to come, and leaving 
behind recollections of useful and happy years. 
The winters at Brush Hill were long and cold ; the 
appliances for heat not what they are now, the large 
open chimneys and wood fires being cheerful to the 
eye, but with their ample draughts not warming to 
the body. "We wore our great coats in the house 
half the time, Sally and I," said my mother once; 
"and even then could not have been warm without 
the active employments that kept us constantly 
bus_\-." Often came from their city friends urgent 
invitations to pass a tew weeks. Anne Jean went 
oftencst, because Sally could less easily be spared 
from household cares ; but now and then they went 
together. In the long summer days, with all their 
multifarious occupations, they found time to em- 



54 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

broider the cambric or muslin dress, which was to 
be their party dress the next winter — and the only 
one. They chose their patterns with care, and the 
dress made up in the latest style of that day seemed 
to them very elegant. An embroidered cambric 
dress of exquisite fineness, and an India muslin for 
a change, worn with various-colored ribbons, were 
Anne Jean's party dresses through several succes- 
sive seasons, while going into Boston society. And 
few of her companions of that day were more hand- 
somely dressed. Whenever she and Sally were in 
town over Sunday it was a rare pleasure to them to 
go and listen to Mr. Channing and Mr. Buckminster; 
and at this time, although the Unitarian contro- 
versy had not then begun, was laid the foundation 
of that large, broad, and hearty adoption of liberal 
views that characterized both of their lives. Sunday 
had always been a dull day to them at home, listen- 
ing from habit to general platitudes on the "exceed- 
ing sinfulness of sin." And to have the life of 
Christ preached to them as something to be taken 
home to their own hearts, and lived in every fibre of 
their being, filled these young minds with an undy- 
ing enthusiasm, and forced them to surrender every 
unworthy desire, and devote their lives to the 
highest aims. A volume of Buckminster's sermons, 
containing his portrait and a short memoir, was one 
of Anne Jean's most treasured books through life. 
She would read us certain sermons with kindling 
eyes and a voice of emotion, saying, "Oh, if you 
could have heard him deliver that discourse; it 
loses so much in being read by another!" Buck- 



MR. BUCKMINSTER'S SERMONS 55 

minster's biographer says of him : " I cannot at- 
tempt to describe the delight and wonder with which 
his first sermons were listened to by all classes of 
hearers. The most refined and the least cultivated 
equally hung upon his lips. The attention of the 
thoughtless was fixed ; the gayety of youth was 
composed to seriousness ; the mature, the aged, the 
most vigorous and enlarged minds were at once 
charmed, instructed, and improved." 



CHAPTER IV. 



Would Wisdom for herself be wooed, 
And wake the foolish from his dream, 

She must be glad as well as good, 
And must not only be, but seem. 

Coventry Patmore. 



THERE are very few of Anne Jean's letters 
during the period of her youth left, but I shall 
insert those few in this memoir, not because they 
are of special interest, but because they were hers. 
And even though written, as most of her letters 
were through life, in the careless haste of a person 
whose thronging occupations made time of value, 
they are still genuine, simple effusions that will 
show her grandchildren how little she was ever oc- 
cupied with herself, and how deep was her interest 
in others. In the piles of her letters I have read 
over, I am struck with the fact that no trace of ill- 
will or discontent ever appears in them. It seems 
to have required more words for people to express 
their ideas in the style of that day than now, and 
one sometimes tires of what seems so diffuse. And 
yet there is something of the stateliness and dignity 
of a former time left in my mother's and aunt's 
letters, which is very interesting. The first note 
was written to her Aunt Forbes, when stopping in 



A BOSTON VISIT IN 1805 57 

Boston on her way to Hingham to visit the Misses 
Barker, not long after leaving school, about 1804 or 
1805, when she was sixteen years old. 

Pearl Street, Boston. 

According to your request, my dear aunt, I will 
relate what has occurred to me in this great town. 
I came to Mr. Lovell's to breakfast ; sat till eleven 
with Mrs. Pickard ; then waited on Mrs. Perkins : 
she had been down stairs, and was then lying down. 
I then passed on to Mrs. Powell's, and had a chat 
with her, and engaged to breakfast with — who do 
you think ? It is impossible you should make any 
conjecture, and I will relieve your mind, — Judge 
Powell! He arrived on Wednesday, passed the 
evening at Mr. Lovell's, and Mrs. Pickard engaged 
him to meet mamma on Friday. I am half in love: 
he is a charming man ; he came at twelve and sat 
till one o'clock ; but I was gadding after a shawl, 
and a very smart one, I have purchased. In the 
afternoon Mrs. Pickard, Mary, and myself walked 
to sec Mrs. Dix. I think her much altered since I 
last saw her ; she is getting a nurse for her child. 
Returned to tea, and Mrs. Whipple passed the 
evening with us. This morning, Saturdav, kept my 
appointment, and have only to regret its short dura- 
tion ; for I found by Mr. Gay the packet was going 
early ; made a hasty breakfast, and returned to 
Pearl Street, and sat down to perform my promise 
to you. I had scarcely finished three lines when 
the coach came, and I was hurried off. My time 



58 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

was so short I could not call at your friend Paine's, 
but will when I return. I have engaged a proxy, 
and hope she will be intelligible to you. My haste 
I have transmitted to her, as there is danger of 
missing Mercury, alias Nat Ford. I have forgot 
the most important news:*I have had a letter from 

Eliza; they were still at Mrs. M y's. E.'s heart 

is at home, and I expect her person will be there 
before long. Mr. Bent of S. is dead ; and there 
is a letter from C. L., who was well in August. 
Respects and love to mamma. Kiss my dear Kate, 
and accept the love and good wishes of 

Your affectionate niece, 

Anne Jean Robbins. 

By her proxy, Mary Pickard, 
who is, with much respect, the lady's most obedient servant. 

Anne, in after life, often spoke of her visits to 
Hingham, as among the delightful episodes of her 
youth. She said that Hingham resembled " Cran- 
ford " more than any place she ever saw, and that 
there was quite as much that was quaint and origi- 
nal and intellectually bright in the society there, 
were there only a historian like Mrs. Gaskell to take 
it off. And I have no doubt when she returned to 
Brush Hill she did take it off, to the untold amuse- 
ment of her Aunt Forbes and her sisters. I have 
often heard her say of certain habits of people who 
visited Northampton, or of certain conversation, 
"Oh, that's so llinghamy!" Or, "It is not possible 



EMBROIDERED MOURNING PIECES 59 

for you to understand that, because you never stayed 
in Hingham." In one of her visits there she met a 
brother of Mr. Andrews Norton ; and I remember 
her telling me how he came in one day, and found 
the young ladies in a house he visited very busy 
embroidering mourning pieces, — a fashion of that 
time, in which very tall women with short waists 
and long black dresses were always standing weep- 
ing by a monument. The young girls asked Mr. 
Norton to compose a verse for them to have in- 
scribed on their mourning-piece. He hastily seized 
a piece of paper, and wrote these lines : — 

" In useless labors all their hours are spent, 
They murder Time, then work his monument." 

In these visits to Hingham, Anne Jean often also 
met Henry and William Ware, — boys some years 
younger than herself. " I was often permitted by 
Mrs. L.," she said, "to wash their faces, or tie up 
their shoes, or help them off to school. And they 
were such little gentlemen, so good and so grateful 
for any small attention, I thought it a great privi- 
lege." 

The letter that follows was written from Brush 
Hill, at a later date, to her sister Eliza, who was 
then staying at Hingham : — - 

Urush Hill, Wednesday, March 15, 1S0S. 

My dear Eliza, — Experience has taught you 
sufficiently the state of Brush Hill for me to give 
you any thing new upon the occurrences which it is 



6o RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

subject to ; they still remain monotonous and unin- 
teresting ; we are all well and negatively happy. 
Since my return from Boston, three weeks since, 
I have been out of the house to make a visit but 
once. Our new neighbors, Mr. W.'s family, were 
then my object ; I was charmed by the beauty and 
unaffected diffidence of the girls, to which was 
added the most active industry. I was sorry to 
hear their mother say (who interested me more 
from the warmth with which she spoke of her chil- 
dren than any other circumstance) she had moved 
to Milton entirely for their advantage, hoping to 
polish their manners by refined society, and culti- 
vate their tastes by a familiar intercourse with it. 
I said nothing to discourage her, but think time will 
prove to her how mistaken the calculation. Mr. S.'s 
family are so engrossed by their genteel acquaint- 
ances, and the very flattering reception they met 
with among their Boston friends, that they have 
had very little to do with us who are quite in a dif- 
ferent style. We tried to give a party yesterday, 
but could get nobody to come but Mrs. S. and 
Mrs. W. The only new thing that has or is going 
to take place in this town is C. H.'s marriage, which 
has not interested me very much. It is a very long 
time since we have heard from Mrs. Willard ; and I 
wish, when you write again, you would say whether 
Mrs. dishing went, and what you have heard 
respecting Mrs. Barker, for I apprehended great 
depression of spirits must have been caused by the 
news of her mother's death, which must have been 
very unexpected to her. If you could be made 



HOME LIFE ON LEA VI NG SCHOOL 61 

comfortable here, I should very earnestly desire 
your return ; but am quite reconciled to the absence 
of my sisters (much as I love them), upon the 
grounds that their happiness is promoted by it. I 
am going into Boston in about ten days, to a ball 
at Mrs. Arnold Wells's, till which time I shall be 
assiduous as I have been for the last month in the 
care of the little girls, who I have been (I think) 
successful in improving very much ; and I should 
be very well content to make that my future employ- 
ment could I have insured to me such pupils as Emma 
and Kate. Mary does not begin to think of leaving 
home yet, but I suppose the first visit she makes 
will be at Hingham. I heard Mrs. Barnard say she 
expected you would make her a visit when you 
returned from Hingham, but I hope you will come 
home first. Ask the Miss Barkers if none of them 
think of making us a visit ? Mamma says so long 
a time never elapsed since she was married without 
her seeing Miss Sally. I wish, too, that you could 
secure the promise of a visit from Mary Thaxter and 
Peggy Cushing, to whom I beg you will remember 
me affectionately. Nothing tends to warm my heart 
more than the idea of the remembrance and affection 
of those who arc away from me ; and I beg you will 
continue to give me proofs of yours ; and believe me, 
affectionately yours, Anne Jean. 

During the winters of 1 808-9, Anne's elder sis- 
ters, Eliza and Sally, had visited their relatives in 
New York, and enjoyed a great deal in the society 
of many superior people. While they were visiting 



62 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

at Mrs. Kane's, they went out a great deal, and con- 
stantly met Washington Irving, Mr. Paulding, and 
Jeffrey, who was still there, with many other of the 
literary men of that day. It was the period of the 
"Salmagundi," in which Sally took a lively interest; 
and when she returned to her isolated, hard-working 
life at Brush Hill, she set about privately editing 
a little paper for herself and her friends, which she 
called "The New Salmagundi," to which she and her 
friend, Eliza Cabot, were the principal contributors. 
It afforded them much pleasure, and, no doubt, gave 
them great facility in writing criticisms, essays, and 
poems. But in one of Sally's letters to Miss Cabot, 
she states that her sister Eliza has cast great indig- 
nity on "The New Salmagundi," and has even gone 
so far as to call her, the worthy editor, " Sally Mc- 
Gundy." Still they seem to have continued the 
little paper for some years. 

She was visiting her cousin, Mrs. Murray, and 
went much into the fashionable society of that time. 
Her letters are a mere record of the pleasure she 
received from the kindness of friends ; of the per- 
sons she met at gay parties ; of her going to the 
theatre with her cousins and seeing the famous 
Cooke perform, " To the admiration of every one 
who saw him except myself," she adds, " who had 
seen Cooper in the same character, and dared to 
think him preferable." 

These letters are interesting to a family circle, if 
only for their affectionate mention of names that 
have passed away, and because of the occasional 
quaintness and general stateliness of style ; but they 



"SALMAGUNDI" AND NEW YORK 63 

have no intellectual value, and the limits of this 
volume will only permit a few references to them 
and extracts from them ; with now and then a char- 
acteristic letter. The variety of requests in one 
letter and the mixture of reading show the gay girl's 
mind, without pretence and without discipline. She 
writes : " I wish you would send to the G.'s those 
old-fashioned gold earrings with the diamond in 
them (for those I have are not considered smart 
enough by J. G. F. and his wife) ; and they will 
forward them to me by some private opportunity. 
I should like also to have the 'Deerfield Collection" 
sent at the same time, which, when I go to J. B.'s, 
will be a very agreeable companion to me. You 
must not expect many mental acquisitions, for this 
is not a family to promote it ; but I have read 'The 
Man of the World,' Young's ' Revenge,' Lowthe's 
'Choice of Hercules,' Shenstone's 'School-Mistress,' 
and Mrs. Barbauld's poems, all of which I am very 
much delighted with. Now, for all this nonsense, 
I expect a rational, serious letter, such as perhaps 
I shall write after hearing Dr. Romeyn a few times 
more." On a following page she adds : " I have 
heard Dr. Romeyn preach ever since I came, who 
is not to be compared with President Kirkland, 
Mr. Channing, or Mr. Buckminster." To another 
sister: " Your observation respecting the situations 
which preclude correct views of the prevailing 
characteristics of such a place as this is, applies 
perfectly well to mine ; for, as yet, I have not had 
an opportunity of judging of anything that did 
not relate to the fashionable world, which, you 



64 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

know, is contained in a very contracted sphere. I 
went out to large parties, though not with my own 
consent, I assure you, every afternoon last week. 
There is but one respect in which I prefer the New 
York society to Boston, which is the estimation in 
which they hold a stranger's rights, — the manners 
of which universally proclaim that ' stranger is a 
sacred name.' I have never met any lady or gen- 
tleman who have not treated me as their friend. 
Perhaps this is a prevailing hypocrisy, but it is flat- 
tering, and makes us feel satisfied with ourselves." 

Afterwards having gone with Mrs. Murray to her 
father's home at Greenfield Hill, she writes : "I have 
been extremely happy ever since Monday at Green 
Vale ; both A. J. and E. must have improved aston- 
ishingly since you saw them. A., without any re- 
markable natural endowments, has the most judg- 
ment, and the most firmly fixed good principles of 
any young person I ever met with. She is a most 
indefatigable and patient instructress to three chil- 
dren, the two eldest of whom are Emma and Cath- 
erine's age, who stammer out words of two syllables 
all the forenoon for my amusement. E. is the in- 
dustrious manager and housewife of the family. 
They both daily regret that they cannot become 
Calvinists, which is all that is wanting to make them 
perfect in Dr. Romeyn's eyes. Owing to my wicked 
influence they concluded to go to a party this even- 
ing, instead of going to Dr. Romeyn's lecture ; and 
have promised to go to the next assembly with me, 
to the astonishment of all their friends." 



CHAPTER V. 



Let other bards of angels sing 

Bright suns without a spot ; 
But thou art no such perfect thing; 

Rejoice that thou art not ! 

Such if thou wert in all men's view, 

A universal show, 
What would my fancy have to do, 

My feelings to bestow ? 

Wordsworth. 



IT was in the spring of i8n that Anne Jean, after 
passing some months under the hospitable roof 
of her cousins in New York, accompanied them to the 
early home of Mrs. Murray, at Greenfield Hill, Con- 
necticut. From her own letters it is easy to see 
that her visits in New York had been crowded with 
gayety, and filled with kind attentions of numerous 
friends. That she owed these attentions to her own 
personal beauty or talents in conversation, or other 
attractions, never seems to have crossed her mind. 
She was at all times simple and unconscious, which 
constituted one of her greatest charms. 'My aunts 
have told me what I could never have learned from 
herself: that she had many admirers, both in Boston 
and New York society, and that she was solicited to 



66 RECOLLECTIONS Ob SfY MOTHER 

remain for life in either city. But . ; t does not appear 
that her heart responded to any of these appeals. 

It was at Greenfield Hill that she met her fate. 
Among the guests at Mr. Bronson's came Judge 
Lyman, of Northampton, with his eldest daughter, a 
beautiful girl of eighteen, to pass a week. He went 
to see his friend on banking business, little expecting 
to find there his future partner for life. He was 
soon attracted by her beauty and her superior con- 
versation ; and she, on her part, was inspired with a 
most ardent love and admiration for the man who 
was old enough to be her father. 

I dare not trust myself to speak of him even now, 
but must use *"he words of another, — -our beloved 
pastor, Mr. Rufus Ellis, — written long after his 
deatn, to show that the young girl loved one who 
might well have been the ideal of the most enthusi- 
astic youthful fancy : " To many, many hearts the 
words 'Judge Lyman' are charmed words. They 
call up the image of one, the manly beauty of whose 
person was but the fit expression of a most noble 
soul ; they recall a man singularly gifted and singu- 
larly faithful, — -a thinker, clear-sighted, yet rever- 
ent, — a lover of religious liberty, yet only for the 
pure Gospel's sake ; a devoted friend, a self-sacrific- 
ing philanthropist, an ardent patriot, a man diligent 
in business, yet ready to meet the largest demands 
of every hospitable office ; a cheerful giver, one who 
made virtue venerable and lovely by the uniform 
dignity, grace, and courtesy of his manners, and by 
the sweetness of his speech ; a man whose moral 
and social qualities so occupied attention, that we 



ENGAGEMENT TO JUDGE LYMAN 67 

could hardly do justice to a very wise, discriminating, 
and cultivated intellect." 

When the news of Anne's engagement to Judge 
Lyman, of Northampton, reached Brush Hill a few 
weeks later, the sisters were thrown into a state of 
much excitement and commotion. But their feelings 
are well described in a letter written by Sally to 
Eliza, who was then absent at Hingham : — 

Sally Robbins to Eliza Robbins, Brush Hill, July 24, 181 1. 

Dear Eliza, — In these hours of more than com- 
mon agitation, I think you will like to know what 
is going on, and what my opinion upon the subject 
is. Last Saturday evening as I was sitting, watch- 
ing for the return of pa, ma, and Mr. Forbes, some 
one drove up, and I thought it was Mr. F., and 
addressed him as such, when much to my surprise 
the answer was in Judge Lyman's voice. The fam- 
ily collected in the course of the evening, and the 
Judge, Mr. Forbes and son, and our own two boys 
were here all Sunday. John Knapp breakfasted 
here, and James Lovell and wife took tea here ; so 
that, amid the whole of it, I was not very sorry that 
Anne was not here. Monday he went into town and 
brought her out. She introduced him to some of her 
friends there, — the thing took air, and is now cir- 
culated far and wide. Yesterday they spent the 
afternoon in riding together, and called at Mr. James 
Berkins's, and at Mr. Brince's ; and to-day they have 
gone into Boston together again. As you must have 
perceived, she is very much pleased with it herself. 



68 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I should have liked it better if she did not express it 
so openly ; and it is mysterious to me how a hand- 
some young woman, who has been caressed by the 
world as she has, should be so flattered and delighted 
with the love and admiration of a man old enough to 
be her father. Sometimes I feel grieved that she 
should undertake such cares, and such responsibil- 
ity. Sometimes I feel angry that she should allow 
this prepossession apparently to occupy every feeling 
of her heart, and so entirely to engross and swallow 
up every other, as never to have named as a priva- 
tion that she has to remove a hundred miles from all 
she has formerly known and loved. Indeed, I do 
not think that if he was five-and-twenty, unincum- 
bered, handsome and rich, good and estimable that 
she could have been more pleased with it, or decided 
upon it with less reflection. Sometimes I am pleased 
that she is to be so well provided for, to have so ex- 
cellent a guardian, and so kind a friend. Amid these 
various sensations I am in constant agitation, and 
really do not know how to set myself about any 
thing. Thus much I have to comfort me : in my 
disinterested estimate of the character of the man, I 
do not think that I could desire a better one for the 
dearest friend I have on earth. Respectable talents, 
chastened sensibility, and pure benevolence beam 
from his countenance, and enliven his conversation. 

But twenty-one years is an awful chasm in human 
life, and five children a great charge ! I will not 
"forecast the fashion of uncertain evil," but trust 
ail to the mercy of that God whose protection has 
hitherto been abundantly granted to us. With re- 



DEA TH OF A UNT FORBES 69 

spect to his proposals, nothing can be more entirely 
honorable; he wishes that a speedy close may be 
put to the matter. We wish to have Anne make 
a visit at home first. Pa's opinion corresponds 
exactly with mine ; he says nothing would have 
induced him to consent, but a knowledge of how 
good a man he is. 

Surely this summer is the most eventful period 
of my life ; it commenced with sickness, death, and 
sadness ; it advanced in dulness and retirement ; 
my dear James's new establishment prompts some 
hopes and excites some fears, — and now agitation 
has ensued, and matrimony will close the scene. 

Good-by ; I shall write again soon. I do not 
know how long the Judge will stay, but I guess not 
a great many days longer. 

Yours ever, 

S. L. Robbins. 

The allusion in this letter to the sickness and 
death that had occurred in the family at Brush Hill 
was that of Aunt Forbes, who ended her life of 
suffering in the spring of 181 1, and died, deeply 
lamented by all her nieces. I have heard my 
mother say that it seemed to close one of the most 
interesting chapters of their early life. There had 
always been an atmosphere of romance about her, 
because in youth she had lived in remote parts of 
the world. Her three children, born in distant 
countries, she had never once seen together. For 
many years crippled with rheumatic gout, she was 
always full of cheer and sympathy for the young, 



70 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and a bright light seemed to go out from their home 
when she had left it. A full-length portrait of her 
by Copley, taken when she was sixteen years old, 
still hangs in the dining-room at Brush Hill. The 
face is full of character, vivacity, and sweetness. 

On the 30th of October, 181 1, Anne Jean Rob- 
bins became the wife of Judge Lyman, of Northamp- 
ton ; and bidding farewell to father and mother, 
brothers and sisters, and troops of friends, she went 
to her new home on the banks of the beautiful 
Connecticut, "a hundred miles from all she had 
formerly known and loved." It makes us smile 
now, in these days of railways and rapid transition, 
and constant travel, to think that this removal 
seemed so serious a distance, in the minds of the 
sisters. But we should remember that it was then 
a long, tedious, and expensive journey, taken in 
a stage-coach ; also that a letter sent by post cost 
twenty-five cents, so that the means of communica- 
tion were very infrequent. One continually finds 
reference in the letters of that time to the fact of 
having found an opportunity to send a letter ; a rare 
and delightful circumstance. 

From this time on I shall no longer speak of 
Anne Jean, but shall tell her story as that of my 
mother; although I was the youngest but one of 
her children, and therefore must continue my narra- 
tive for some years mainly from the anecdotes of 
others, or from her own letters. 

Probably no young girl ever more completely 
realized the glowing dreams of youth than did my 
mother in her marriage ; and, certainly, she " builded 



MARRIAGE AND A NEW HOME 71 

better than she knew" when, with her free and 
untrammelled nature, her warm and impulsive tem- 
perament, she chose the companionship of the coun- 
try gentleman of already established reputation, to 
that of any city-bred man in whose home the formal- 
ities of wealth and fashion would have been, under 
the best of circumstances, a burden and a trial to 
her. For although there were people who called 
my mother aristocratic, it was only because they 
did not know her. A certain grandeur of manner, 
nobility of figure and outline, a flow of elegant 
English in conversation, may have given that im- 
pression to a casual visitor ; but no friend or neigh- 
bor in Northampton during all her life there but 
saw and knew that she was essentially a woman of 
the people ; full of sympathy for all classes and 
degrees, claiming no superiority in any department, 
and having no higher aim than to light and warm 
the neighborhood where God had placed her. I 
have often thought how lost her talents would have 
been on any other scene of action than just the one 
where she was placed ; how the utter absence of 
care for externals would have been noted as a fault 
rather than a virtue in a different state of society ; 
how those little beneficences, which flowed from her 
as naturally as the air she breathed, would never 
have been desired or appreciated among the deni- 
zens of cities or of fashionable life. I count her 
to have been happy also in the period in which she 
lived, as well as the home in which her lot was cast. 
All times are good, but for her peculiar nature and 
disposition no time could have been better. 



72 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Northampton was at that period one of the most 
beautiful of New England villages. My father's 
house stood in the very centre, — a large, old-fash- 
ioned square house, with a wing on each side back 
from the main building. Each wing had a little 
covered porch looking out into the main street. 
A small yard on one side separated the house from 
a brick store, whose upper floor was occupied by 
a printing office The other side-yard was much 
larger and more rural. There was almost a grove 
of beautiful acacias there, and in the little front 
enclosure was a tulip-tree and many flowering 
shrubs ; a row of five horse-chestnuts and a large 
elm shaded and protected the house somewhat from 
the glare and dust of a main street. Had it not 
been for the kind thoughtfulness and perseverance 
of our sister, Mrs. Joseph Lyman, we should never 
have had the picture of that happy home at the 
opening of this chapter. The outlooks from the 
house were all charming. On the opposite side of 
the street, and separated from it by one of the 
loveliest front yards, stood our neighbor's, Mr. Eben 
Hunt's. That place was always kept in perfect 
order, and an exquisite taste presided over all the 
hedges and flowering plants and lovely vines. Near 
to it came, a few years later, our little church, — 
a small Grecian temple, — with its avenue of trees 
leading to it, and with Mrs. Hunt's garden on one 
side of it, and my father's garden on the other ; 
the very spot now occupied by the public library. 
From every window in our house there was some- 
thing pleasant for the eye to rest upon, and little 







Pipe - # i fe^-ftS 



■ *V'" 

&• 'WW- '-^ ' \%- 

'•.*'•- V,".' ,,.A > 

' ' •'■ ' ' ' • 



HER HUSBAND'S CHILDREN 73 

vistas of exquisite beauty, even though in the heart 
of the village. As soon as the autumn leaves had 
fallen, the west end of Mount Tom appeared to us 
through the interval between Mr. Hunt's house and 
the little church, — a grand and noble peak, that 
well repaid us for the loss of foliage and summer 
beauty ; and from our front door, winter and sum- 
mer, we could always see Mount Holyoke in varying 
lights and shadows, — sometimes cloud-capped and 
dark, sometimes resplendent with the sun-tipped 
mists that were rolling away from it. My mother 
delighted in natural beauty, and no one ever en- 
joyed more than she did the sights and sounds that 
surrounded her. 

Few young persons ever came to a happier home, 
or were surrounded with an atmosphere giving freer 
scope to their peculiar faculties. In the husband of 
her choice she found not only warm and constant 
love and appreciation, but a patience with the faults 
of her impulsive temperament, rarely equalled and 
never failing. In his eldest daughter, who united 
personal beauty to loveliness of character, earnest- 
ness of purpose, and much helpfulness in household 
matters, she realized for three years a pleasant com- 
panionship, and the greatest assistance in the care 
of the younger children, and of her own first child, — 
to whom this beloved sister was devoted through 
the whole of his beautiful infancy. Doubtless my 
mother made many a mistake with regard to these 
children ; she made mistakes about her own. But, 
so far as -I know, they never doubted the real friend- 
liness of her designs and purposes with regard to 



74 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

them, or her unselfish pursuit of their good, — so far 
as her different temperament enabled her to under- 
stand theirs. If it was otherwise, I can only say 
that my elder brothers and sisters had too much 
good taste and good feeling, too much love for their 
father and for us, and too much of his own patient 
and warm-hearted view of things, ever to make us 
aware that they had any but kindly feelings towards 
one whose heart was so large it could never have 
stopped at her own hearth-stone. 

I do not think that my mother or her sisters had 
ever dreamed of a life of ease, or of freedom from 
care, as any thing to be desired. On the contrary, 
they gloried in responsibility, believed in activity 
and earnest work, with all the intensity of simple and 
healthy natures. 

During my father's widowhood, his cousin, called 
in the family "Aunt Dwight," had kept house for 
him ; and she remained for a time after his second 
marriage, until the young wife became wonted to 
her new position. I have heard my mother speak 
of her as one of the kindest and best of women, and 
also as having a sunny temper, and much of that 
strong common sense and ready wit so characteristic 
of New England countrywomen of that day. My 
father's house had always been noted for hospital- 
ity ; and what with the throng of visitors brought 
there by his various offices of trust, which had made 
him the friend of the whole county, and the large 
circle of family friends of whom he was the centre, 
and the townspeople who had always considered the 
house as their place of meeting, — the care of pro- 



A HEART OF HOSPITALITY 75 

viding for such numbers was no small matter. But 
in this particular my mother always went heart and 
hand with my father. Unlike as they were, both in 
temperament and character, they were most perfectly 
agreed in their social ideas and sentiments, and 
never considered it any effort if they could only 
make large numbers of people happy under their 
roof. Besides our elder brothers and sisters, we had 
five cousins to whom my mother was quite as strongly 
attached as my father was. They were the daugh- 
ters of his only brother, and for many years they 
came and went with the freedom of children ; some 
passing months of every year, and two of them 
spending several years, with us, for the purposes of 
their education. My mother loved them all with 
great devotion ; but few mothers ever feel an intenser 
affection and sympathy for an own child than she 
felt for Abby, the eldest, who lived with her for sev- 
eral years, and was married from the house. There 
are very frequent references to her in her letters. I 
greatly regret that so few records remain of the first 
five years of my mother's married life, and that I 
know so little of them. But they were bucy and 
happy years, crowded with home cares and social 
duties. 

Since the first copies of this memoir were distrib- 
uted in a large family circle, a little tale has come 
to me, so characteristic of her habitual thoughtful- 
ness of others in small ways that I insert it here. 
An aged woman asked to read the Life, and did so, 
and closing it, said to her companion, " I have reason 
""o remember Mrs. Lyman," and then told her this 



7 6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

story. She lived on the outskirts of the village, and 
earned her living by taking in washing. A year 
after my mother's marriage, her first child, Joseph, 
was to be christened in the Old Church along with 
seven other infants. Among them was the little 
child of this good woman. As she had been over- 
worked all through the week, and Sunday was ap- 
proaching, she was mourning quite to herself that she 
had had no time to prepare a cap for her little baby 
to wear at his baptism, and in those days a cap was 
an essential. Soon she heard her gate click, and my 
father's little daughter Mary, a child of eight years, 
came up to her with a little box in her hand, and 
said, " My little brother is going to be christened to- 
morrow at church and mother heard that your little 
baby is to be christened too, and she thought per- 
haps you might not have time to make him a cap, 
and so she sends you three for you to choose the 
one you like best." Sixty years had passed since 
that christening, and that small and simple kindness 
and the reading of this book; but the aged heart 
glowed with the remembrance. Oh ! in these days 
of costly gifts and large expenditures, let us not pass 
by and forget the remembrances that come from 
warm hearts and constant habits of thoughtful in- 
terest. 

She had the power of attaching to her the domes- 
tics who helped to carry on the household, and made 
very few changes. At that time a class of respecta- 
ble American women did our family work, and the 
relation between mistress and servant had in it more 
affection and confidence than are common now : 



A HAPPY NURSERY 77 

though these sentiments are never absent in the 
best families in any age. When my brother Joseph 
was born, an excellent woman took possession of the 
nursery (who abode there fifteen years), named Mrs. 
Burt, — or Burty, as we called her; and she only 
left to marry again late in life a man whose descend- 
ants are among the most honored citizens of our 
commonwealth. Burty's name was always a house- 
hold word in our family, many years after she had 
left us ; for she had been the trusted and confi- 
dential friend of parents and children, nieces and 
cousins, and visitors, — taking hold of every sort of 
nondescript work that turned up in the large family, 
with the heartiest interest, and tending her babies 
by the way. There could not have been a pleas- 
anter nursery than ours was, nor was it possible for 
children to be taken care of in a more entertaining 
way. There sat our mother with her great mending- 
basket and her book, and there sat Burty alternately 
sewing and attending to her children. Elder broth- 
ers and sisters and cousins came in and went out, 
each lending a hand at some domestic service, or 
reading aloud to my mother if the babies were quiet 
or asleep. Our father came in, and would take her 
often out with him in the chaise, if he were going to 
summon a jury, or do any of his various business in 
neighboring towns. And how quickly she found her 
bonnet, and wrapped up the baby to take with her, 
so as to leave Mrs. Burt more time for other labors ! 
Children who grow up in large families, and are 
taken care ot in that way, and always in the so- 
ciety of their elders, are favored beyond measure. 



78 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Handed about from one to another, the care seldom 
falls heavily on any one person ; and the being 
mostly with refined natures has an insensible influ- 
ence on theirs. Then the amount of entertainment 
to young children, coming without any expense of 
time or means, from the mere spectacle of numbers 
of grown people actively occupied, is incalculable. 
I have heard it objected that the conversation of 
grown persons cannot go on unreservedly in the 
presence of children. But any that cannot, ought 
not, as a general thing. Children do not understand 
what is above or beyond them, though they may be 
insensibly elevated by high-toned conversation which 
they cannot understand. And what is beneath them 
had better never be discussed. If a little child is a 
restraint on such conversation, then by all means let 
him be "set in the midst of them." My mother 
seemed to go on with every thing with her children 
all around her. In all large families there must be 
some friction ; days when things go wrong and the 
atmosphere is heavy. We had those days. The 
dear woman had not a perfect temper, and had her 
share of things to ruffle it ; and more than once the 
cook has said to Sally Woodard, our dear second 
girl, " Mis Lyman's got up wrong-eend foremost 
this day, sure." And Sally would say, "Yes, but 
she'll come round before night." And so she did. 
There was nothing wicked in her fits of temper; 
though violent, they were usually only like the 
summer thunder-gusts in our beautiful valley, that 
cleared the air, and renovated the landscape. 

Yet it would not be quite truthful not to record 



HER WA YS WITH CHILDREN 79 

the fact that her strong and breezy movements 
about the busy house were sometimes a trial, either 
to the sluggard or the invalid ; and that sensitive 
hearts sometimes experienced a hurt she had no 
intention of leaving. My father and all his children 
were of a highly emotional cast of character ; both 
his elder children and her own inherited this trait, 
and she was sometimes at her wits' ends to account 
for it. " Oh ! those Lyman floodgates," she said 
once to one of the nieces," those Lyman floodgates 
seem to me to be always open. What have I done 
now ? " 

She was very entertaining to her own children. 
Some of my young friends have told me that they 
were a little afraid of her when children, although 
they became warmly attached to her as they grew 
up. And I think this was very likely, because she 
had such grand ways and impressive gestures. But, 
in us who were familiar with them, they inspired 
no such awe. She never nagged children, or con- 
tradicted them, or made them naughtier by observ- 
ing on their little naughtinesses. She had the finest 
way of diverting them without their knowing it ; 
calling otf the attention from a troublesome habit, 
by proposing some new and interesting occupation. 
She had a quantity of " nursery rhymes " at her 
command, which she repeated on occasion in such 
mock heroic style, as to fix them forever in the 
memory. One favorite occurs to me now. which 
she used to say in a sort of breathless undertone, 
that nearly took away my breath. 



80 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

" If every tear that she had shed 
Had been a needle full of thread : 
If every sigh of sad despair 
Had been a stitch with proper care, — 
Closed would have been the luckless rent, 
And not her time have been mis-spent. " 

My mother gave appropriate names to every part 
of the large house. There were "the old parlor" 
and "the best parlor," and "the hall," and "the 
nursery," and "the library," and "the corridor," — a 
covered way that connected "the library" and "the 
office," — on the first floor. The kitchens and their 
appurtenances were in a basement, where the ground 
fell off at the back of the house. Of the chambers, 
one was always called "Sister Mary's room," through 
all the long years after she had left it ; and another 
" Brother Dvvight's room;" and then there was 
Justin's room (the man's), and the two best chambers, 
east and west; and last, not least, "the turnpike," a 
lovely chamber through which one had to pass to 
get into the west wing, and where there was always 
the finest view to be caught of the west end of 
Mount Tom. 

Visitors used to be amused to hear my mother say, 
"Go call Jane, she sleeps now on the 'turnpike;'" 
or, " Bring me such a box or basket from ' the corri- 
dor.' ' But to us they were all magic designations 
that now call up a hundred precious memories. Our 
father and mother occupied the library as their 
sleeping-room. It was so called because a large and 
deep recess, corresponding to a closet, on one side 
of the fireplace, had been partitioned off, and the 



A FA SCINA TING LIBRA RY 8 1 

ceiling of a dark cupboard below formed the floor of 
the library, which had glass doors, lined with plaited 
green silk. This library was the home of mystery 
and romance. The lower shelf was filled with 
bound volumes of the " American Encyclopaedia," 
the next with the " Waverley Novels." There were 
volumes of the " North American Review " and the 
"Christian Examiner;" sermons without number, 
from Jeremy Taylor and Dr. South to Buckminster 
and Channing; and one shelf quite devoted to the 
children's books of that day, — " Evenings at Home," 
" Sandford and Merton," " Robinson Crusoe," Miss 
Edgeworth's charming scries, the little pocket 
edition of " Harry and Lucy," and " Frank," — 
being so dear to the heart of my brother Joseph, that 
he was wont to read them over once a year as long 
as he lived. A whole row of little volumes of the 
"Juvenile Miscellany," edited by Mrs. Child, pos- 
sessed an infinite charm for us. By standing on a 
chair, the very young children could climb into this 
library, close the glass doors with silk lining, "tote " 
in a little chair, and be perfectly concealed from 
view. 

The dark cupboard underneath had been inhabited 
from time immemorial bv a family named "Bideful," 
— perfect figments of the imagination, but who, 
nevertheless, lived through several generations, and 
had wonderful histories and experiences. If any of 
the children were missing too long from parlor, or 
hall, or nursery, my mother would say: "Look in 
the library, they must be there ; or, stay, possibly 
they are passing the afternoon with 'the Bidefuls.' " 



82 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

And when we returned, she would inquire in the 
most tender and affectionate manner after the well- 
being of "the Bidefuls ; " and add new interest to 
their histories and fate, by her brilliant or witty 
suggestions. Were there really no little people that 
lived in the little cupboard under the library ? It is 
so hard to believe now that it was all a myth ; and 
that the lovely Lucy, the last of that ancient family, 
had no material existence. 

With all the fine health of my father and mother, 
we had a great deal of sickness in our house. Our 
elder brothers and sisters had inherited delicate con- 
stitutions from their mother, and three of my moth- 
er's children were far from strong. This may have 
been caused by the disparity of years in our parents. 
But I think the health of all was materially affected 
by our mother's entire ignorance on the subject. It 
was the one great defect of her intelligence that she 
had no appreciation of that ounce of prevention 
which is worth more than a pound of cure. With 
an iron constitution herself, strong nerves, and 
healthy blood, she had no understanding of how the 
lack of these things may be supplied and built up by 
patient forethought and care. But when her warm 
heart was wrung by the sufferings of those for whom 
she would have cheerfully given her life, we could 
only regret that she had known so little how to avert 
the calamities she deplored. She was a very faith- 
ful and devoted nurse in the severe illnesses that 
occurred, not only in her own family, but in those 
of her neighbors and friends ; always ready to lose 
her sleep, night after night, as long as any one 



HEROIC VIEW OF NERVES 83 

needed it. But, the moment all danger was over, 
the patient was well to her mind, and it was high 
time to set about the real business of life, in which 
sickness was an untold interruption. Usually, if an 
illness was a low nervous fever, not dangerous, but 
requiring much care, she thought it a good time to 
improve all our minds by a course of reading aloud, 
for which there was never any uninterrupted time 
in our ordinary life. And I remember one such ill- 
ness, when Ranke's " History of the Popes," and 
Carlyle's " French Revolution " were manfully put 
through under what would have been serious diffi- 
culties to any one else. She always seemed to con- 
sider nerves rather as vicious portions of the human 
character than as constituents of the mortal frame ; 
and as they interfered sadly with duty, with benevo- 
lence, and every other virtue, they must be dis- 
charged without delay. She desired to be thankful 
that she was born before nerves were the fashion. 
She believed entirely in the power of mind over 
body. Alas ! she forgot that so long as the two are 
united there must be constant action and reaction 
of each upon the other ; and we, who saw her mis- 
takes in this wise, knew that some of the heaviest 
trials of her life came from this one-sided view of 
the subject. Yet even here her forcible character 
implanted a grand outlook in the heart of an invalid ; 
and one, at least, of that large family has never 
known whether most to deplore the ignorance and 
false view that wrought such sad consequences, or 
to thank and bless her for the belief so powerfully 
inculcated, that though the outward man perish the 
inward may be renewed day by day. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Let a man, then, say : " My house is here in the county, for the 
culture of the county ; an eating-house and sleeping-house for trav- 
ellers it shall be, but it shall be much more. I pray you, O excel- 
lent wife, not to cumber yourself and me to get a rich dinner for 
this man or this woman, who has alighted at our gate, nor a bed- 
chamber made ready at too great a cost. These things, if they are 
curious in, they can get for a dollar at any village. But let this 
stranger, if he will, in your looks, in your accent and behavior, read 
your heart and earnestness, your thought and will, — which he cannot 
buy at any price, in any village or city, and which he may well travel 
fifty miles, and dine sparely and sleep hard, in order to behold. Cer- 
tainly, let the board be spread, and let the bed be dressed for the 
traveller; but let not the emphasis of hospitality lie in these things. 
Honor to the house, where they are simple to the verge of hardship, 
so that there the intellect is awake and reads the laws of the universe, 
the soul worships truth and love, honor and courtesy flow into all 
deeds." — Emerson. 



MY father was forty-four years old, ray mother 
twenty-two, at the time of their marriage. 
It has been said by such numbers of people that 
they were the handsomest couple that ever came 
into Northampton, that I think it must have been 
true. Beauty is certainly a passport to all hearts, 
and when, as in their case, the life is "in accord- 
ance with the curious make and frame of one's crea- 
tion," there is an influence about it that cannot well 
be computed. They now became the centres of a 
social circle, not easy to describe in these days, — • 




v- /■ .-/ 



/ 7, 



NOR THA MP TON SO CIE TV IN 1811 85 

for sixty years have changed the physical aspect of 
the times, and removed so many old landmarks, and 
created so much hurry and bustle, that events for- 
merly marked and distinguished, now chase each 
other with rapidity ; and we can scarcely go back 
and put ourselves in the rural village where railroads 
and telegraphs had never been heard of, where one 
church gathered all the inhabitants, and where the 
life of each family seemed of vital importance to 
every other. 

There were no very rich people in Northampton ; 
but many persons of elegant culture, refined and 
aristocratic manners, and possessing a moderate 
competence, lived there in much ease, envying no 
one, really believing themselves highly favored, as 
they were, and practising a generous hospitality at 
all times. It was a county town, and so seemed a 
large place to the people on the outskirts ; but it 
really numbered only four thousand inhabitants. If 
there were no rich people, there was certainly an 
almost utter absence of poverty, and none of those 
sad sights to meet the eye reminding one of a des- 
tiny entirely different from one's own. Little or no 
business was done there ; but Shop Row contained 
about ten stores, all of them excellent, — dry-goods 
and hardware stores, and an apothecary's, — which 
made a little cheerful bustle in the centre of the 
town, — especially on certain days of the week, 
when the country-people would come in in their old- 
fashioned wagons to do their shopping. There wee 
two United States senators residing there for life, 
three judges, many eminent lawyers and scholars, — ■ 



86 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

retired people who had no connection with the busi- 
ness world, who lived within their moderate incomes, 
and never dreamed of having more. The matchless 
beauty of the scenery attracted many visitors. The 
more wealthy families in Boston were fond of taking 
carriage journeys of two or three weeks, and would 
take Northampton in their way as they went into 
Berkshire. Many a family party came in this way 
to our two hotels in the summer and autumn, and 
would stop two or three days to ascend Mount Hol- 
yoke or Tom ; to drive to Mount Warner or Sugar 
Loaf ; to walk over Round Hill, or round and through 
the rural streets of our village, which were so lined 
with magnificent elms that, from the mountain, it 
always looked as if built in a forest. Every morn- 
ing the stage for Boston — the old-fashioned, yellow 
stage-coacn, with a driver who was the personal 
friend of the whole village — drew up in front of 
Warner's tavern, with a great flourish of whipping 
up the four horses ; and every evening the stage 
from Boston was known to be approaching about 
sunset, by the musical notes of the stage bugle-horn 
in the distance. I think the driver always wound 
his horn just after he crossed the great bridge from 
Hadley. 

There was a story told very often of our dear 
stage-driver of that period. He had a wonderful 
memory, and trusted it entirely, and so did all the 
town. For they brought him notes and messages 
and errands of every description, to attend to all the 
way to Boston ; and he never took any memoran- 
dum, yet always returned with the long list of things 



THE BOSTON STAGE-COACH 87 

properly attended to. Once he took his wife with 
him to Boston, the plan being that she should come 
back the next week. After he was on the stage-box 
on his return home, he carefully made his estimate 
of all the commissions intrusted to him by the 
town of Northampton, and could not see that he had 
forgotten any thing. Yet all the way to Worcester 
he was haunted by the impression that he really had 
forgotten something, though what he could not tell ; 
till, just as he whipped up his horses to leave that 
town, it suddenly came to him, and he exclaimed, 
" Oh ! it's my wife; I've left my wife ! " Of course 
it was too late for him to return for her, and of 
course he never heard the last of it in Northampton. 
My father was one of the most industrious of 
men ; all through winter's cold and summer's heat 
he labored faithfully at his law business, from morn- 
ing till night, for the maintenance of his large 
family. If ever man fulfilled the injunction, "not 
slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord," he did. Social enjoyment was his great, in 
fact his only, recreation ; and the sound of the stage- 
horn at even-tide was like martial music to a war- 
horse. I lis face would glow in the evening light, 
his step become alert. lie reached his hat from the 
tree in the hall, and hastened out to be at the tavern 
before the stage appeared. With a shining counte- 
nance, he would return and tell of the fine people 
who had arrived ; how he had offered his carriage 
and horses to Mr. A., or Mrs. B. and her daughters, 
to go up the mountain next day; how he had in- 
vite 1 this friend to breakfast with him, another to 



88 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

tea. More often he came home with some tale of 
some person in ill-health, or in sorrow, not likely 
to be made quite comfortable at the tavern ; and a 
"Wouldn't it be well to send Hiram for their trunks, 
and tell them to come right here?" To which my 
mother's quick response, " Why, of course, that's 
the only thing to do," made him entirely happy, as 
he hurried off to summon his guests. 

Once I recall his coming home from Mount Hol- 
yoke in great glee, because his friend Judge Dawes 
had made the ascent with him ; and he told how, as 
they rounded the last steep of the mountain, and the 
whole glorious view burst upon him, Judge Dawes 
had grasped his hand fervently and said, " Why, 
Judge Lyman, it's a perfect poem." 

The number of really fine gentlemen of the old 
school, who assembled at our house to see my father, 
almost every day for, at least, seven or eight months 
of every year, was very great. The judges of the 
Supreme Court were all warmly attached to him, 
and they delighted in my mother's society. Judge 
Williams once said : "When I go on the circuit, I 
try to find some young person who has never been 
at Northampton ; and then I take them to Judge 
Lyman's, because I consider that a part of a liberal 
education." As I remember, — -and it must always 
have been so, — much of the conversation of my 
father and his friends was upon the events and the 
history of the times, and none at all upon any small 
or local gossip. 

Three years after my mother's marriage, the Hart- 
ford Convention came off, and my father, being a 



BIRTH OF HER OLDEST CHILD 89 

member, took her with him there ; and they both 
had a very delightful time, and received a great deal 
of attention. As the objects and purposes of that 
celebrated body were always kept strictly secret, my 
mother never referred to it in any way, except in its 
collateral enjoyments. 

Although she had left her old home far behind 
her, and was now absorbed in a round of household 
cares and social duties that were most engrossing, 
yet the family life at Brush Hill was still a deep 
interest in her heart ; and she kept up a constant 
and ardent correspondence with her parents, 
brothers, and sisters. The Forbes cousins also came 
in for a large share of her affectionate remembrance ; 
and with Cousin Emma, — the frequent companion 
of her little sister in her early efforts at teaching, — 
she corresponded for more than twenty years. Both 
sisters and cousins began to visit her soon after her 
marriage, and these were always occasions of heart- 
felt pleasure. 

On the 14th of August, 18 12, my mother's oldest 
child was born ; and never did the birth of a son 
awaken deeper emotions of love and gratitude than 
did our dear Joseph's. How carefully she watched 
over the moral and intellectual influences that sur- 
rounded Ids youth, only those knew who lived with 
her then. From this time forth she was constantly 
occupied with t lie cares of young children, as well as 
of tlmse who were growing up ; and at the same 
time uniting with my father in what our friend Mr. 
Rufus Ellis has since called "a hospitality that 
carries us back to earlv davs in the Fast." 



go RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

In her account of my mother's youth, my Aunt 
Catherine has spoken of her music, as being a great 
occupation and pleasure to her ; but after her mar- 
riage she had little time for practising, and confined 
herself to playing for a half hour at twilight or after 
tea, the short time before the children went to bed. 

The "old parlor," where we lived for eight months 
of the year, was a square room of moderate size, 
with two windows on the street, and one on the side- 
yard towards the printing office. It was a simple 
room, but very pretty. The walls were covered 
with a pale-yellow paper, and varnished ; the broad 
wooden panels lining the room for three feet in 
height. The floor was covered with an English 
Kidderminster carpet of bright colors. A large 
Franklin stove, with brass finishings and fender and 
andirons shining brightly in the firelight, gave 
warmth and cheerfulness to the room. A clock of 
alabaster, with swinging pendulum, stood on a 
bracket between the two windows. The furniture 
was cane-seated, but had hair-cushions covered with 
bright chintz. A sofa and two rocking-chairs, a cen- 
tre-table and an upright English piano (the only one 
in the town for many years), constituted the remain- 
ing furniture. Over this piano, in an old-fashioned 
gilt frame, hung a picture of Domenichino's St. 

Cecilia, a beautiful engraving by ; which was 

the delight of my childhood. 

Before the children were sent to bed, my mother 
always played the " Copenhagen Waltz" and "The 
Battle of Prague," with variations, with much vigor. 
She was iruillless of ever havinir heard of " classical 



" THE CHILDREN'S HOUR" 91 

music ; " and I fear the performance would hardly 
satisfy us now, though we thought it charming then. 
On Sunday nights she played a number of psalm 
tunes, singing also with much feeling and fervor. 
"Dundee," "Federal Street," " Calmar," and " Pley- 
el's Hymn " were always favorites. When on week- 
day evenings she played the former tunes, we always 
expected to have a waltz with the dear old father. 
But, though much past sixty years of age, how young 
he seemed ; how vigorous ! He called us his "little 
pigeons ; " and, bending down to us, would lift us off 
our feet, and whirl us round the room, till we were 
all satisfied with the dance. Then suddenly he shook 
us off, as if we had been so many flies ; declared he 
had "a bone in his back " (which we supposed to be 
a disease peculiar to himself), and seating himself, 
quite spent, in his high-backed leather rocking-chair, 
he was soon gone off in his evening nap, glad if he 
had been helped thereto by little fingers softly strok- 
ing his white hair. Oh for a picture of that noble 
face, as it looked then in sleep, when the evening 
firelight lit up the peaceful features that had for sixty 
years been " the home of all the benignities ! " Then 
came a solemn moment. When we went to say 
"good night" to our mother, she would exclaim, 
"And now, children, where are your monuments ? " 
Then we made haste to bring her any little task we 
had completed, any small work done, and receive 
either her commendation or an emphatic urging to 
do better next time. But this was not all ; she would 
often remark on the friends who had come and gone 
that day, and say : " When I was out to-day, I heard 



92 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

that Mrs. So-and-so called. She is old and poor, and 
had walked a long distance. Did you ask her to stop, 
and give her a warm seat, and tell her to stay to 
dinner, or wait till I came home ? " Alas ! intent on 
play, we had never thought of it. "Well, Miss B. 
came this afternoon ; she wanted a book : did you tell 
her you would find out about it and bring it to her ? " 
No ! we had not. " Oh, my dear children," would be 
the answer, given with some emotion, " you've lost 
your opportunity!' These words made an intense 
impression on my mind. Surely no loss could be so 
great as that, the loss of an opportunity to do a kind- 
ness. Ah ! if children in that home grew up selfish 
and inconsiderate of the claims or rights or needs of 
others, it was their own fault ; for they were better 
taught. 

She loved to give us pleasure ; and on her yearly 
visits to Boston or Brush Hill, would always take 
one or two of us with her, — never feeling us a care 
or an encumbrance, in the long journey of eighteen 
hours by stage-coach, which had to begin at mid- 
night. Yet how much of the wear and tear of our 
present life was escaped in those days, by not having 
to hurry to a railway train. There were no expresses 
then, and so when it was known in the village that 
Judge and Mrs. Lyman were going to Boston (and 
they always took pains to make it known), a throng 
of neighbors were coming in the whole evening 
before ; not only to take an affectionate leave, but 
to bring parcels of every imaginable size and shape, 
and commissions of every variety. One came with a 
dress she wanted to send to a daughter at school ; 



NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSIONS 93 

another with a bonnet ; one brought patterns of dry- 
goods, with a request that Mrs. Lyman would pur- 
chase and bring home dresses for a family of five. 
And would she go to the orphan asylum and see if a 
good child of ten could be bound out to another 
neighbor till she was eighteen ; and if so, would 
Mrs. Lyman bring the child back with her ? An- 
other friend would come in to say that her one 
domestic had an invalid sister living in Ware ; and 
another a mother in Sudbury, on the stage route. 
When the stage stopped for breakfast or dinner, 
or relays of horses, would Mrs. Lyman run round 
and hunt up these friends, carry them messages and 
presents, and bring back word when she came home 
how they were, — it would make Sally or Amy so 
much more contented through the winter ! 

The neighbors walked into the library where the 
packing was going on ; and, when all the family 
trunks were filled, my father called out heartily, 
"Here, Hiram, bring down another trunk from the 
garret, the largest you can find, to hold all these 
parcels ! " And on one occasion, when all were 
finally packed, a little boy came timidly in, with a 
bundle nearlv as large as himself, from another 
neighbor, and "would this be too big for Mrs. 
Lyman to carry to grandmother; mother says she 
needs it so much, this time of year?" "No, in- 
deed," my mother would say; "tell your mother I'll 
carry any thing short of a cooking-stove." "An- 
other trunk, Hiram," said my father; "and ask the 
driver to wait five minutes." Those were times 
when people could wait five minutes for a family so 



94 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

well known and beloved. If a little behind time, 
our driver had only to whip up his horses a little 
faster before he came to the Belchertown hills ; and 
when he came to those, the elders got out, and light- 
ened the load, to facilitate the journey. What jour- 
neys they were ! How full of romance and advent- 
ure ! The first one I recall was when, at five years 
old, I was taken up out of a sound sleep at one 
o'clock at night, by my cousin Emma Forbes ; 
dressed by her in a very sleepy state, she not failing 
to encourage me by telling me that I was a "good 
little kitten," who was going to Boston with her and 
my mother ; then dropping asleep in her arms as 
soon as the stage started, and not waking till sun- 
rise. And such a sunrise ! I had never seen it 
before ; and having in a childish way had my vague 
ideas of another world, I started up, and looking 
beyond the Belchertown hills, at the glorious hori- 
zon, I asked Cousin Emma if we were going to 
heaven. 

My father and Uncle Howe always met with won- 
derful adventures on these journeys. When they 
stopped at the good breakfast at Belchertown, they 
were sure to meet some one they knew, who 
brought them tidings they had been waiting for. 
At Ware, later in the morning, a concourse of 
stages met from the west and south; and some of 
the passengers would be transferred to our stage 
for Boston. Then often, what handshakings, what 
lighting up of countenances, as friends parted for 
many years met in this seemingly providential way, 
and knew they were to pass at least twelve hours 



STAGE-COACH JOURNEYS 95 

in each other's company, within the friendly limits 
of the stage-coach ! Now and then they met agreea- 
ble strangers, who became friends for life ; for on 
such a journey conversation flowed freely ; all were 
enjoying that delicious freedom from business and 
household care, that is so favorable to the inter- 
change of thought, and the comparatively slow 
progress of the coach over a country rich in beauti- 
ful scenery gave a peaceful flow to the ideas, not 
interrupted by the shriek of railroad whistles, or the 
sudden arrival at some crowded station. 

I remember one such journey, where a distin- 
guished politician opened a fire upon two worthy 
Quakers from Philadelphia, which brought out from 
them, though in gentlest terms, their anti-slavery 
sentiments. My father, being an old federalist, — 
while he believed slavery to be a great crime against 
God and man, — was still of the opinion that was 
held by many good men of his time, that it was a 
question that belonged to the South to settle for 
themselves ; and that it was both useless and dan- 
gerous for the North to meddle with it. Yet he 
was disgusted at the manner in which the politician 
attempted to brow-beat the excellent Friends ; and 
so manfully stood up for their right to their own 
opinions and to the expression of them, that thirty 
years later, when accident brought one of his chil- 
dren to their acquaintance, they expressed a most 
grateful remembrance of his courtesy and support 
through a day's journey that would have been made 
intolerable by the presence of their other compan- 
ion. This was before the days of the abolitionists, 



96 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

— years before Garrison and Phillips had sounded 
the tocsin. 

Their visits to Boston were enchanting to hear 
about ; and when they returned home after an ab- 
sence of two or three weeks, again the neighbors 
collected to hear the news. And as they sat around 
the blazing wood-fire, the evening after their home- 
coming, all the trunks unpacked and put away, and 
the return-parcels and messages delivered, all those 
children who had not accompanied them on the 
journey were allowed to sit up as long as they 
pleased. As one friend after another dropped in, 
the talk became most animated. To one they told 
of their dinners at Judge Shaw's, Judge Wilde's, or 
Judge Putnam's ; or of the signs gathering in the 
political horizon, they had heard discussed. To an- 
other they descanted on the Sundays they had en- 
joyed; how the eloquence of Dr. Channing had 
uplifted their minds, and how their hearts had 
burned within them as they talked with dear friends 
on the rise and growth of liberal Christianity in 
New England. And then how many friends of 
their friends they had contrived to see, and how 
many salutations they brought to those less-favored 
neighbors, who could not go to Boston once a year 
as they did. Yes, these visits made a festival for 
the whole neighborhood as well as for themselves. 



CHAPTER VII. 

What wouldst thou have a good, great man obtain ? 
Place, titles, salary, a gilded chain ? 
Or throne of corses which his sword-hath slain ? 
Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends : 
Hath he not always treasures, always friends, 
The good, great man? — three treasures, love and light, 
And calm thoughts regular as infant's breath ; 
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night, 
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death. 

Coleridge. 

"|\ /T Y father's best-beloved and most intimate friend 
was his cousin, Samuel Howe, — a man whose 
pure spirit and high character, united to an intellect 
of unusual vigor, made him the choicest companion 
in the home circle. He lived at Worthington, — 
one of the beautiful hill towns of Hampshire County, 
so situated as to enable the resident lawyer to prac- 
tise in several counties. He had always been a 
frequent visitor at our house ; and, as he had lost 
his wife a few months before my father's second 
marriage, and was left alone with two young chil- 
dren, it was natural for him to seek the solace of 
his friend's home, after my mother came there. 
What his society and friendship were I can only 
estimate by the life-long allusions to his judgment 
and his heart by both my parents, and to a memory 
always kept green to their latest day. 



98 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

During the winter of 1812, my father sent his 
hired man, with a double-sleigh and two horses, to 
Boston, to bring home his oldest daughter, Eliza, 
who was there on a visit ; and, to my mother's great 
delight, her sister Sally also returned in the sleigh, 
to make her a long visit. One can imagine the long 
two days' journey, in mid-winter, in the open sleigh ; 
the keen, frosty air, the young girls well wrapped 
in buffalo-robes, and Northampton as their goal, 
with its hospitable home to welcome them, when 
the cold and weary journey was ended. In Sally's 
letters to Miss Cabot at this time are frequent allu- 
sions to Mr. Howe's visits at the house ; and she 
always speaks of him as "the mountaineer." Evi- 
dently she had not regarded him in the light of 
a lover; and the entirely unrestrained and natural 
intercourse that followed was the best possible prep- 
aration for that rare union of mind and heart that 
can only subsist between beings of the finest mould. 
Writing to her dearest friend of the result of this 
intimacy, she speaks of him as possessing all those 
qualities she most desires in a companion ; and adds, 
with characteristic humility, " If I have not the 
pleasure of exciting a first attachment, I cannot 
doubt that I am beloved, for it is impossible that 
any man should choose me from any other motive." 

And so, in little more than two years after her 
own marriage, my mother experienced the purest 
pleasure in the union of her dear sister Sally to 
this friend of friends. My father's happiness in this 
event was fully equal to her own ; and from this 
time the most delightful intercourse went on between 



MARRIAGE OF SALLY ROBBINS 99 

the sisters, and the two homes at Northampton and 
Worthington were gladdened by a constant inter- 
change of warm affection. My Aunt Catherine 
writes : — 

"With regard to your Aunt Howe's life at Worth- 
ington, I question my power of writing anything 
that will be interesting. I have no special faculty 
of making an interesting narrative out of simple 
things, and would on no account ornament, or throw 
any false hue of sentiment over a life of plain duty, 
governed by high principle and animated by the 
purest sentiments. 

"Worthington is a mountain town, much higher 
above the Connecticut valley than the hills that 
immediately overlook it. It is approached by the 
ascent of long hills, over rough roads ; and the 
transit, about twenty miles, with their own horses, 
as the two families usually made it, took much longer 
than a journey of a hundred miles now does. 

"There was no village, or centre of things about 
it, more than a tavern, a store, and half-a-dozen 
houses, where were gathered together such conven- 
iences as belonged to the place. In the midst of 
this your uncle's house was situated ; a large, square 
house, with an ample yard open to the south, with 
a very pleasant aspect. It was much the best house 
in the place, — built by the lawyer who preceded 
Mr. Howe in the town. Opposite was the public 
house, where the Albany stage stopped each day, 
going up and returning on alternate days. This 
coach brought the mail, and such travellers as came 
there, and afforded the chief interest that they had 



ioo RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

outside of the house. There were two or three 
families with whom they kept up a friendly inter- 
course, and a church a mile distant, which sent forth 
the hardest and dryest kind of doctrine, and was 
a penance to attend. It was in 1813 that your 
aunt went to live there, — -in the middle of the war 
of that period. Everybody was poor, and they fur- 
nished their house with plainness and simplicity, 
but still comfortably. And here they set up their 
household gods, and began life on a simple plan 
which afforded many enjoyments, at the same time 
that it brought some important privations. There 
were two children from the beginning. Mr. Howe 
usually had a student in his office (adjoining the 
house), who lived with them ; and I think it was in 
the first year that William Cullen Bryant was with 
them in this position. Your aunt also often had 
some friend with her, so that from the commence- 
ment of their married life they had a considerable 
family, affording some domestic society, but increas- 
ing care. The great deficiency of their life, in the 
way of comfort, was the impossibility of procuring 
domestics. Sometimes they were weeks without a 
woman, but always had a man who performed some 
of the rougher services. Though your aunt was 
capable and industrious, and knew all about domes- 
tic business, this was hard to her ; she had not been 
accustomed to it, and her time was occupied in ways 
that did not permit the exercise of her favorite pur- 
suits. Mr. Howe was the most helpful and kindly 
of domestic companions, and did all that a man 
could to lighten those cares. Still enough remained 



LIFE AT WORTH INGTON iot 

to make life laborious at this period. Mr. Howe 
was full of occupations, and often absent from home. 
He was away attending courts in all the adjacent 
counties many weeks of every year. The winters 
were long and cold, the snow deep, and the roads 
made indiscriminately over fences and fields, as well 
as in the paths ; wherever was the most available 
place. These absences were hard times to her dur- 
ing the first years ; later, I think after two years, 
Eleanor Walker went to live with her as a compan- 
ion and assistant in all ways, and was the greatest 
addition to the comfort of the household. 

"Dr. Bryant, their physician, and Mr. Howe's 
especial friend (the father of William Cullen Bryant), 
lived four miles distant, at Cummington ; he was a 
wise and learned man, and his society was at times 
a great resource to Mr. Howe, though he was very 
reserved to most persons. 

"Visits were exchanged between your mother 
and aunt, several times every year. Mr. Howe 
always attended the courts at Northampton, and 
your aunt went when she could, but she was often 
prevented by domestic circumstances. These visits 
were always seasons of great social enjoyment ; the 
sisters had many interests in common, — your mother 
with her more varied experiences had a great deal 
to tell of her numerous and interesting visitors, or 
her journeys to Boston, and sojourn among old 
friends, which were more frequent than your aunt's. 
It was a period full of excitement about public 
affairs; the war and the questions which grew out 
of it, the policy of the government, &c, were never- 



102 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ending subjects of discussion with your father and 
uncle, who sympathized quite remarkably in their 
views, and prophesied about the future, — things 
very unlike the actual unfolding of the book of fate, 
— as wise men still do, and always must; their own 
views and beliefs being very interesting and impor- 
tant to them for the time being. 

"At a later period, when religious views and the 
subject of religious freedom became exciting, it was 
discussed with the same interest and general agree- 
ment. Mr. Howe had grown up in the acceptance 
of Orthodox theology, then unquestioned in the 
society surrounding him ; but after his marriage, he 
reviewed the whole subject with careful study, heard 
our best preachers when he had opportunity, and 
became a decided and conscientious Unitarian. This 
was a great satisfaction to your aunt, and a new 
bond of sympathy between the two families. 

" When at home, if Mr. and Mrs. Howe were 
ever so much occupied during the day, some hours 
were always spent in reading aloud ; usually having 
some important work on hand, but always ready to 
interrupt it for matters of especial interest, or lighter 
character, if entertaining. Mr. Howe was a great 
and constant reader ; he had always a book on hand ; 
five minutes of waiting were never lost in impatience, 
but occupied with book or paper. Scantily as they 
were supplied with luxuries in those days, Mr. Howe 
seldom returned from a visit to more favored regions, 
without a new book to enliven the home on his 
return. Their tastes and feelings harmonized won- 
derfully well, but your aunt was more fond of imag- 



ISO LA TION OF COUNTRY LIFE 103 

inative literature, and he of works which exercise 
the reason and add to the store of knowledge. But 
she enjoyed all these things with him. 

"Mr. Howe had an admirable power of conversa- 
tion, clearness of thought, knowledge ready to be 
fitly used, and a natural gift of language, which 
made his society a most welcome addition to any 
circle. This facility of using his powers wisely and 
well was a great advantage to him in the practice of 
his profession, and invaluable to him as a teacher, 
when later he became the head of a law school, a 
guide and leader of thought to young men. 

"Your aunt enjoyed a great deal at times, in her 
isolated life at Worthington, but at other times she 
felt the evils of it painfully. Mr. Howe had always 
been of an infirm constitution, which he taxed to 
the utmost in the performance of many duties; and 
she felt that the fatigue and exposure of his long 
winter journeys over the hills and rough roads were 
positively injurious to him, adding a cause of fatigue 
and exposure that might be spared him. Then, as 
children multiplied and grew older, she felt the 
want of advantages of education for them, and of 
association with other young people who would be 
suitable companions for them. The idea of change 
dwelt constantly upon her mind, and more and more 
the conviction came to her that it was important for 
all of them. Many plans were talked of, and differ- 
ent places discussed ; but at length, in 1820, a pro- 
posal from Mr. Mills, for your uncle to go into part- 
nership with him at Northampton, decided them to 
move to that place ; and I think it was always sat- 



104 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

isfactory to both of them that they made the 
change." 

As my aunt's letters of that period give a better 
idea of the Worthington life than any record we 
have of it, a few of her letters to her dearest friend 
— Miss Eliza Lee Cabot, afterwards Mrs. Follen — 
come naturally to mind here. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot, Worthington, Oct. 31, 18 13. 

My dear Eliza, — -Your letter did indeed arrive 
to welcome me in Worthington, and I felt much 
gratified at the reception of it. I believe our cor- 
respondence has never been suspended so long 
since the commencement of it ; and I hope it never 
may be again, but from the same agreeable reason 
that we have been able to make a frequent personal 
intercourse a substitute for it : but this is a thing 
which we can scarcely calculate upon. I cannot 
hope or even desire to leave my family for any 
great length of time, and, though I do depend on 
seeing you here, it cannot be often. One thing you 
may rest assured, that no change in circumstances 
or situation can alienate my affection ; the last three 
weeks has confirmed my hope that I should find my 
husband the kindest and best of friends, but I still 
recollect, with feelings the most lively and affection- 
ate, the companions of those early, happy days, which 
are never to return. The sensations which accom- 
panied my separation from them were such as can 
never be described, and a single comment upon them 
would be useless ; suffice it to say, I was not long 



MRS. HOWE'S WEDDING JOURNEY' 105 

the victim of them. New duties offered themselves 
to my recollection, and new pleasures promised to 
repay me for every privation. I recovered the tone 
of my mind sooner than I expected, and even the 
first day of our journey was not without hours of 
social communication ; the weather was cold, and 
we met with bad travelling, but we were able to 
pursue the route we had marked out, and visited 
Stafford, Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield. At 
Litchfield I saw the Fosters only in the street ; 
our stay there was short, as we did not find Mr. and 
Mrs. Gould at home. In New Haven we visited 
the Cabinet of Minerals, with which I was much 
delighted, but do not think I enjoyed them as much 
as you would have done ; many of the specimens 
are extremely curious, and some of them very beau- 
tiful. This is an extraordinary exhibition of natural 
productions, because most of these things are con- 
cealed in the bowels of the earth, and do not, like 
most others, introduce themselves to our acquaint- 
ance and challenge our notice ; should you ever go 
to New York I think you would be gratified by 
staying in New Haven long enough to take a more 
accurate observation of them than we were able 
to. New Haven is a very pleasant town; I do not 
believe there is one of its size equal to it in New 
England. The flatness of the situation would re- 
mind you of Salem ; but the streets are more 
regular, and the public buildings better disposed 
of, and there are more trees than I ever saw in 
a place so compact. But you may look in the 
"Gazetteer" for the remainder of the description, 



106 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and I will endeavor to tell you a little more about 
myself, or rather about we. Then, after stopping 
one rainy day in the last town in Connecticut, in 
a very uninteresting tavern, we spent two and a 
half in making the tour of Berkshire county, where 
we visited some interesting friends and acquaint- 
ance, and were treated with much hospitality and 
attention, particularly by the Sedgwick family : and 
I assure you, Miss Sedgwick appears incomparably 
more engaging in her own house, and at the head 
of her own family, than she does in company in 
Boston ; and my visit was the more gratifying as it 
raised her much in my estimation. Harry, too, 
appeared the affectionate brother and the attentive 
friend, by far the finest parts I ever saw him per- 
form. We reached our destination on Friday noon, 
and I was greeted by a letter from Mary, besides 
yours. I must thank you again for writing to me 
at such a moment, as it convinces me you will not 
suffer other avocations and feelings to prevent your 
communicating yourself to me. You are sur- 
rounded by so many objects in which I have been 
accustomed to interest myself, that you can never 
want subjects for a letter, independent of the 
resources of your own mind. And now for a de- 
scription of my new home. These blank fields and 
naked woods, I am told, are verdant and beautiful 
in summer, but now have nothing in particular to 
recommend them, and so I do not look at them 
often. The house we are to inhabit stands on one 
comer of two roads which cross each other, but 
not near enousrh to either road to be incommoded 



MRS. HO WE 'S NE W HOME 1 07 

by it, or to look ill ; the other three corners are 
occupied by a tavern, a store, and a dwelling-house, 
and this is the most considerable settlement in 
Worthington, there being a few other houses in the 
vicinity. I will say nothing of the interior of the 
house, except that it has a very pleasant parlor with 
southeast and southwest windows in it, which give 
us a bountiful portion of sun (when it shines, mark 
ye, which is not very often) ; and in this parlor 
I expect to pass the ensuing six months almost 
exclusively (except when I am asleep), and in it 
I calculate to keep (besides tables and chairs) a 
work-box, a writing-desk, and sundry books, so that 
I may have employment suitable to my taste and 
genius. I may occasionally make a peregrination 
into the kitchen to superintend the concerns there. 
But though my corporeal frame is to be thus limited, 
do not think my soaring spirit and brilliant imagi- 
nation will confine themselves ; on the contrary, I 
expect to search the records of ages long past, and 
to fly on the wings of fancy into regions the most 
remote, and perhaps now and then condescend to 
use the same agency in conveying myself to your 
side on the sofa, where I picture you now sur- 
rounded by your family. Remember me to them 
all ; tell Susan I shall expect she will now and then 
write a postscript if she expects any good advice 
from me; a tiling which my present matronly char- 
acter must add much to the consequence of. 

if Sally is still with you, present my best wishes 
for her journey, and hopes that she will return by 
the way of Albany, that I may see her. Mary, I 



108 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

never forget ; and least of all, you, my long tried 
friend. Yours, &c, 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot, Worthington, Dec. 31, 1S13. 

My dear Eliza, — The bundle containing the 
"Salmagundi" extract, books and notes from your- 
self and Mary, dated in October, reached here in 
December in safety ; and for Mary's kindness in 
copying the first I feel much indebted. Tender 
her my thanks, and tell her it shall be preserved 
with care for her sake as well as its own, and that 
I am sincerely obliged for her kind wishes, and hope 
I shall prove worthy the fulfilment of them. And 
as for your ladyship, I cannot help believing you 
have practised making sweet faces in the looking- 
glass yourself, the better to image us and to get 
yourself in readiness in case you should find per- 
sonal necessity for them ; but I will not waste my 
paper, for I despair of reforming your sauciness. 
"What's bred in the bone cannot be beat out of 
the flesh." 

I have received a letter from you, dated Nov. 16th, 
the very day on which I commenced housekeeping; 
and I do not wish you to follow my ill example in 
suffering this to remain as long unanswered as that 
has. My opportunities for writing are few, — not 
that I am much hurried by business, but something 
or other always steps between me and the pen, un- 
less I make a previous determination, as I did to-day, 
that it should be the first object with me. My suc- 
cess in housekeeping, in most respects, equals my 



MRS. HO WE 'S LE TTERS 1 09 

expectations. I have been too much accustomed to 
exertion, to find the little now required "a weariness 
of the flesh ; " and as to my success in managing the 
children, I never overrated my own talents in that 
respect. Although I could always perceive an abun- 
dance of faults in the management of others, I was 
sufficiently aware of the circumspection necessary 
to think I should be likely to fall into many errors 
myself; they have not however yet done anything 
very wrong, and I have strong hopes that with Mr. 
Howe's assistance I shall be able to make them 
good and useful. The subject of their education is 
one upon which I do not spare reflection, and hope 
I shall not spare any attention which is in my power. 
I have speculated a good deal on this subject when I 
had no personal interest in it, and I feel sure that 
much may be done by careful parents for their chil- 
dren. But after all is done which human foresight 
and exertion can effect, circumstances will occur 
(sometimes) to influence the character of the child, 
over which the parent can have no control. This 
consideration should make us eagle-eyed when we 
survey the condition of our children, and the knowl- 
edge that they enjoy the protection of Him that 
neither "slumbereth nor sleepeth " should prevent 
undue anxiety. We must plant and water, and wait 
in patience and hope for the blessing of God on the 
increase. I spend the days with Nancy Sumner and 
the children. I sew, and she reads aloud. Mr. 
Howe reads to us in the evening, and we on the 
whole are rather a bookish family — being consider- 
ably excluded from " the pomps and vanities of this 



no RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

wicked world," by our remote situation. Mrs. Ly- 
man has been up to enlighten us by her counsel ; 
and really, my dear Eliza, if you should ever change 
your condition, I hope you will not neglect to apply 
for a page or two of advice to that " matron sage," 
for I assure you she understands bringing up a fam- 
ily much better than you or I do. Raillery apart — 
her visit was one of the pleasantest circumstances 
which has occurred in the six weeks we have kept 
house. At this season, I generally review the past 
year in my letter to you ; but the event which is 
most important to me is one we have often dis- 
cussed, and I do not know if anything remains to 
be said upon it. I am perfectly satisfied that I have 
increased my means of happiness and usefulness : 
the employment of those means will be my future 
care, and God grant the successful use of them ! 
My near and dear friends are preserved in life and 
health, and the number of them is added to instead 
of diminished. I consider Mrs. Metcalf's friendship 
no small acquisition ; the rectitude of her principles 
and ingenuousness of her manners and conversation 
render her very dear to all her friends. She prom- 
ised to call on you whenever she visited Boston, and 
I dare say you will see her soon. I am afraid you 
have found my shoes a troublesome commission; if 
they are done, you will let my sister Mary have 
them, and I think it probable she will be able to 
send them to me before the spring. 

Remember me to all friends in your circle. I 
hope that Mrs. Forbes is not too much depressed by 
the absence of her husband, to enjoy something 



THE WAR EMBARGOES m 

from society. I should delight to spend an evening 
with you all at your house or your sister's. I beg 
you again to write soon and tell me all about every- 
body. I have not seen the poems you mention in 
your letter, except a review of the "Giaour," which 
had a few extracts that pleased me. Mr. Howe is 
reading " Tacitus " to me ; his " Annals and His- 
tory" (which only comprise a part of the first cen- 
tury after the Christian Era) are elegantly written, 
but afford a most melancholy view of moral corrup- 
tion, which seems the more mysterious as it was a 
period remarkably enlightened by literature. You 
are well acquainted with the history of this age, and 
I do not believe you would derive much pleasure 
from the perusal of "Tacitus." 

The shades of night are coming on, and I can 
only offer my best regards to Susan ; tell her I hope 
she will consider the increased hardness of the 
times, and redouble her industry and economy. To 
you and Mary I trust no such caution is necessary. 
I expect, when I next see you, that you will have on 
an English gown, embroidered with darns ; for my- 
self I shall have on the homespun which Eliza Rob- 
bins prophesied. When tea, coffee, and sugar are 
exhausted, I hope you will drink milk or toast and 
water with dignity ; and as for me, whatever may 
happen to the quality of my food, I have decided 
not to diminish the quantity. Mr. Howe sends love, 
and would give a shilling to see you at any time, not- 
withstanding the embargo. 

Yours ever, S. L. Howe. 



1 1 2 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MO THER 

My Aunt Howe's life at Worthington was one of 
constant activity and industry, and both these quali- 
ties were needed to keep her family comfortable, 
with close economy. The housekeeping of that day 
was no light or easy matter, when all the garments 
of a family must be spun and woven in the house, 
all the candles used must be made in the kitchen, 
all the hams for winter use cured there. With 
young children always to be cared for, and rarely 
one efficient servant, it was necessary for her to rise 
early and sit up late, to accomplish her duties. Late 
at night she often scattered a few unstudied notes 
to dear friends. The few extracts following tell 
their own story. In the first, she mentions Dr. 
Bryant, father of the poet, and a valued friend : — 

Mrs. Howe, February, 1814. 

Of our minister I cannot tell you much, because 
I have no personal acquaintance with him ; of his 
preaching I cannot say I think it as much " to the 
use of edifying " as some I have formerly heard, by 
reason that the preacher does not write, but depends 
on the present suggestions of his mind, or an indis- 
tinct recollection of former thoughts ; and as his 
genius is by no means of a vivid and brilliant class, 
his discourses are often extremely dull and unsatis- 
factory. I believe he is, in general, liked very well 
by his parish; and, perhaps, is very useful among 
them, as their general characteristic is that of a 
sober-minded and religious people. They are, on 
the whole, rather queer-looking ; and, I suspect if 
you were to see such a collection anywhere but 



READING LIFE OF NELSON 113 

in the house of God, your propensity for the ridicu- 
lous would be amply gratified. There is no physi- 
cian of any eminence residing in this place, but one 
in a neighboring town about four miles from this, 
who is highly respectable in his profession, and is, 
besides, a man of considerable literature and science. 
He is a friend of Mr. Howe's, and, of course, an 
occasional visitor here. And I believe I have now 
mentioned all the resources of our immediate vicin- 
ity, and you will judge that they are not such as to 
consume much of our time. . . . Have you ever heard 
of my shoes ? And have you seen the " Bride of 
Abydos " ? Other inquiries I leave to a future let- 
ter, and tell you, for the fiftieth time, that I am &c. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Cabot, 1S14. 

We have been reading Southey's " Life of 
Nelson," which I think quite an interesting biogra- 
phy ; although he was a great man, and a man of an 
amiable temper, I cannot help thinking him consid- 
erably deficient in moral principle, and had rather 
he would have died imploring pardon for his defects, 
than thanking God he had done his duty (it is hum- 
bling to us, poor mortals, that even the heroes of our 
race are tarnished with great faults). The British 
nation, indeed the civilized world, owe much to his 
exertions in having checked the power of the tyrant; 
and it would be ingratitude for any individual to 
deny him the fame he so ardently desired and so 
well deserved. II is memory will live while Great 
Britain is a nation ; but the crown of glory, "which 
fadeth not," may be reserved for humbler individ- 



114 RE COLLECTIONS OF MY MO TLIER 

uals. I have read Mrs. Grant's " Sketches on In- 
tellectual Education," which, I think, has many 
good, though not many new, things in it ; and is 
calculated to be of use to those who have not 
much time or opportunity to refer to books of that 
kind, or much ability to make reflections or draw 
conclusions for themselves, and she does not aim 
at anything more elevated. We are now engaged 
in Lee's " Memoirs of the War in the Southern De- 
partment," but have not read enough to form an 
opinion, and have not room now to give it if I 
had 

I have procured " Patronage," but have not yet 
had leisure to read it ; when I have I will let you 
know my opinion of it. We have had Madame 
D'Arb'ay's new work, "The Wanderer;" and I 
must acknowledge I should hardly have expected 
anything so tedious and indifferent from the author 
of " Cecilia." Indeed, I do not believe any one 
would have taxed her with it if she had not published 
it as hers. I hear Lord Byron has produced another 
poem, but have not seen it; and the nursery and the 
kitchen have excluded the thought of poetry of late, 
if they have not destroyed the relish for it. . . . 

The present situation of the country has deprived 
Mr. Howe of law-business almost entirely, so that 
he is compelled to turn his attention to other things ; 
and his sheep are no longer an amusement but a 
serious occupation, as he has taken them under his 
more immediate care. It may be a very romantic 
thing to live upon these mountains with a shepherd- 
swain, but as all our fleeces are not golden, your 



ECONOMY AND POETRY 115 

"hints on economy" might be of use to us, if we 
did not understand the subject at least as well as 
you can be supposed to. I can assure you that 
my children are now warmly clad in the fleeces 
our sheep wore last winter ; and, though a home- 
spun frock on the baby scandalized his Aunt Cath- 
erine, he wears one every day and finds no fault 
with it. . . . 

My employments of late have been needle-work 
and a little reading. Mr. Howe has read some his- 
tory to us this winter, and we have had several new 
poems. We were most pleased with " Roderic the 
Goth " ; I very much prefer it to any former poem of 
Southey's and think it more calculated to be gener- 
ally interesting. Indeed, I doubt if the present age 
has produced any poem as likely to procure lasting 
fame to its author ; though I am rather adventurous 
in this conclusion, as I have not heard if it is well 
or ill-received by those who are connoisseurs in 
poetry. I only know that I have seldom read a 
poem of that length which preserved the interest so 
well. The " Queen's Wake " is an interesting thine: 
to me, because I love the Scotch poetry from habit 
as well as from its own merit, it having been a favor- 
ite amusement of my youth ; and though I do not 
think the Scotch shepherd has the whole mantle 
of Burns, I think he has caught a fragment of it 
to clothe his "Witch of Fife" in, and the whole 
production may be considered as having a good 
portion of variety, ingenuity, and taste, especially 
when we consider it as the production of an un- 
lettered man. 



n6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Worthington, Nov. 29, 1S16. 

I never have an opportunity to write in the day 
time, without the interruption of the children ; and 
I do not like to break up our little circle in the 
evening with getting out the desk, as that is the 
time my husband appropriates to me. 

We have been engaged lately in reading travels 
in various countries. We have read Simonde's 
"Travels in England," and Eustace's "Tour in 
Italy;" and are now engaged in Ali Bey's "Travels 
in Africa, including a Pilgrimage to Mecca." It is 
more novel in point of fact though in other respects 
inferior to the others. I dare say you have read 
both Simonde and Eustace, as they have been pub- 
lished some months. The former I think remarka- 
ably interesting ; the latter is a very literary and 
somewhat pedantic work, but has claims to the 
attention of reading people as an entertaining and 
instructive book. 

I believe I informed you in my last that we had 
been travelling in various countries, and we pursued 
our course through Africa, Persia, and Abyssinia ; 
since which, Mr. Howe has been engaged in 
Erskine's " Speeches." He is very much interested 
in them, and so are we in all those that are on 
subjects any way connected with our knowledge or 
experience. 

I am reading "Virgil" aloud to the girls for after- 
noon recreation. Perhaps it would be well to inform 
you that Emma Forbes is one of my girls now, as 
I think she had not arrived when I last wrote ; she 
has a great fund of cheerfulness and vivacity, and 
adds much to the pleasure of our domestic circle. 



LOOKING FORWARD TO "ROB ROY" 117 

I feel a sort of dread of reviewing the past year, 
lest the memory of what I have lost should make me 
ungrateful for what I possess ; and yet avoiding to 
mention the death of my child does not exclude the 
thought: it mingles itself with almost every other. 
I hope I have made a right improvement of it ; at 
least it has chastened human hopes and brought 
another and a better world nearer to me than any 
former event of my life. . . . 

Of her young sister Catherine, she writes : 
"Though a creature of no pretence at all, and not 
in the least calculated for display, she has all the 
rudiments of a solid, useful character, — perfect in- 
tegrity, a discerning mind, and a feeling heart. . . . 
Catherine has been with me for ten weeks, but has 
gone now. I feel her loss a good deal ; she read to 
me while she was here, — some in books I had read 
before, and some new ones. Miss Hamilton's ' Popu- 
lar Essays' — a book I enjoyed much, although 
there is some repetition in it — has sterling merit, 
and, like the spelling-books, ' is adapted to the 
meanest capacities,' although it treats of the human 
heart and mind. We have lately been reading 
Paley's 'Moral Philosophy,' and -I am much satis- 
fied with it as a clear and enlightened view of human 
duty drawn from the principles of religion and rea- 
son. I am daily expecting to get ' Rob Roy,' with 
some interest, as the former productions of this au- 
thor have excited more of the pleasure I used to 
have in fictitious works than any other I have read 
these ten years, — not even Miss Edgeworth's ex- 



n8 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

cepted, — which maybe a want of judgment in me, 
but surely not a want of taste. I should really like 
to tell you some news, but, alas ! I must draw on my 
imagination if I did. I know of no event of mo- 
ment since I last wrote, except that I have worked a 
hearth-rug, and we have killed a remarkable large 
ox, — big enough to put in the newspaper if we had 
felt inclined." 

WORTHINGTON, l8lS. 

You must write me again as soon as you have 
leisure, and tell me how you are, and how Susan is, 
and what you do for a minister. The loss of Mr. 
Thacher must be great ; he was " weaned from 
earth " by a course of suffering, and, I have no 
doubt, experiences the joys of a purified spirit. 
Reasoning upon death in a Christian manner, and 
experiencing it so frequently among our immediate 
acquaintance, brings it home so familiarly as to 
diminish the natural dread of it very much, — at 
least, this is its effect on me. It seems as if every 
acquaintance who passed before me smoothed " the 
path to immortality," and rendered continuance here 
less desirable ; and yet I have a great deal to love 
and to live for here., and many that I could not relin- 
quish with that filial submission which we should 
all have to the decrees of our Heavenly Parent, — 
which is a principle highly capable of cultivation, 
if we keep the providence of Almighty God con- 
stantly in view, and remember that in the heavenly 
heritage " there is no more pain, neither sorrow nor 
crying." 



THE RICHES OE CONTENT 119 

Our family are all well, Mr. Howe uncommonly 
so ; and we have a great deal to be thankful for, in 
the way of domestic comfort and accommodation. 
More money might add to elegance and the pleas- 
ures of taste, but I do not know that it would much 
to convenience and real enjoyment. I have always 
felt rather inclined to complain of the coldness and 
backwardness of this climate, but the present season 
is unusually luxuriant. I have roses and strawber- 
ries in abundance. I wish you were here to have 
some of them ; but the bounty of Nature is diffused 
everywhere, and you are in the midst of it, and in 
the way of your duty likewise. 

In another letter she speaks happily of her back 
parlor with "painted floor" and "whitewashed 
wall." No one could ever have uttered the senti- 
ment " My mind to me a kingdom is," more truth- 
fully than she might have done. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MY mother's letters to my cousin, Emma Forbes, 
and to my cousin, Abby Lyman (who after- 
wards married Mr. William Greene, of Cincinnati), 
form the only consecutive picture I have of her life 
in Northampton, from the year 1815 to the year 
1 840. 

How little did they dream that any of their letters 
would be preserved beyond the immediate hour ! 
And yet these careless, unstudied missives possess a 
value for descendants which they could not have for 
a wider public. To both these young persons she 
always wrote rather in the tone of a Mentor; and it 
is amusing to hear her, long before she reached the 
age of thirty, speaking of "My old heart ;" or " My 
old age." But, perhaps, the fact of taking the posi- 
tion of wife to a man of my father's age and char- 
acter, and of guide to so many young persons, while 
still young herself, gave her that constant feeling of 
care and responsibility that makes one feel old in 
some ways. 

The two events of her life which gave special 
cause for gratitude, during the years in which these 
letters were written, were the birth of her daughter, 
Anne Jean, in July, 181 5, and of her second son, 
Edward Hutchinson Robbins, February, 18 19. 



NORTHAMPTON IN JUNE, 1817 121 

Anne Jean was baptized with her mother's name ; 
but as she grew up she preferred to spell her name 
Annie, and all her family and friends in addressing 
her dropped the Jean, except her mother, to whom 
the whole name was dear from association ; and who 
had, through life, the habit of lengthening, rather 
than shortening, names. Edward was baptized with 
the name of his maternal grandfather. 

To Miss Emma Forbes, June 1, 1817. 

We were very sorry that Eliza could not be per- 
mitted to remain longer with us, as it was the first 
time she was ever disposed to make us a visit. She 
came back from Worthington wonderfully pleased 
with Northampton, and with us and our children ; 
and went so far as to call Joseph a very good boy, 
and Annie the loveliest child that ever was seen, and 
bestowed great encomiums on Mary and Jane ; and I 
think, if she had stayed, we should have succeeded 
in making her tolerably happy during the summer. 
Oh, Emma, I wish you were here now ! The country 
never looked more charming, the verdure was never 
more perfect, and I could not help feeling a desire 
that you, and, indeed, everybody else that sees this 
place at all, should see it in its most beautiful state. 
But, after all, the beauties of Milton Hill far out-vie 
any thing the interior can boast ; yet they are both 
perfect of their kind. 

The short visit I had from Mr. and Mrs. Inches 
and sisters did me some good, though I could not 
help lamenting that it was so short ; for it did not 
give me an opportunity of proving to them how glad 



122 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I was to see them. Owing to the painting inside the 
house and out, we were not quite in our usual order ; 
but we did not mind that, and, I dare say, it did not 
annoy them. I am expecting Mr. and Mrs. Barnard 
with the boys from Greenfield to-morrow ; they will 
go from here to New York, and from there to Provi- 
dence by water, and, I suppose, will reach Boston 
about the tenth of this month. 

M. D. has been spending some time with me, and 
is still here. B. C. has recovered so that she rides 
out. Things in general here remain in statu quo. 
Except Sunday reading, I have attended to nothing 
since you left here but Miss Hamilton's "Popular 
Essays," and the last number of the " North Ameri- 
can Review," — -the latter of which I have not taste 
to admire or to feel improved by. Miss Hamilton's 
last work I do not see a fault in, neither as it regards 
religion, morality, or perspicuity of style. I hope 
you will read it, though I think it particularly de- 
signed for mothers ; still, it will be instructive to all. 
It appears to me to be a sequel to her " Essays on 
Education ;" or, rather, an amplification of the same 
ideas she has advanced there. The human mind, 
with all its original qualities and capabilities, together 
with its necessities, is the field she has chosen to 
labor in (in the abstract). She has analyzed it 
with the most minute discrimination of its differ- 
ent qualities, and their bearing on one another. I 
think it requires a more philosophical head than 
mine to enjoy it very much, though it is written 
in such a style that even I could understand with 
perfect ease. 



SOCIAL AND HOME DUTIES 123 

We have had several parties lately on M. D.'s 
account, and I have felt obliged to go, though you 
know with how much reluctance I have made the 
sacrifice, — spending my time with people whom I 
am never with, without thinking, as Dean Swift did, — 

" Those with whom I now converse 
Without a tear could tend my hearse ; " 

and you know that no pleasurable intercourse can 
exist with such a conviction. I wish, if you get it, 
you would read a printed sermon of Dr. Bancroft's 
on the fourth commandment, which, though it has 
been most severely reviewed in the " Panoplist," I 
think very excellent. Perhaps you saw it when you 
were in Worcester. 

Mary and Jane are getting along very fast on the 
piano, and Betsy Sumner behaves with great pro- 
priety ; is delighted with the notice she receives, and 
admires Northampton, and does not trouble me at 
all ; but, I think, as she does not have but five 
scholars, she will have to leave us at the end of the 
quarter. She is really a very excellent instructor, 
and I think can advance a child in one quarter as 
much as one of the celebrated instructors would in 
six months, because she pays a great deal more atten- 
tion to them than any master that I have seen. 

You asked me in one of your letters about French. 
My only exercise now is hearing Mary conjugate a 
verb every day, and assisting her in translating a 
couple of pages in "Mother Goose." I spent one 
week in working a breadth of ruffle which washed 
almost to pieces as soon as it was done; which I 



124 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

regretted exceedingly, for it proved me a fool for 
working on such poor muslin. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes, Worthington, June 15, 1818. 

My dear Emma, — A great while ago I had a let- 
ter from you, and I know it is time I thanked you 
for it. C. has carried you all the intelligence from 
these parts, and I would not- write by her on that 
account ; for I know she can talk to you, though she 
does not condescend to be very liberal of her descrip- 
tive talents. Old General Lincoln told Mr. Lovell 
that he must have a very large stock of discretion 
on hand, for he never knew him to make use of any: 
on that plan C. must have a fund of anecdote and 
remark which you and I can hardly conceive of, 
who have lived every day from hand to mouth, and 
expended each acquisition as soon as it was ob- 
tained. To return to my subject : she undoubtedly 
told you that we Worthingtonians, were very well 
and very busy, as is usual with us. Eleanor is mak- 
ing butter, &c, and I am tending baby, &c, — though 
she now has an elegant red and green wagon that 
relieves my weary arms occasionally ; and I have 
hopes will walk erect one of these days, though she 
now goes upon all-fours very nimbly, though not 
very conveniently. 

I have read " Rob Roy." It does not come near 
" Old Mortality ; " and yet I like the strange girl, 
Die ; but I hope no living heroine will attempt to 
imitate her, for it would not do second-hand at all. 
I have read Paley's "Moral Philosophy" this spring; 
it is a charming book, and I hope you will read it 



MRS. HOWE ON THE "REVIEWS" 125 

the first opportunity. We have nothing new but 
the periodical publications. The " New York Re- 
view" is mere patch-work, made up of little shreds 
and parings of other things ; the " Quarterly " is 
horribly bigoted about every thing, and the Scotch 
reviewers use a scythe and sickle all the time. I 
think I like the spirit of the " North American " 
best of all (you see I have a Yankee heart). I do 
not compare its talents with the transatlantic books ; 
I know the old trees have deep roots and high 
branches, but their flowers and fruit are not always 
sweetest. 

I was just as old as you are now, the season I left 
Milton Hill, — in my seventeenth year. I can never 
forget the last summer I passed there. I was then 
a great deal with Eliza Cabot : we used to walk very 
frequently up and down on the bank opposite your 
house (besides many other walks) ; and I can almost 
see the full moon as it used to rise out of the ocean. 
I have never been in Milton at this pride of the year 
for five summers ; but your sun shines on the grave 
of my ancestors, and gilds the spire where I first 
learned to worship God. 

" The last ray of feeling and hope must depart, 
Ere the bloom from those valleys can fade from my heart." 

President Kirkland, in his charming character of Mr. 
Thacher, says : " T here is a path to immortality 
from every region." How consoling the idea, when 
time and accident has removed us from the scenes 
rendered clear by a thousand interesting associations ! 
I look around me, and behold everv thing verdant 



126 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and luxuriant, and own that this is a very pleasant 
place. I wish you could come here at this season, and 
see my great snowballs, and how nicely my rhubarb 
flourishes, and eat some of the pies. A charming 
specimen of the bathos ! I am looking for the 
Misses Cabot to-morrow or next day ; but they will 
not stay long, which disappoints me some, as I had 
hoped E. would make something of a Visit when she 
actually arrived after so long a time. 

Now have charity, Emma, and write me a long 
letter soon, and tell me how everybody behaves ; as 
I really am afraid I shall forget how myself, if I 
have not somebody to put me in mind : it's only 

once a year I go anywhere but to N , and I 

don't want to behave as they do, that is the gener- 
ality of them, — because they have no social feeling, 
no regard for each other, and no pursuits in com- 
mon ; "among unequals, what society!" I cannot 
find so much fault as this even with my unlettered 
neighbors ; they have children, and cows, wool, and 
flax, — so have I; these and the gardens and the 
weather make harmless subjects of conversation 
when we meet, and if we part without having com- 
municated or received information, we part without 
envy and ill-will. 

My paper warns me, and I bid you farewell. 
Remember me to your parents, and greet friends 
for me if you should see any of mine soon. I take 
it for granted I have a great many you see. 



"THE TALES OF MY LANDLORD" 127 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes, Aug. 10 [1818?]. 

My dear Emma, — I had the pleasure to hear, by 
mamma's letter, that you had a little sister, and that 
your mother was nicely. Every increase of our 
earthly ties brings with it new duties, and I dare say 
the circumstance has occupied much of your time 
and your reflections since it occurred. 

It would be difficult to define what has occupied 
my time for the last three months. I have been 
engrossed by such an endless variety, and the suc- 
cession has been too rapid for me to have retained 
any distinct impression as to what has predominated. 
I do not know how profitable it may have been to 
me, but I am sure I have passed as pleasant a sum- 
mer (thus far) as I ever recollect to have done in my 
life ; I have seen a great many friends and acquaint- 
ance that it gives me pleasure to see, and none that 
are disagreeable to me. It is unnecessary for me to 
say that I am surrounded by an uncommon share of 
domestic comforts and but few trials ; for you have 
been here and have seen, and know for yourself all 
about it. But this I can say truly, that I try to be 
sensible of the blessings that have been bestowed on 
me, to be grateful for them, and to enjoy them. 

I have read " The Tales of my Landlord," and 
am much pleased with it, and can subscribe to all 
the "North American Review" has said of it, except 
that it is equal to "Guy Mannering ; " and that I 
cannot agree to. The Black Dwarf is too much like 
the other extraordinary characters of the same 
author to bear the stamp of originality, which con- 
stitutes one of the greatest charms of Guy ; and the 



128 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

case is the same in regard to Balfour, and Old Mor- 
tality. But still I think it delightful, because it 
gives such an interesting account of the sufferings 
produced by the religious contentions of the high 
revolutionary times of which it treats, which corre- 
sponds perfectly to the historical accounts we have 
read; and I think Calvinistical cant is exceedingly 
well burlesqued in it. The French ardor has not 
subsided at all ; the children hardly speak in any 
other language ; even Joseph has caught the spirit, 
and is to go to Miss Clark next quarter, and study 
" La Syllabaire Francaise." You would be surprised 
to hear how well he reads and spells English. 

Louisa left us a fortnight ago. I have not heard 
from her yet, but hope soon to learn that she has 
reached the Valley of Wyoming in safety ; though 
I am sure her enjoyment will not be heightened by 
any of those poetical recollections which might 
accompany some of the dear lovers of Campbell. 
We had a very affecting parting. L. was entirely 
overcome by the idea of leaving forever the scene 
of her nativity, and appeared to feel all that grati- 
tude could inspire toward us all. 

In the letter to Cousin Emma, dated August 10, is 
an allusion to the departure of "Louisa" to the 
valley of Wyoming. The story of Louisa is this : 
The tavern nearest our house, and afterwards known 
as Warner's tavern, was kept for a time by a man 
and his wife who had only one child, a little girl. 
About the year 1818, both were attacked with 
fever, and died within a few days of each other. 



THE STORY OF LOUISA 129 

It seemed only a simple and natural act for my 
mother to walk into the deserted house, and take 
home the little Louisa to her own well-filled nurs- 
ery. How long she remained before relatives were 
found to claim her, I do not know ; but am under 
the impression it was more than a year. I never 
should have known any thing about it, but for the 
following circumstance : When I was more than 
twenty years old, I sat one day near the window 
(my mother and father being out), when an old-fash- 
ioned chaise stopped at the door, and a pale and 
thin lady accompanied by her husband, a Presby- 
terian minister, alighted from it. She introduced 
herself as Mrs F., and asked if Judge and Mrs. 
Lyman were at home. I told her they were out, 
but invited her to stop, as they would return in an 
hour. So they came into the house. When my 
mother came home, she did not at once recognize 
her. "Do you not remember Louisa?" said the 
lady- A warm embrace was the only answer. And 
then followed a delightful evening; Louisa wishing 
to revisit every room in the house, and show them 
all to her husband, and call up a hundred memories 
of her childhood. She told my mother of all the 
years since they parted ; of her marriage ; of the 
births and deaths of children ; and her own failing 
health. And how, when her husband had wished 
to take her a journey, from far away Pennsylvania, 
she had begged him to bring her to see the graves 
of her parents, and the home of the kind people who 
had received her, when her young heart was so sad, 
and where she had been so happy. So they had 



130 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

come ; and after staying two days, they left us, 
cheered and warmed with the heartfelt pleasure both 
my father and mother felt in this meeting, which 
was the last on earth. 

To Miss Forbes, Sept. 17 [1818 ? ]. 

Yesterday I had the court to dine, with their 
ladies, making twenty in all, and had just such a 
time as when the governor dined here, except that 
I had not a tipsy cook ; and on that account there 
was no difficulty. I am very much pleased with 
Mrs. Judge Thacher, and Mrs. Morton, who is cer- 
tainly a very interesting woman. She gave me the 
private history of Lord and Lady Byron, which you 
may suppose was very interesting to me. 

I have written this in such a hurry that I hardly 
know what I have been about, and beg you to over- 
look all errors, and remember it is court-week, and 
missionary-week. Dr. Morse is staying here, and 
a number of things to ruffle a poor body, and com- 
pany to dinner every day this week, and Hannah 
most dead with getting dinner for the court, and 
myself too. 

Jan. 23, 1820. — I believe some of the "North 
American " reviewers to be under a mistake, in en- 
deavoring to lessen the reputation of those Ameri- 
cans who have been considered as our great men, 
and who have sustained their country by the exer- 
cise of their moral and physical force. More than 
a year ago, much pains was taken to prove that Dr. 
Franklin was a very small character, who had had 
a false reputation ; and now Mr. P. M., in his ardor 



"NORTH AMERICAN" DEPRECIATION 131 

to add an indifferent review to a very indifferent 
publication, has brought General Greene's character 
down to the level of a very ordinary standard. And 
I think if they continue this scheme, and the work 
should be widely diffused in foreign countries, our 
national character will not stand very high abroad, 
any more than at homo. But after all, I must say I 
have been much edified and pleased with the last 
number, and shall send it to Sam with a good deal 
of reluctance; who, by the way, I wish you would 
pay some attention to, in the writing way. He com- 
plains sadly that nobody writes to him. 

Feb. 21, 1 82 1. — My dear Emma, — I have lately 
gone through a good many domestic troubles, such 
as entirely engross the mind ; and disqualify it for 
any of those excursions into the regions of romance 
or fancy which enable people to make agreeable 
letters out of poor materials. This, however, is 
supposing a case which does not exist, for it implies 
that mine is in the habit of making such excursions ; 
and, perhaps, no person's was ever less given to 
anything of the kind. The dull realities of life have 
taken an irresistible possession there, and nothing 
can invade their dominion ; the power of habit has 
made strong their wall of defence, and necessity is 
their sentinel. And should it not be so, my dear 
Emma? But I can remember when I was very in- 
tolerant (that is, when I was about your age) to 
those professional wives and mothers who talked 
and thought of nothing but their household con- 
cerns, such as children, servants, and the like. But 
it must be so ; what most concerns us to think 



I3 2 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

about is what we shall and must give our principal 
attention to. The clergy must talk on theology, the 
lawyers will be engrossed by legal subjects, and the 
physicians in like manner of what relates to their 
profession ; and women must be borne with, if they 
talk, and even write, about their household affairs: 
but I pity those that have no similar interests, who 
have to hear them. 

I suppose you have read Mr. Edgeworth's life ; 
that interested me, inasmuch as it made me person- 
ally acquainted with a man to whom I am individu- 
ally much indebted, as well as mankind in general. 
Before I read his life, I had viewed him only at 
a distance ; and, with all the defects of the memoir, 
it must be acknowledged that it brings you to a 
very familiar acquaintance with him, and his four 
wives, and eighteen children ; to say nothing of the 
various aunts that constituted a part of his family. 
But, were ever such various interests so happily 
united ? Were so many people ever before so much 
engaged in one and the same cause, and that with- 
out the slightest collision of opinion ? I think the 
millennium must have commenced in that family. 

With what admirable address Mr. Everett reviewed 
Mr. Lyman's "Italy"! I am sure no one will find 
fault with the faint praise he has bestowed ; Mr. 
L.'s friends could not have wished him to have said 
more, and his enemies could not desire that he 
should say less. 

Do write me what is going on in Boston ; we are 
as dull as death here. I am now reading "Camilla" 
for entertainment. I wish you would prevail with 



MISS BANCROFTS SCHOOL 133 

■ , if she sends from home, to send her to 

Miss Bancroft's ; she is very well situated now to 
have a house full, — that is, a dozen young ladies in 
the family with her, — and her school is improving 
every day. She teaches every thing that a young 
lady has time to learn, with the exception of music, 
and it is a very select school. 

This letter has been written by fits and starts ; or, 
at least, with many interruptions, which must ac- 
count for its want of connection and incoherence. 

Yours very affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE marriage of her sister Mary to Mr. Joseph 
Warren Revere, of Boston (the son of Colonel 
Paul Revere, of revolutionary memory), was, during 
this year of 1821, a source of unalloyed pleasure to 
my mother ; and from this time the home of her 
sister was like another home to her and to her chil- 
dren ; and my aunt, like another mother. As time 
wore on, and children gathered in the Boston home, 
my mother and aunt frequently, for a few months, 
made an exchange of children ; the Revere boys 
coming to our house for country air and life, and 
our girls going to the Revere home for city advan- 
tages and polish. 

These children were all very dear to my mother ; 
and whenever she went to make a visit to them, 
either in Boston or at Canton, both in their early or 
later years, "Aunt Lyman's" coming was hailed as 
a special privilege. They brought out all their stock- 
ings for her to mend, read aloud to her from her 
favorite books, and cuddled up to her to hear her 
witty stories, or to draw them out. Of Edward and 
Paul, — ■ who afterwards gave their noble lives to their 
country, — she had no end of affectionate prophecies. 
Edward especially reminded her, in the warmth of 
his affections and in his genial temper, of her be- 
loved father, whose name he bore. 



MARRIAGE OF ABBY LYMAN 135 

In April of the same year, the marriage of my 
cousin, Abby Lyman, took away from my mother 
the close companionship and tender sympathy of 
one whom she loved through life with an intensity 
of affection over which time and distance had no 
power. The frequency of her letters, in the midst 
of so many present cares and engrossing duties, and 
the tender and perfect confidence, which knew no 
change for a period of nearly thirty years, are very 
striking. It was a relation which, from the begin- 
ning to the end, had never a flaw or break ; and was 
founded on the highest sentiments and perfect gener- 
osity on both sides. 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, April 30, 1S21. 

My dear Abby, — It is scarcely eight hours since 
you left me, but I cannot keep you out of my mind ; 
and for that reason I write to you, as there is a 
convenient opportunity for me to indulge myself in 
that way. 

Immediately after you left me, your uncle desired 
me to prepare to call with him on Miss Davis, which, 
at three o'clock, I did; though I never made a 
greater sacrifice of inclination to propriety than 
when I went down to Mr. Pomeroy's, — for solitude 
and not sympathy was the object of my pursuit, that 
I might have the privilege to think without interrup- 
tion. On my return I went into your room to lie 
down, that I might occupy that pillow so lately 
pressed by the beloved child of my warmest affection. 
I there conceived myself to be in the possession of 
the same consolations that any parent has who has 



136 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

committed a dear child to the grave, — that it is still 
in the care of its Heavenly Father, and that all 
events in this life, whether good or evil, are dictated 
by His love towards his creatures ; and though I am 
made, by this event, less happy, you are or will be 
made much more so. 

I shall always respect Mr. Greene for the wisdom 
of his choice ; I shall always love him if he makes 
my dear Abby as happy as she is capable of being, 
from the circumstances within his power to control. 
That you will always be good, and derive all the 
happiness from that source which it is so fruitful in 
bestowing, I cannot doubt ; nor that you will ever 
cease to remember with kindness and affection those 
who have extended the same feelings towards vou, 
inasmuch as they are deserving of it. But no virtues 
are of such spontaneous growth in the human heart 
as not to be impaired by neglect, as to continue to 
expand and flourish without care and culture ; and 
let this in future, as it has been in times past, be the 
subject of your watchful attention. 

To Miss Forbes, May 8, 1821. 

Very little of the highest kind of friendship is to 
be expected in this world ; the want of it grows out 
of the nature of things. For it is too exalted and 
too refined a compact to be entertained by the 
worldly, the selfish, or the weak and ambitious ; and 
a great portion of mankind fall under one or other 
of these heads. Friendship supposes a voluntary 
union of hearts, or mutual regard, unrestrained by 
any of the ties of kindred, and altogether uninflu- 



ON THE NATURE OF FRIENDSHIP 137 

enced by any other circumstance than the simple 
volition of the parties. But the ties of kindred are 
no hindrance to its exercise. "Friendship" (says 
Lord Clarendon) " hath the skill and observation of 
the best physician, the diligence and vigilance of the 
best nurse, and the tenderness and patience of the 
best mother." And I believe we must admit these 
ruling traits in her character, and, if so, no ties pre- 
vent its exercise. But contemplating it in the ab- 
stract as a most transcendent and heavenly virtue, 
as one of the greatest ornaments of human life, it 
must be divested of all those shackles which compel, 
by means of identifying our happiness or reputation 
with the exercise of it towards any individual ; which 
would be to make self-interest its strongest induce- 
ment, — and that, you know, would be an insupport- 
able incongruity. 

I am amused at myself for sitting down here, 
and prosing like a sentimental girl of fifteen upon a 
subject which every one acknowledges to be ex- 
hausted ; and yet, in speaking of it, I do not know 
that I ever heard any one make a sensible or strik- 
ing remark in my life. The best comment, however, 
is to prove practically our capability of entertaining 
it. Lord Clarendon thinks it requires a great per- 
fection in virtue. And why should it not, when we 
reflect that the character of each is perfectly un- 
veiled to the other; for there must be perfect con- 
fidence in friendship,- — it admits no reserve. And, 
I believe, the worst person in the world neither loves 
nor respects the wicked. And though people are 
bound and leagued together in vice, it is an agree- 



138 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ment which bears no resemblance to the interchange 
of virtuous friendship. (Fortunately an imperious 
domestic call has interrupted this inexhaustible sub- 
ject, and I will endeavor to make some reply to your 
interesting letter.) . . . 

As to Mrs. you can tell me nothing new of 

her; she always had a false estimation among peo- 
ple whom I should have thought had more penetra- 
tion and good sense than to be pleased with her. 
I have no doubt, if she live to old age, she will 
die a fool, simply from want of exercise of body and 
mind, — which always keep pace with each other. 
But if she should have a family of children, it may 
be the means of preventing it ; for that is a contin- 
ual stimulus to exertion. 

My poor, old heart has been terribly shattered 
lately, and I am not sure that the influence has not 
reached my head. I mention this by way of apology 
for this letter, which I can find time neither to copy 
nor alter ; but trust it is consigned exclusively to 
the judgment of friendship. You know I have 
parted for ever with Abby. I hope you will just 
see the beautiful creature. Her husband is rather 
a contrast in appearance, but very intelligent and 
good. He has, in his selection of a wife, given me 
an infallible proof of his wisdom ; and, I am sure, 
the more he knows of her the more he will idolize 
her. I ought to be glad she is taken from me, for I 
loved her a great deal too well, and became too 
much attached to her society to wish for any other. 

I hope by this time vour Aunt P. has recovered ; 
remember me to her, and accept of my best love. I 



LETTERS TO ABBY LYMAN GREENE 139 

wish you and Mary Pickard could come and spend 
the summer with me ; we would go to Brattleboro' 
and to Springfield, and have a grand time, I assure 
you. 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, Aug. 4, 1821. 

My dear Abby, — ... I have experienced a great 
variety since you left me, but not enough to drive 
from my thoughts the idea of my beloved child. I 
console myself with some of Byron's extravagant 
reflections in trouble. " Existence may be borne, 
and the deep root of life and sufferance makes its 
firm abode in bare and desolate bosoms." I did for 
the first few days feel as if mine was bare and deso- 
lated, but the sympathy and kindness which sur- 
rounded me, which appeared perfectly to appreciate 
and participate my feelings, soon taught me that it 
was to be borne, and was only one of the minor 
evils of life ; as every evil is, which does not spring 
from vice or death. . . . 

I suppose you would like to know what has been 
going on here since you left. Everybody had a 
pleasant Fourth of July, I believe, with the excep- 
tion of myself. There was a great deal of company 
from Boston, on the occasion. Miss Sarah Dwight 
from Springfield came up and passed a week, and a 
Mr. Lowell, from Boston, eldest brother of Edward, 
a very fine young man altogether. He spent the 
most of four clays with us; read " Yamoyden " with 
great pleasure to me, and left us quite in love with 
him. We had hardly time to collect our scattered 
wits after Sarah D.'s and L.'s visit, when July the 



140 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

15th Mrs. Brooks, her daughters, and the Misses. 
Gray came and made us a short visit on their way 
to Niagara, accompanied by Mr. Henshaw. Your 
Uncle, Mary, Jane, and myself, went with them to 
Albany, and from thence we visited Dwight, at Troy, 
and then took him with us to the Saratoga Springs, 
where we spent four days, on the whole pleasantly. 
There is much there to admire, and to excite dis- 
gust ; but if one goes in good humor with one's self 
and with the world, pleasure will prevail. At the 
house where we stayed, were more than two hun- 
dred. The first effect of seeing such a variety of 
human faces, with the interest you cannot fail to 
take in their various histories, is exceedingly excit- 
ing or over-stimulating to the imagination, and till 
you are familiarized to it, fatigues. But it is the 
world in miniature ; none but a dissipated mind 
could enjoy the scene long. We found Mr. Lowell 
there, and Mr. and Mrs. B. and daughter; which 
served for entertainment for Mary and Jane. The 
great Mr. Wirt, with an interesting family, was there 
from Washington, which was a source of much en- 
joyment to me. Mrs. Wirt was not a lady of great 
mental attainments ; but of much delicacy and re- 
finement, and good judgment, and of many showy 
accomplishments. Although the mother of twelve 
children, she looked young and handsome, and 
played elegantly on the piano ; and played battledore 
with the agility of fifteen, for hours together. Her 
eldest daughter, who was with her, resembled her in 
character, except that she had more reserve. I should 
hardly dare to attempt a description of him, except in 



A GLIMPSE OF WILLIAM WIRT 141 

the most general terms. His appearance is magnifi- 
cent in an unusual degree, and everything he does 
exhibits a moral grandeur, in perfect conformity to 
that appearance. There is something so imposing 
in his look, that you feel it to be a condescension, 
if he pays you any attention. 

At Ballstown we had the satisfaction of looking 
at Joseph Bonaparte, who calls himself Count Ser- 
villier ; his appearance is that of a John Bull much 
more than of a Frenchman, — -very fat, and easy, 
with a most benevolent expression of face : his suite 
requires twelve rooms. 

To Mrs. Greene, Sept. 1, 1S21. 

. . . Miss Bancroft has just returned from the 
Springs. I have been so constantly engaged in 
sewing, in order to prepare Sam for his departure, 
that I have scarcely had time to think of anything 
that did not relate to that particular operation, ex- 
cept when I was interrupted by some of those thou- 
sands of travellers which traverse the earth in the 
fruitless search after happiness. Some of them I 
have been pleased to see ; others have wearied me. 
I believe I described Mr. Wirt (the Attorney-Gen- 
eral) to you in my last, and his very interesting 
family. Since I met them at the Springs they have 
been here, and young John Lowell, the brother of 
Edward. lie received his early education under 
Mrs. Grant, in one of the first seminaries for boys 
in Scotland, and I have rarely met with so fine a 
young man. James Robbins has just left me, after 
a visit of a fortnight, which was very delightful to 



142 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

me ; for I rarely meet with any one who has so 
uniformly the power to be agreeable and rationally 
entertaining, and, at the same time, has so much 
fun in their composition. . . . 

You are daily our subject of thought and conver- 
sation, amid all the variety which surrounds us. 
Mary has read a good deal this summer aloud to 
me. The last number of the " North American " 
was very good, but I do not think you had better 
have it until the next volume commences, which will 
be in the winter. Mary has just been reading to 
me "The Judgment," — a poem by Hillhouse. It 
is really very good for American poetry. It is a 
vision; describing our Saviour sitting in judgment 
on old patriarchs first, and then upon the world in 
general. It certainly is venturing on sacred ground 
to attempt such a thing ; and it is deserving of some 
praise that the author did not make himself ridic- 
ulous. The same author wrote " Percy's Masque," 
which I never have read. Anne Robbins is now 
making me a visit which, of course, engrosses much 
of my time. . . . 

To Miss Forbes, Nov, 17, 1821. 

My dear Emma, — This you know is a busy season 
for heads of families, who wish to see their children 
warmly clad for the approaching season. You can 
have, my dear Emma, but a weak impression of the 
subjects which must occupy the minds of such every- 
day people as myself. It is altogether probable that 
when I am contemplating the figure of a garment, 
and considering its construction as it regards warmth 



THE FIELD OF MA TRONL V CONCERN 143 . 

and convenience, you are making some bold flight 
into the regions of imagination, and wondering how 
people can suffer their minds to remain under the 
thraldom of circumstances, and enslaved by such 
mean realities. But every different stage of exist- 
ence has its appropriate duties and pleasures ; and 
though it is delightful to witness the free and elastic 
spirit of youth in the full enjoyment of all that 
buoyancy which results from exemption from care 
and trouble, and which leads it to the anticipation 
of meeting with many flowers in life's path, which 
Providence never designed they should realize, — it 
is equally satisfactory to a contemplative or a reason- 
ing mind, to behold the contrast of the elderly 
matron (whose enthusiasm has been evaporated by 
the powerful influence of time) giving her exclusive 
attention to those apparently grovelling concerns of 
life, which do not, however, contribute less to the 
general augmentation of human happiness ; and to 
increase that sum ought to make a principal part of 
our own. 

You do not know how much you made me desire 
to listen personally to the eloquence of Mr. Everett ; 
but as I could not hear him myself, I am much 
obliged to you for your account of the matter, which 
was highly entertaining. 

I hear some reading every day ; but there is noth- 
ing so truly delightful to me as the accounts I have 
from my living friends, in the form of letters. I am 
chiefly indebted to my dear Catherine and Abby for 
the pleasure I obtain in this way, as my other corre- 
spondents are somewhat uncertain. 



144 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I have received and read all I could relish (not 
to say understand) of the last " North American 
Review." I think the same observation will apply 
to it, which was applied in Peter's "Letters " to the 
"Edinburgh Review," "that if there was sense in 
it, there was no point, no wit, no joke, no spirit, and 
nothing of the glee of young existence about it ; " 
and Peter, after making use of some very unjustifi- 
able censures, ends his comment with adding, "there 
is no infusion of fresh blood into the veins of the 
'Review."' Wise as it is, I must think just so 
of our "North American ; " I did not like the undis- 
criminating and unqualified praise bestowed on my 
favorite Cullen Bryant. But as it is all out of my 
depth, I feel that I do wrong to entertain any opin- 
ion about it. 

Mary, who is my only companion and comfort 
at this time, has lately read me " Percy's Masque," 
Miss Aikin's "Memoir of Queen Elizabeth's Court," 
and Southey's "Life of Wesley." I have been much 
engaged in the latter ; you know I have a great zest 
for such kind of things. Though much of what is 
there related of his feelings I am very familiar with, 
as the same cant phrases are now in use among our 
Orthodox acquaintance ; and they have the same un- 
settled purpose of mind which characterizes Method- 
ism, and the same extravagant enthusiasm which 
Wesley carried through life with him. Although 
this is an entertaining book, I must own that it is 
necessary to wade through a great deal of folly to 
get at the history of Methodism. Southey has cer- 
tainly made it as pleasing as the truth will justify; 



ME THODIS TS AND CAL VINISTS 1 45 

he appears to be very candid, and proves everything 
he says as he goes along, by Wesley's own letters 
or those of his friends. Notwithstanding which I 
am told the Methodists are not satisfied with it, 
and do not think they have had justice done them; 
and are determined to have another Life of him pub- 
lished which shall do more credit to their system. 
I never knew, till I read this book, how much the 
Calvinists had borrowed from this sect ; but I find 
bright-lights, and spiritual agues, and revivals, all 
had their origin with the Methodists. It certainly 
is a system which tends to produce more of the 
appearance than the reality of religion. It dealt too 
much in sensations (as Mr. Southey remarks), and 
in outward manifestations. It made religion too 
much a thing of display, an effort of sympathy and 
confederation ; it led people too much from their 
homes and their closets ; it imposed too many forms ; 
it required too many professions ; it exacted too 
many exposures. And the necessary consequence 
was, that when their enthusiasm abated they became 
mere formalists, and kept up a pharisaical appearance 
of holiness, when the real feeling had evaporated 
entirely. 

I think you have had enough of John Wesley ; 
which, however, I know you will excuse when you 
reflect how little there is in this place to engage 
one's interest, — and my motto and my rule is, "out 
of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." 
We are all well and happy, except the prospect of 
losing Miss Bancroft ; besides losing a valuable in- 
structor, I lose a very affectionate friend in whom I 



146 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

have taken much pleasure for four years, — a pleas- 
ure that has never been interrupted by a single bit- 
ter feeling on the part of either of us. It opens an- 
other wound too, caused by the separation from my 
beloved child Abby. But my paper will not allow 
me to make reflections on the various changes inci- 
dent to this sublunary state, and believe me very 
affectionately yours. 

P. S. — -I cannot help adding a postscript just to 
say, that when Mrs. Cary passed half-a-day in North- 
ampton, which was a week ago to-day, I went to see 
her; and I never saw her half so charming. She 
is as large as ever her mother was, and her beauty 
has increased in proportion to her size — for flesh is 
very becoming to her; and she has as handsome a 
baby as I ever beheld, and appeared very happy in 
the prospect of living in New York. I am sure I 
am glad for her, for I always thought her situation 
must be a very uncongenial one to one of her habits 
and way of thinking. 

My mother's letters to Abby are full to overflow- 
ing of affectionate details of her own family life and 
news of Abby's invalid father, and of the little sis- 
ters, who for so many years formed a part of the 
household in Northampton. Their improvement in 
knowledge and virtue, and all their interesting traits, 
are constantly recorded for the absent sister's peru- 
sal ; and all sorts of questions asked about the Cin- 
cinnati home, which seemed always present to her 
imagination. 



MRS. GREENE'S CINCINNATI HOME 147 
To Mrs. Greene, Jan. 6, 1822. 

I am delighted with every augmentation of social 
enjoyment you are promised with, as well as what 
you actually experience ; and I choose to believe 

that you will find both Mrs. , and Miss , a 

great acquisition to you. At any rate, if they have 
any hearts to feel, there will be some points of sym- 
pathy between you and them ; they will, like your- 
self, feel the distance which separates them from 
everything endeared by early association ; they will, 
like yourself, feel the want of seeing friends that are 
far distant. And all this similarity of feeling will be 
a strong and sympathetic tie (as the case may be). 
But if they are cold, inanimate worldlings, who 
never felt the kindling glow of friendship warm their 
hearts, they will prove little but an aggravation to 
you. This want of congeniality no one ever felt, I 
believe, more keenly in their daily associates and 
neighbors, than I have done at certain periods of my 
life. But I think domestic union, and affection in 
the small family circle, is a substitute for it in some 
measure ; and perhaps wanting those external sources 
over which to expand the surplus affection of the 
heart may induce us to be more careful to preserve 
and cultivate the love of those with whom we live. 
If it has that effect, it must not be regretted ; as 
nothing is more desirable, of an earthly nature, than 
to strengthen those ties which Nature has formed, 
and by that means second the plans of the Almighty, 
who undoubtedly had a wise design in planning the 
tender ties which constitute the various social rela- 
tions of the human family. 



148 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I always read your letters, or such parts as I know 
will interest them, to your father and mother, when 
I see them ; and I have kept up a correspondence 
with Sally since she left me, so that they hear from 
you as often as I do. I expect to have Sally in town 
again to go to school when Mr. Tyng begins, as he 
will take girls next quarter. 

I have been reading two delightful books : " Vale- 
rius," a Roman story ; and " Geraldine ; or, Modes 
of Faith and Practice," in which nothing is wanting 
but originality. I read " Anacharsis " four years ago 
with Catherine, and enjoyed it as much, I think, as 
you can. Sir William Jones's "Life," too, I have 
read, I hope with some improvement ; for I shall 
never forget the impression left on my mind by the 
careful attention shown him by his mother, during 
his early youth, on which it appeared to me was 
founded all his future eminence as a good, useful, 
and literary man. If I recollect right he acquired 
twenty-eight languages ; but that acquisition, to- 
gether with his poetry, I could dispense with in my 
son, if he could dictate such prayers, and propose to 
himself the attainments of knowledge only as a 
means of doing good and becoming extensively use- 
ful to his fellow-creatures. Perhaps the annals of 
the world do not furnish an instance of so short 
a life, in which so much real good was accomplished, 
and so much evil prevented, by the various plans he 
formed and executed for enlightening the benighted 
people, amongst whom he went to live. I think he 
was but forty-seven years old when he died. To 
contemplate such a life must be useful to any one. 



VISIT TO MARY REVERE 149 

It is calculated to exalt our standard of human excel- 
lence ; and everything which has that effect is prof- 
itable to the heart as well as understanding. 

To Mrs. Greene, Feb. 28, 1822. 

My dear Abby, — I have just returned from Bos- 
ton, after having spent a month there most delight- 
fully ; not in dissipation, but in that heart-warming 
interchange with friends that is so refreshing to the 
best affections of the human heart. It was a great 
addition to my comfort to find my sister Mary so 
agreeably situated, with a husband who has every 
quality that is essential to the happiness of an amia- 
ble and refined woman, together with a heart filled 
with tenderness for her. 

Mrs. Balestier, the sister of Mr. Revere, informed 
me, on hearing me make inquiry after Miss Baity, 
that she was well acquainted with her ; and offered 
to go to Charlestown with me and call on her. 
Miss B.'s brother is Mr. Balestier's partner in busi- 
ness, which has given Mrs. Balestier an opportunity 
of being well acquainted with her, as I before ob- 
served ; and she says she will be a great acquisition 
to you, and that she is an uncommonly intelligent, 
well-educated woman. I was as much pleased with 
her as I should choose to be with any one on so 
short an interview. I found her expectations were 
much more sanguine in regard to the place of her 
future residence, than yours ever were. But I do 
not think she will be disappointed, for I have an 
idea that Cincinnati is a much more agreeable place 
to live in, than Charlestown. I am delighted with 



150 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

every addition to your happiness, if it is only in 
prospect ; and must flatter myself that it will be 
promoted in proportion as good and agreeable 
people from New England become the inhabitants 
of the place in which you reside. I say New Eng- 
land people, because the more we are assimilated to 
those amongst whom we live, by habit, the more 
we enjoy their society. 

I am glad that you have a physician that you 
think so well of, and who is likewise so much your 
friend. I am not certain that Edward will be in 
Boston at the time Dr. Smith will be there ; but 
Mrs. Balestier will see him, and will let me know in 
season to get the things I wish to send, — and I will 
not forget the Webster's " Oration." I was afraid 
you would not get the "North American Review," 
as you never mentioned the receipt of it ; and I got 
Mr. Revere to call and leave a five dollar bill, and 
take a receipt for it from Mr. O. Everett, which 
I was told was a necessary form, when it went out 
of the State. 

It may be interesting to Mr. Greene as well as 
yourself to know who the authors of the "Review" 
in the last number were. The first two were by 
the editor, Mr. Edward Everett ; " Encke's Comet," 
by Mr. Bowditch ; Dr. Webster's "Azores," by 
Cogswell; Stuart's "Dis," by Sidney Willard ; 
"Life of Algernon Sidney," by Edward Brooks; 
"Fairfax's Tasso," by John C. Gray; Madame de 
Stacl's "Works," by Alex. Everett ; Hale's "Dis- 
sertations," by Dr. Ware; Adelung's "Survey," by 
John Pickering ; " Life of Pitt," by Theo. Lyman ; 



READING " THE PIRATE" AND "SPY" 151 

"Weights and Measures," by Professor Farrar; 
"New York Canals," by Mr. Patterson. It is a 
great while since Professor Everett has written 
any thing so much to my liking as the " Comment 
on Percival's Poems ; " there is some wit in it, as 
well as good sense. 

Mary is at a party this evening at Harriet Clapp's, 
or I dare say she would have some message for you. 
Love to Mr. Greene. Yours with much affection. 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

To Mrs. Greene, April 11, 1S22. 

My Dear Abby, — Since my return from Boston, 
Mary has been reading to me in Hume's " England," 
— which I have heard so often, that it has not a 
very exciting influence on my mind. We have 
suffered an agreeable interruption from the " Pirate " 
and " Spy." There is much said by the reviewers 
in favor of the "Pirate;" but, in my estimation, 
it is very inferior to the most of the same author's 
productions. It does not inspire one with at all the 
same kind of interest that " Guy Mannering," or 
"The Antiquary," or " Waverley" did; because you 
find only the same style of character, modified by 
difference of circumstances, which has only the 
effect of meeting old acquaintances, dressed in a 
new garb, but produces none of the excitement of 
novelty for which the earliest works of that author 
were so peculiar. By the time you get through the 
Yellowlcys' journey to the feast, you feel as much 
wearied as if you had taken it yourself. The " Spy " 
is an American production, as I presume you know, 



152 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

by the author of " Precaution ; " and has no claim to 
any kind of excellence. It is a very humble imita- 
tion of some of Scott's novels ; and though it makes 
some pretensions to truth in the facts related, I 
believe the reality will not justify a reliance on 
them. 

As the year has nearly expired since the line of 
separation was drawn between you and me, I cannot 
help making a good many reflections on my present 
resources of happiness, in comparison with what 
I enjoyed previous to that time. And it is a great 
pleasure to me to believe that your pleasures are 
increased in as great a degree as mine are dimin- 
ished. But I have too many blessings left to justify 
a word of complaint. Notwithstanding our bless- 
ings, we are prone to overestimate our troubles ; 
and I must say I have had peculiar trials of feeling, 
of a nature not to admit much alleviation from 
sympathy. 

To Mrs. Greene, May 20, 1822. 

My dear Abby, — It is very good in you to write 
to an old aunt,* whose letters, I am aware, are but 
a poor compensation for any effort you may be 
pleased to make in the writing way. And besides, 
your continuing to write indicates to me a healthful 
state of your affections ; and that, much as you are 
and ought to be engaged in present objects, you 
do not cease to think and feel for distant ones. 
These matters of the heart, my dear Abby, depend 
much on our care and cultivation. If we neglect to 
cherish kind recollections, and the only interchange 

* The " old aunt " here mentioned was just thirty-four years of age. 



ON CHERISHING THE AFFECTIONS 153 

provided for those separated by distance from us, 
our affections become withered and blasted for want 
of nutriment; but if we are principled to keep them 
alive by proper attention to them, they will admin- 
ister much towards cheering our path through this 
valley of tears. A desire for the esteem and love 
of those around us, or of those with whom we are 
connected, is not an ignoble passion of the human 
heart, but may be founded on the purest and most 
exalted principles ; and is generally accompanied by 
a great expansion of regard towards those from 
whom we wish it reciprocated; and is altogether a 
different sentiment from that of wishing for popu- 
lar favor or admiration, to increase our distinction 
among our fellow-creatures when no corresponding 
sentiment is entertained. 

This subject reminds me to inform you that Jane 
has been one of the most constant and improved 
correspondents you can conceive of ; she will return 
to us in another month. 

I don't know that I could communicate any news 
of a very interesting kind to you, for there is 
nothing stirring here more than I mentioned in my 
last. Mrs. Dvvight and Betsy have been passing 
a fortnight with me very pleasantly ; we have done 
a good deal of visiting. Betsy still stands on the 
single list, — a proof of the want of discrimination 
in her male acquaintance ; for, to me she is pos- 
sessed of ever}' qualification, both external and in- 
trinsic, which is essential to the happiness of a 
man's life, as far as a woman has any control over 
it. T suppose by this time you have received the 



154 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

last "North American Review;" I have not "yet 
learned who the authors are. The piece on " Essay- 
Writing" was the most interesting to me, and 
I thought it probable Mr. Everett wrote it. 

Justin Clark, whom you recollect as one of our 
beaux, has just returned from Washington, where 
he has passed the last six months, — being employed 
for one of the newspapers to report the proceedings 
of Congress, — and I assure you he is very much 
improved. There is an intelligent young man, by 
the name of Baker, studying with Mr. Mills, who is 
now about to take Mr. Tyng's school. And now I 
believe you have had a statement of the beaux estab- 
lishment. The belles are Miss Catherine and Miss 
Emeline Shepherd, and Miss Mills. 

To Miss Forbes, June io, 1822. 

... I feel as if your cousin N. P.'s removal to 
Worcester had brought you considerably nearer to 
me ; for you will undoubtedly visit her, and it will 
be nothing to get from there here, — particularly if 
you select a time when one of Judge Howe's courts 
sit there, and return with him. But I should like to 
have you and C. come together, as I think you 
would both enjoy yourselves better for each other's 
company. 

Mr. Theodore Sedgwick has been here for a few 
days, which has made a little variety for us ; and 
Mr. B. and his two boys. I presume you have read 
Miss S.'s book. There is no danger of such books 
being multiplied to too great a degree, as they are 
suited to the majority of readers, who, if they cannot 



DEATH OF PROFESSOR FISHER 155 

get good trifles, read trash, and are injured by it. I 
have not heard whether Mr. Inches and family have 
gone out to Milton yet, but I presume they have 
not. I conclude you have E. D. near you. 

In the account of the packet " Albion," I presume 
you saw the death of one of Judge P.'s daughters, of 
Upper Canada. I should like very much to know 
which of them it was. There was also the death of 

Professor F , of New Haven, in whose death 

much unhappiness is involved. He was engaged 

to Miss C. B , a young lady possessed of a great 

deal of good sense and genius ; but who had, under 
very interesting circumstances, left her father's 
house last autumn to find another home. She went 
to see a friend in New Haven, preparatory to get- 
ting a school ; and while she was there became ac- 
quainted with and was engaged to this worthy young 
man, which brightened her earthly prospects very 
much, — for they were in midnight gloom when she 
left her home. Since then she has been teaching a 
school in New London, with the hope of leaving it 
in another year to become the happy wife of a young 
man as much distinguished in the region where he 
is known, as Mr. Everett is in Boston and its neigh- 
borhood ; distinguished not only for science, but for 
the most exemplary goodness. I have mentioned 
this to you, not because you could take any interest 
in the parties, but because I wish you to know some 
of the misery there is in the world, from which you 
are exempt ; and I dare say the same circumstances 
would interest you in a fictitious tale. 



156 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, July I, 1822. 

My Dear Abby, — I shall be called day after to 
morrow to keep the anniversary of yv>ur departure 
from us. I need not say how many regrets and how 
many agonizing thoughts are revived by this reflec- 
tion, though mingled with them is much satisfaction. 
It is not the least pleasing reflection to me that our 
intercourse was never interrupted by dissensions, or 
even temporary heart-burnings, which tend so pow- 
erfully to weaken the influence of affection ; for 
where reproof was couched in too strong terms on 
my part, it always found a proportionate measure of 
patience on yours, by which the equipoise of good 
feeling was preserved. But all these recollections 
only tend to aggravate the loss I have sustained. 
However, had you always lived with me, perhaps I 
should have become insensible to the comfort I was 
enjoying, and have thought no more of it, than we 
are prone to of a good night's rest, — which you 
know we do not value until we are deprived of it; 
which proves to us that misery is essential to happi- 
ness, and that 

" The hues of bliss more brightly glow, 
Chastised by sable tints of woe." 

Jane returned to us last Monday; she appears 
very well, and very happy. As it regards the acqui- 
sitions she made in Troy, I think they are much 
more of the nature of "sazlthzn ballast." But she 
is not injured, and has gained some confidence and 
some independence, which may be of essential ser- 
vice to her; and her experience has, on the whole, 
been favorably extended. 



A GOOD MAN'S MEMORY 157 

There have been several very exciting causes 
which have tended to disturb the monotony of a 

Northampton existence very much. . . . 

Then follow many village annals ; and she closes 
with a recipe for curing hams, which she is sure 
Abby must want. 

To Miss Forbes, A T orthampton, Aug. 6, 1S22. 

You do not know what a heart-cheering effect 
your letter had upon me, my dear Emma. But the 
intelligence I heard immediately afterwards was a 
great damper to my spirits ; for I knew that your 
uncle's death would be a great affliction to yourself, 

to your mother, and to perhaps more than to 

either of you. But so good a man has left a delight- 
ful retrospect to his friends ; they must console 
themselves with thinking of the good actions which 
filled up his earthly career, of the wounds to which 
his kindness and assistance were a healing balm, of 
the afflictions to which his warm and accessible sym- 
pathies were so comforting and so readily yielded. 
The first effect of all these reflections is to widen 
the breach made ; but when time has mitigated the 
first impulse of sorrow, it must be delightful to asso- 
ciate with the memory of a departed friend those 
virtues which we believe insure everlasting happi- 
ness. 

We arc enjoying a great deal from the society of 
Eliza Cabot at this time ; she is very well, in fine 
spirits, and of course very agreeable. I am going 
to carry her to Stockbridge to-morrow, to spend a 



158 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

few days with Miss Sedgwick. I expect so much 
from this little excursion, that it will be a strange 
thing if disappointment does not ensue. 

I think you and C. must have some very interest 
ing interviews after such a long separation, wherein 
so much variety has occurred. If C.'s health had 
not been benefited at all, I should never regret her 
having made the excursion she did to the Springs. 
It has extended her experience of mankind, so favor- 
ably, and left so much new imagery in her mind to 
reflect on hereafter ; and all too of a very animating 
character. . . . 

In her next letter to Mrs. Greene, dated Aug. 29, 
1822, she speaks of having felt ill for some months, 
but says : " It has not prevented our having com- 
pany continually, and kept up such an agitation of 
spirits, that I did not feel willing under them to 
write to anybody. Mr. Edmund Dwight and his 
wife have made us a visit. Miss Eliza Cabot has 
been here a month on a visit to my sister Howe; 
and Robert Sedgwick spent a few days here with 
his new wife, Miss Elizabeth Ellery, from Newport. 

"I went three weeks ago to Stockbridge with Miss 
Cabot ; we passed a night at your father's on our 
way there, had a pleasant ride, and were well pleased 
with a visit of two days after we got there. Charles 
Sedgwick's is one of the most crowded houses you 
can conceive of. Every room in the house has sev- 
eral beds in it, except one parlor. Mr. and Mrs. 
Theodore Sedgwick, with Mrs. S.'s aunt and two 
children, Mrs. Watson and two children, and two of 



THE SEDGWICK FAMILY 159 

Mrs. Dwight's children, added to Charles's own fam- 
ily, consisting of seven. Harry's family board in 
the neighborhood. Elizabeth necessarily keeps very 
much in her nursery, taking care of the children; 
and Catherine is the mainspring of the machinery, 
by which the family is kept together and pro- 
vided for. 

" I think the Sedgwick family unite as much moral 
and intellectual greatness as I have seen combined 
in one family ; and their society is a rare pleasure to 
me. Mrs. Jane Sedgwick has an uncommonly brill- 
iant and discriminating mind, with a good share of 
imagination. Mrs. Theodore Sedgwick has one of 
those perfectly subdued and disciplined minds, which 
makes her a truly practical woman ; and if she ex- 
cites less of your love than Mrs. Jane, you cannot 
help yielding her your unqualified admiration and 
respect. In my estimation, Catherine Sedgwick is 
beyond all praise, and I should not think of describ- 
ing even the outline of her character; but in no 
branch is she more strikingly excellent than in the 
domestic department, producing comfort by every 
motion she makes. 

" I suppose you have received the last ' North 
American Review.' I like it better than I usually 
do, inasmuch as it is not entirely out of the circle of 
my narrow information, as those 'Reviews' usually 
are. The comment on the ' Spy ' is very good, and 
was written by Wm. Gardiner of Boston ; that on 
' Bracebridge Hall ' is rather testy, though it is not 
devoid of merit. The ' Foreigner's Opinion of Eng- 
land,' which I have read this summer, was by Ed- 



160 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ward Brooks, and is very just. 'Europe,' a book 
written by Mr. Alexander Everett, was reviewed by 
one of the Grays." 

To Miss Forbes, Northampton, March 2, 1823. 

My Dear Emma, — When I first received your let- 
ter, which is nearly a month since, I felt inspired 
by gratitude to sit immediately down and answer it; 
but I then had some imperious claims in the episto- 
lary way, which forbade the indulgence of my incli- 
nation ; and since then I have experienced consider- 
able variety for me, such as some sickness, a ride to 
Deerfield, and another to Springfield. The latter I 
should have enjoyed exceedingly, but I was sick 
every moment of the time, and it was an effort to 
keep off the bed. But when I did, I was compen- 
sated by the society of Mr. Peabody, and your ac- 
quaintance, Margaret Emery. I always liked Miss 
Emery very much, but never so well as now. With- 
out the least affectation of eccentricity, she is a 
little odd, and situated as she is it is a misfortune to 
her; but it only makes her the more interesting to 
me, and she certainly has an excellent mind. She 
happened to be spending a week with Mrs O., with 
whom I passed the most of my time, and where Mr. 
Peabody spends much of his. 

I was glad to hear of Mrs. P.'s safety and happi« 
ness in having a son ; her situation is so retired a 
one, that the care (irksome as it appears) will be a 
comfort to her, and one that brings its reward daily. 
It is a comfort that no one can form an idea of but 
those who have realized it. I have experienced no 



ON THE PLEASURE OF READING 161 

source of joy so pure, or so fruitful, as that derived 
from my children ; it has been more than a counter- 
poise for all the labor and care incident to such bless- 
ings. Joseph has been rather poorly all winter; 
some of the time quite sick. But it makes him very 
tame and interesting. He has now got as well as 
usual, and within the last ten days has read the 
"Pioneers," and "Valerius," a Roman story, to me. 
I was entertained with the " Pioneers," but it ap- 
pears to me it is one of those ephemeral produc- 
tions which cannot outlive the present day. The 
object of this work is in itself very small, and the 
effect produced seems to be exactly in proportion to 
it. In reading, nothing is more fatiguing to me than 
minute details of low people, with which I think this 
book, like the " Spy," is very much encumbered. I 
found "Valerius" a delightful antidote to the effect 
of that old, prosing, tedious " Richard Jones," and 
was interested and delighted with every word of it. 
In short, I think, my dear Emma, that it is one of 
the pleasures of reading, to carry the imagination a 
little out of the track of the dull realities of life, in 
which there is not enough to exalt our thoughts, and 
produce a high tone of mind. Not that I under- 
value that happy pliability of mental temperament 
that enables people without effort to descend to the 
lowest and most minute duties of life. And human 
life consists of constant transitions, of the most 
varied and complicated series of events, requiring 
the exercise of the highest and lowest efforts of our 
reason, with every intermediate stage or ability of 
which it is susceptible. 



162 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Ever since I heard it, the departure of our dear 
friend, Mrs. Inches, has been interwoven with almost 
all my reflections. How few could join the world of 
spirits, with such spotless purity of soul as she has 
done ! When I compare myself with her, I feel 
ashamed of the disparity between us. I believe she 
never formed or executed a plan that did not involve 
the comfort of others, in some way or other. She 
had that exuberance of disinterested kindness that 
led her continually to a forgetfulness of her own con- 
venience or pleasure. In future, if I make new 
friends, they cannot be substitutes for my old ones, 
and I feel that a dreadful breach is made in what I 
have always considered a very narrow circle. And 
you know, Emma, that a great many acquaintances 
are not worth one friend. Mrs. Inches' children will 
probably never know what they have lost ; their 
associations will always be blended with her infirm- 
ities of mind and body, as they have witnessed them 
for two years past. This is deeply to be regretted ; 
for the influence of strong as well as right impres- 
sions upon the minds of young people, of the age 
of the four oldest at least, is very important in giv- 
ing a bias to their future character. I cannot help 
wishing that I could be nearer to the bereaved hus- 
band and children of this excellent woman, that I 
might contribute my mite towards comforting or con- 
soling them in their affliction. 

When you write again, tell me who is to be set- 
tled at Summer Street, and if any one can approve 
Mr. Sparks leaving Baltimore. 

In answer to a remark you made in your last let- 



DEATH OF MRS. INCHES 163 

ter, I will inform you that none of the communica- 
tions you make to me, if it is a description of the 
inmost recesses of your own heart, shall ever in fut- 
ure cause you any trouble ; and I do not wish you to 
write shackled by the expectation that any of the W. 
people are going to hear what you say to me, or any 
other people. 

P. S. The union of and ■ ■ was one of 

those unaccountable matches, that everybody on 
earth wonders at, and which we must conclude are 
made in Heaven. The children are all around me, 
and wishing to send different messages to you. I 
do not trust myself generally to write a word about 
them, for fear of betraying the folly which a too 
partial mother is liable to ; if I did, I should prob- 
ably say they were the handsomest, wisest, and best 
that ever were, and you very properly would not 
believe a word of it. 

To Mrs. Greene, March 10, 1S23. 

. . . You often have heard me speak of my friend 
Mrs. Inches. I have recently been called to lament 
her departure, and a great breach it has made in my 
small circle of real friends ; for she was the most 
uniform, most kin d, and most affectionate being, 
where she was enlisted, that I ever knew. And I 
always felt a certainty that the pleasure I was to 
have in seeing her would be fully reciprocated by 
her when we met. I had experienced from her, for 
sixteen years, 

" That constant flow of love that knows no falL" 



1 64 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

She had a mind that never was disturbed by 

" Those cataracts and breaks, 
Which humor interposed too often makes." 

All these traits of character made her an interesting 
acquaintance and a most desirable friend. And I 
rejoice that I knew her, when her example was likely 
to sink deep into my heart. Such a prevailing influ- 
ence has this circumstance had on my mind, that I 
find it difficult to dismiss it ; though I know it has 
no other interest for you than an event which af- 
fects me. 

Notwithstanding our numerous trials this winter, 
we have enjoyed reading Bradford's "History of 
Massachusetts," Sismondi's " Switzerland," the " Pio- 
neers," the "Voice from St. Helena," "Valerius," 
and various periodical publications in the form of 
Reviews ; all of which I presume you have seen, 
unless it is Bradford's "History." . . . 

To Mrs. Greene, May 15, 1823. 

My dear Abby, — Your uncle wrote you of the 
happy termination of a sorrowful winter ; but I will 
not make any complaint, for I never saw a finer 
child than mine, as it regards health, as well as good 
looks. But within one week, my dear Abby, I was 
called to experience the extremes of joy and grief. 
No one could have more reason to rejoice and be 
gratified for the circumstance which immediately 
restored me to health and usefulness, than I had. 
But while my heart was dilated with the most highly- 
excited emotions on that account, I was called to 



ON THE BLESSING OF SORROW 165 

mourn the departure of that truly interesting and 
excellent youth, George Tyng. As you saw him, you 
could form but an inadequate idea of what he after- 
wards became. I never saw any one more subdued 
by the circumstances which occurred to him, than he 
was. Yes ! his spirit was fitted by the discipline of 
life for the more exalted enjoyments of the world of 
spirits, — where we are told of the good, that " God 
will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there shall be 
no more sorrow, nor death, neither shall there be 
any more pain." 

But in the first deprivation caused by the death of 
a friend, these reflections are but a partial antidote ; 
and we do not allow ourselves at once to reason on 
the moral uses of affliction, but involuntarily give 
way to the sensations of sorrow, so naturally pro- 
duced by the loss of our friends. . . . Sorrow is a 
wholesome regimen for us, and weans us from the 
vanities of the world, and induces us to think of the 
relation we sustain, not only to our fellow-creatures 
but to our Heavenly Father, who gives and who 
takes away, as he sees fit. How often those adverse 
circumstances which we most deeply deplore prove 
themselves to be our greatest blessings, by sowing 
the seeds of virtues in our hearts, which we were 
destitute of before, and by the exercise of which we 
may gain so much self-respect, and benefit those 
within the sphere of our influence so much ! How 
many compassionate dispositions have filled the 
place of overbearing pride and selfishness ! But 
this is rarely the case, where the chastening hand of 
Providence has not been laid upon us. 



166 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

If you receive the " North American Review " 
now, you will perceive by a comment there is in it 
that there recently has been published a valuable 
historical sketch entitled "Tudor's Life of Otis." 
The comment was written by Mr. F. C. Gray. The 
work is a credit to American literature, and em- 
braces the same period that Bradford's "History" 
did. Mr. Everett has attempted something like a 
defence of Lord Bacon's character, that pleases me, 
— in the same number. 

My little baby doesn't allow me to do a great deal 
of writing, and I believe I must get you to make an 
apology to Sally for me ; I shall write to her before 
long. Charlotte and Anne Jean go to dancing- 
school and Miss Upham's school, and appear to be 
very happy together. Your father's family have not 
yet left Norwich, nor do I know how long their stay 
may be protracted. I saw him to-day, and he told 
me that they were all at home. We had our little 
girl christened on Sunday ; her name is Susan 
Inches, — after my dear friend who died this winter. 

I find a great accumulation of cares growing out 
of my new acquisition, and I do not find proportion- 
ate increase of talents for the demand ; but I shall 
do all I can. 

" And while the busy means are plied, 
Even if the wished end's denied, 
They bring their own reward." 

And there is a good deal of pleasure and some dig- 
nity in the occupation annexed to bringing up a 
family of children, notwithstanding the many inter- 
ruptions incident to it. 



ON THE BENEFITS OF TRAVEL 167 

To Miss Forbes, Aug. 3, 1823. 

Your letters, my dear Emma, have the same effect 
on my mind that animated conversation has on sur> 
jects that are interesting to me, and always inspire 
me with the desire to make an immediate reply ; 
but, as my ability and inclination do not always go 
hand-in-hand, I am frequently obliged to deny myself 
the pleasure I so much covet, until the inspiration 
goes off entirely. 

I think I can imagine C. and yourself comparing 
your travelling experiences, and enjoying the retro- 
spect they afford you, much more than you could 
have done the reality ; and that I consider the prin- 
cipal benefit of journeying. The enjoyment is not 
present, but past, or future. There is much satisfac- 
tion in the new imagery with which our mind is 
supplied by making tours such as you ladies have 
done, and nearly as much, perhaps, in anticipating 
them before they occur. But in the actual experi- 
ence there is always some great drawback to com- 
fort ; it is either too warm, or cold, or too dusty, or 
too rainy, or the public houses miserable. And we 
are all such sensualists, that such things diminish 
present enjoyment very much, though in contem- 
plating them they do not weigh so heavily. 

I have, after much urging, been drawn in to con- 
sent to go to Lebanon for a- few days ; but I had 
much rather stay at home, as there are no conven- 
iences for babies in such places, and I cannot go 
without mine very well. 

You know we have a prospect of a new literary 
institution here ; but I have not been very sanguine 



168 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

in my expectations in regard to it, and therefore 
shall not be disappointed. I dare say the young 
gentlemen engaged in the enterprise will be very 
much disappointed. I never knew the most active 
and resolute parent succeed entirely to his or her 
own wishes in regard to their own families, when 
guided by the best wishes as well as judgment that 
falls to the lot of humanity, added to that strongest 
principle in human nature, parental love; and there- 
fore I do not expect this will be exempt from defects. 
I know of no human institutions that are. I shall 
think myself singularly happy, if the proposed plan 
is no more defective than those of a similar kind 
which have been so long in use. 

In regard to my own children, I mean to save 
myself from the self-reproach of neglecting them. 
Indeed, I have ever found a most ready alacrity in 
their service; if I am unsuccessful, it will be from 
an inability over which I have no control, and the 
cause of much sorrow. But I will not add the antici- 
pation of misery to the reality. 

Don't you intend to come and see us? You re- 
member Miss F. ; she is a pretty, interesting creat- 
ure, full of energy and activity. But if doesn't 

speak quick, he may forever after hold his peace ; 
for she soon will be picked up here. Don't you 
admire the sensible choice Mr. Peabody of Spring- 
field has made? You probably know that he is 
really going to marry Amelia White. Young Stur- 
gis has just left here; he seems to be a nice young 
man, but not extraordinary as I expected. There is 
another young man from his class here, who is a fair 
match for him, bv the name of L. But it would take 



THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW 169 

half-a-dozen such to make up the loss of the good 
and wise little Bradford, who has recently left us. 

You have heard, I dare say, that Mr. Harding left 
his wife here ; she seems to be a good little woman, 
and everybody likes her. Some people are very 
anxious for her improvement. I am not particularly, 
for I think she stands a very good comparison with 
the majority of her sex; and any thing that would 
destroy the simplicity of her character would take 
from her her most interesting possession. And it is 
too late, and her habits, as well as objects of inter- 
est, are too strongly opposed to any new impulse of 
mind, to make it reasonable to expect any great 
change in her. 

I suppose you are a reader of the " North Ameri- 
can Review," and I am habitually, from the avarice 
of not being willing to pay for a thing without deriv- 
ing some profit ; but the last number is so entirely 
out of the channel of my apprehension that I could 
have but little enjoyment in it. I was, however, 
pleased with Dr. Bradford's notions of materialism. 
He believes as much in craniology as I do. 

I hope has exhausted the seven vials of his 

wrath against the judges of the Supreme Court. I 
am astonished that the editors of the " North Amer- 
ican" should allow that work to be the vehicle for 
its diffusion. But what with the political and the 
theological controversy, which has become very stale 
and tedious, our periodical works are amazingly 
tasteless and wearisome ; and I cannot but hope 
they will meet with a change. 

With love to all friends, your affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 



CHAPTER X. 

It is sounded through the land, from the pulpit and the press, 
that Unitarianism is an easy religion, that says little about sin, and 
less about holiness, and lulls its disciple in a dream of carnal 
security; while from first to last, in its doctrines, and its precepts, 
and its spirit, it enjoins the acquisition of a holy character as the 
one thing needful. 

This is Unitarian Christianity as I understand it. A faith 
whose topics are the mercy of God, the love of Christ, the duty and 
immortality of man ; a faith which beholds a ladder reaching from 
earth to heaven, as in the patriarch's dream, along which the influ- 
ences of the Divine compassion and the prayers of human hearts are 
continually ascending and descending; a faith which links time 
to eternity by a chain of moral causes and effects ; a faith which 
utters its woe against impenitence with a heart-thrilling pity, which 
wins souls to Christ with a melting tenderness ; a faith which sanc- 
tifies and blesses the relations of daily life, which takes from death 
its terror and its power, and supports the soul on the arms of its 
hope, till it is borne into the society of the angels. — Ezra Stiles 
Gannett. 

WHEN my mother first came to Northampton, 
she found but one church there ; and the 
whole village united in their interest, or lack of 
interest, in the spiritual food that was meted out 
to them from Sunday to Sunday. The whole atmos- 
phere of the place was strictly Calvinistic, — and the 
Calvinism of that day was different from any that 
prevails in our time in New England. She had 
been accustomed from her childhood to a similar 
style of preaching in the old church at Milton ; but 



THE RELIGIO US A TMOSPHERE 1 7 1 

then her wide culture and reading of liberal books, 
her occasional Sundays in Boston, where she had 
listened with enthusiasm to Buckminster and Chan- 
ning ; and, above all, her association with pious and 
devout persons, to whom "the spirit was more than 
the letter," together with her constant, devoted, and 
intelligent study of the Scriptures, — had inclined 
her to a liberal interpretation of those doctrines, 
which as she now saw them enforced in North- 
ampton were dry as dust to her, hard and repel- 
ling; not what her New Testament taught her, and 
not what she wanted to have taught to her children. 

When she talked with my father on this subject 
of vital importance, both before and after her mar- 
riage, she found in him a singular agreement of 
thought and feeling and conviction. But neither 
of them dreamed of quitting the Church of their 
forefathers. Moreover, my father explained to her, 
that in the positions of public trust which he held 
in the country, and the varied relations to a wide 
circle in which he stood, it would be most unwise 
for them to express dissatisfaction with the prevail- 
ing belief of their neighborhood ; that they must 
content themselves with getting what good they 
could from the Sunday ministrations, and where 
their convictions differed from their neighbors', they 
could at least be patient and silent. 

And besides, every tie of affection and gratitude 
bound my dear father to the old minister of the 
town, — Parson Williams, as he was always familiarly 
called. When my father was a little boy of eight 
years, he one day climbed to the top of a tall tree 



172 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

to witness a skirmish that was going on, towards the 
close of the Revolutionary War. But when he saw 
blood flowing he became giddy, and fell from his 
height. He was taken up insensible, and it was 
found that his skull was fractured. A long and 
anxious time followed, when he was nursed by his 
good parents with devoted care, and his vigorous 
constitution finally triumphed. But he recovered to 
great delicacy of health, and sensitiveness of brain ; 
and Parson Williams, who had been devoted in his 
attentions to the family during this period of anxiety, 
told his parents that it would never do for Joseph 
to go to the village-school and be mixed with rough 
boys ; and that, if they would send him to his study 
for a few hours every day, he would teach him all 
he was strong enough to learn. So the little boy 
became the daily inmate of the good pastor's study, 
and his rapid advancement astonished his teacher. 
One day, Parson Williams astonished the parents 
also, by appearing before them to say that Joseph, 
though only eleven years of age, was perfectly fitted 
to enter Yale College ; and they must let him go. 
The parents demurred, — they were poor, and it was 
an expense they could not meet, they thought. But 
the faithful friend, feeling sure that the fine boy 
would not fail to repay them a thousand-fold for all 
their sacrifices, did not leave them till he had exacted 
a promise from them that Joseph should be entered 
at Yale College a few weeks later. And so his 
mother set herself to work, and spun him the entire 
suit in which he entered college. But she had not 
time to knit him stockings, and so he went barefoot. 



THE GOOD PARSON WILLIAMS 173 

Mr. Ellis, in his beautiful portrait of my father's 
life, in the sermon preached the Sunday after his 
death, says of him, "That the little barefooted boy, 
being found prepared, was despatched on horseback, 
under the charge of an elder brother, to the scene 
of his literary labors. The miniature collegian, 
whose head as he sat upon his horse hardly appeared 
above the portmanteau, was kindly received, and 
went through the prescribed course under the espe- 
cial care of one of the tutors, — Joel Barlow, it is 
believed." 

My father was through life one of the firmest 
believers in an over-ruling Providence ; and, in his 
old age, I recall his laying his hand on the scar in 
his forehead, where the fractured skull had been 
trepanned, and saying : " I owe to that fall, under 
the providence of God, all the success and good 
fortune of my life. It was that fall that attracted 
the notice of our good Parson Williams ; and to his 
efforts with me, and persuasions with my parents, I 
owe the fact of my education, which fitted me for all 
that followed." 

My mother realized all my father's reasons for 
personal friendship for Parson Williams, and she 
shared them. But none the less did she feel the cloud 
of Calvinism that enwrapped the whole valley of the 
Connecticut in spiritual gloom. The phraseology of 
the pious was especially distasteful to her. In revival 
times, the evidences of conversion were discussed, 
much as the symptoms of a fever would be ; and the 
deep things of God, — the soul's union with Christ, 
the "obtaining a hope," as it was called, — -were 



174 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

bandied about without reserve, and without joy. In 
infant schools, babies wept over their "wicked 
hearts ;" and the children in older schools were sep- 
arated into "sheep and goats," and sat on "anxious 
seats." If they died early, the little prigs had their 
memoirs written, in which they implored good old 
people, who had borne the burden and heat of the 
day in faith and patience, "to come to Christ." 

These things have passed by; the Orthodox of 
to-day would feel about them as the early liberal 
Christian did then. But looking at my mother as 
she was, and knowing how keenly she felt them all, 
I can only wonder at the patience with which she 
bore this spiritual regimen for fourteen long years. 

Had she lived at this day, her far-seeing mind 
would have recognized the deep debt of gratitude 
which all New England owes to this old-fashioned 
Calvinism ; and how, stern though it was, it was like 
New England's rocky soil, — -an excellent region to 
be born in and to have come out from. 

As it was, she really believed — and events have 
proved her in the right — that the doctrines of the 
Church, as then taught, often made infidels, mate- 
rialists, and scoffers, through reaction. And so she 
fell back on the simple teachings of the New Testa- 
ment, the words of Christ; and her open mind and 
untrammelled spirit experienced an untold joy in 
that liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free. 
And, though tenacious of her own interpretation of 
Scripture, she was never unjust towards those who 
differed from her, or slow to do full honor to the 
religious character, wherever she saw it exemplified. 



CALVINISTIC PREACHING 175 

I suppose she may be forgiven for having smiled 
during one of Parson Williams's sermons on the in- 
creasing luxury of the times, when he said in his 
broken voice, " Some attend to the tylet [toilette] 
and others to the piny forty" and for taking it off 
afterwards ; the fact being that our own old English 
piano, and Madam Henshaw's spinet, were the only 
musical instruments in the town. 

It is told of her that in the Sunday-school class 
which she faithfully taught, during the years that she 
remained in the Old Church, she was asked by one 
of the little people, " Mrs. Lyman, where is Heaven ?" 
She put on her most solemn aspect, remained silent 
for a moment, then in impressive tones, with long 
pauses between, answered, " It is neither before 
you — nor beliind you — nor above you — nor yet 
under your feet." Then with a rapid transition to 
a lighter tone, so characteristic of her, she said, in- 
clining her head in his direction, "Parson Williams 
can tell you the exact spot, I can't." 

In the year 1824 commenced the first open dis- 
satisfaction in the Old Church at Northampton. The 
liberal families, few in number, were yet persons of 
high character and influence, — my father and Uncle 
Howe being prominent among them. All they asked 
for, was the privilege of hearing some ministers of 
the more liberal school for six Sundays out of every 
year, and this privilege the vote of the town gave 
them ; and, at the settlement of the Rev. Mark 
Tucker as colleague to Parson Williams, it was well 
understood that this would be the case. But Mr. 
Tucker declined to exchange with Mr. Peabody, of 



I7 6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Springfield, and other liberal preachers, for the 
allotted six Sundays ; and my father and Uncle 
Howe, finding remonstrance of no avail, at last 
"signed off" from the Old Church, and with a few 
families who shared their convictions they worshipped 
for some months in the town hall, hiring a liberal 
preacher to minister to them. That it cost them 
something to part company with old friends and 
neighbors on a question of such vital importance, 
who can doubt ? Or that the stigma attaching to 
their views was not hard to bear ? But my father 
and Uncle Howe knew what they had undertaken 
and why ; and, having put their hands to the plough, 
they did not turn back. I do not suppose that 
women of the ardent temperament of my mother 
and Aunt Howe were always wise and judicious in 
their course at this time, although I never heard 
that they were not. But their piety was as strong as 
their convictions, and no personal bitterness ever 
mingled with the sorrows of the change. A friend 
who was at our house during this period recalls the 
glow of my mother's face on those beautiful Sunday 
mornings, when, having finished breakfast with the 
large family, she called on Hiram to take the horses 
and carriage, and go to the outskirts and gather up a 
few liberals who had no means of getting into town ; 
then busied herself to collect the children's silver 
cups and her old tankards, which she gathered into 
her large apron, and carried to the town hall, to pre- 
pare the communion table ; how she dusted the 
tabic, and then tucked her apron under the seat, and 
looked round thankfully on the little audience col- 



BEGINNING OF LIBERA L MINIS TRY 177 

lected to listen to Mr. HaU, and to receive the 
broken bread of life, — a real upper chamber, where 
"two or three were gathered in Christ's name." 

It was during this year that she wrote the follow- 
ing letter to Mrs. Murray, which shows that her Uni- 
tarian views were not the result of fancy, or love of 
change, but grew out of an earnest study of the 
Scriptures : — 

To A/rs. Murray, July 1, 1S24. 

My dear Friend, — I have received your kind 
letter by my husband, and am gratified to find that, 
notwithstanding the lapse of time since we saw 
each other, your feelings remain unchanged. I 
have thought it probable that as your sons advanced 
you might think it best to bring them here for edu- 
cation, as the most approved means at this time is 
among us. Mr. Lyman says you have some fears 
that it is a Unitarian institution. Let me inform 
you that there is nothing of the nature of sectarian- 
ism belonging to the school. 

Unitarian parents prefer their children should 
accompany Mr. Bancroft to the Unitarian church, 
but nearly half the school go with Mr. Cogswell to 
the Orthodox church. This subject has insensibly 
led me to make some remarks to you on controver- 
sial topics. In my opinion, Christianity does not 
belong to one sect more than another ; but equally 
to all those who imbibe the spirit of Christ, and 
adorn their lives with the virtues of his religion, 
whether it be Baptist, Methodist, Unitarian, or Cal- 
vinist. As it regards myself, I think speculative 



178 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

belief has but little to do with the religion of the 
heart. We are told that the devils believe and 
tremble. But their belief was never assigned to 
them as a virtue. I always shall concede to my 
friends what I claim for myself, the right of inter- 
preting the Scriptures with my own understanding, 
and seeing with my own eyes, instead of allowing 
others to see for me and interpret for me. It ap- 
pears to me that Jesus Christ declared himself to 
be a being distinct from God, when he said, " This 
is Life Eternal, that they might know thee, the 
only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast 
sent." Again it is asserted that, "Jesus lifted up 
his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is 
come ; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glo- 
rify thee : as thou hast given him power over all 
flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as 
thou hast given him. And this is eternal life, that 
they should know thee, the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee 
on the earth ; I have finished the work which thou 
gavest me to do : and now, O Father, glorify thou 
me with thine own self, with the glory I had with 
thee before the world was." Now it does appear 
to me that beings so represented must be distinct ; 
that the one imploring a favor must be inferior to 
the being who is to grant it. What does our Sav- 
iour say when accused by the Jews of blasphemy, 
who alleged that being a man he made himself God ? 
In his answer does he claim the attributes of Deity ? 
I think he defends himself from the charge of mak- 
ing himself equal with God, when he said, " Say ye 



BASIS OF UNITARIAN BELIEF 170 

of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent 
into the world, 'Thou blasphemest,' because I said 
I am the Son of God ? " To my apprehension 
Christ disclaims underived power ; he says, " Of 
myself I can do nothing." In his last address to 
his disciples he says, " All power is given unto me, 
in heaven and on earth." When one asked him, 
" Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I 
may have eternal life ? " Jesus said unto him, 
" Why callest thou me good ? There is none good 
but One, that is God." In this expression, I think 
he meant to disclaim that perfection which is the 
peculiar attribute of Deity. I think our Saviour 
disclaimed omniscience likewise, when, directing 
the minds of his disciples to the Day of Judgment, 
he declares, " Of that day and that hour knoweth 
no man, neither the angels which are in heaven, 
neither the Son ; but the Father." I think he 
means here to express that he was ignorant of the 
Day of Judgment, and that God only knew the pre- 
cise time when the predicted judgments would be 
inflicted. Our Saviour has said, "My Father is 
greater than I." He was at the time of this decla- 
ration showing his disciples the sources of comfort 
which opened to them from the prospect of his res- 
urrection, and at the same time exhibits to them 
that the moral purposes of his reign would be con- 
summated by the assistance of God ; and closes 
his subject with saying, " If ye loved me, ye would 
rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father ; for 
my Father is greater than I." "I love the Father, 
and as the Father gave me commandment even so 



180 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I do." Christ evidently here speaks of himself in 
his most exalted character, and absolutely disclaims 
an equality with the Father. Christ asserts that 
he is the messenger of God, that he preached not 
his own doctrines, but those of his Father who sent 
him. " I am come in my Father's name. I am not 
come of myself, but he that sent me is true. I 
proceeded forth and came from God ; neither came 
I of myself, but he sent me. My doctrine is not 
mine, but his that sent me." Again he says, 
"When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then 
shall ye know that I am he, and that I can do noth- 
ing of myself ; but as my Father taught me, I speak 
these things. I have not spoken of myself, but the 
Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment 
what I should say, and what I should speak." In 
a prayer addressed to his Father, our Saviour makes 
use of these expressions : " I have given unto them 
the words which thou gavest me : and they have 
received them, and have known surely that I came 
out from thee, and they have believed that thou 
didst send me." 

Jesus Christ directed his disciples to offer their 
prayers to God through him as the one mediator. 
He likewise shows himself a subordinate being by 
the manner in which he addresses his God and our 
God. "Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, 
I thank thee that thou hast heard me ; and I knew 
that thou hearest me always ; but because of the 
people which stand by I said it, that they may be- 
lieve that thou hast sent me." When oppressed by 
personal suffering, he says : " O my Father, if it 



SCRIPTURAL CHARACTER OF CHRIST 181 

be possible, let this cup pass from me : neverthe- 
less, not as I will, but as thou wilt." " He went 
away a second time, and prayed saying, O my 
Father, if this cup may not pass from me except I 
drink it, thy will be done." When crucified, he 
said of his persecutors : " Father, forgive them, for 
they know not what they do." "And when Jesus 
had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into 
thy hands I commend my spirit ; and gave up the 
ghost." These are the expressions, not of Supreme 
Divinity, but of a being dependent and actually 
suffering. The prayer which our Saviour taught 
the disciples is addressed to God the Father in 
heaven. 

You will, my dear friend, perceive that in this let- 
ter I have aimed to prove by quotations from Script- 
ure : First, the very words of our Saviour himself, 
that Jesus declared himself to be a being distinct 
from God ; secondly, that he disclaimed the essen- 
tial attributes of Supreme Divinity, underived power, 
omniscience, and absolute goodness ; thirdly, that 
he appeared in our world as the messenger of God, 
and preached to men, not his own doctrines, but the 
doctrines of God, who sent him ; fourthly, that Christ 
prayed to God as the only proper object of worship, 
and directed his disciples to offer their prayers to 
God through him as the mediator; fifthly, that, hav- 
ing completed the business of his mission on earth, 
Jesus ascended to his God in heaven, and there re- 
ceived the reward of his obedience to the Divine 
Will unto death, even the death of the cross. 

You may think I wish to convert you ; but my 



182 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

wishes are far otherwise. I wish to convince you 
that a Unitarian derives his belief from the Script- 
ures, as you do ; and thinks reason and religion are 
on his side, as you do. I have never discovered 
that Trinitarians were any more virtuous for tJicu 
belief, or that Unitarians were any less so for theirs. 
Hence I draw the inference I commenced with in 
the beginning of my letter, that speculative belief 
has little to do with real religion. 
Your affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

It is doubtful if the habit so common at that time 
among both Calvinists and Unitarians, of quoting 
proof texts on either side, ever convinced any one. 
The advance in thought among the most intelligent 
and liberal in all denominations is very marked. 
The issues of to-day are also changed, and we can 
but hope that hour is coming, when the "letter 
which killeth," will be absorbed by the spirit which 
giveth life, and the true believers in God and immor- 
tality, and the leadership of the blessed Master, will 
forsake all minor differences, and join hands for 
the diffusion of these inspiring ideas, without hos- 
tility or condemnation for those who cannot accept 
them. 

Mrs. Howe to Mrs. Cabot, Feb. 23, 1S23. 

My dear Eliza, — ... I am sorry that our friends 
at the eastward consider us cold and dilatory on the 
subject of our society ; at the same time I know they 
cannot be aware of the peculiar difficulties by which 



UNITARIAN SOCIETY ORGANIZED 183 

we are surrounded. .We ourselves understood them 
when we commenced, and we think our success has 
been beyond our most sanguine expectations. Our 
friends from the eastward have always written as if 
they thought there was a large number of Unitarians 
in this town; if that had been the case, we never 
should have consented to the arrangement made at 
the time of Mr. Tucker's ordination ; but, in fact, 
we could not then count more than four or five 
males who were heads of families. When we deter- 
mined to secede, we were less than twenty ; and 
when Mr. Peabody preached for us in December, it 
seemed doubtful to us if we could procure an audi- 
ence of fifty persons. It must be very obvious to 
any body who understands pecuniary affairs, that 
such a handful of persons could not have built a 
church and settled a minister, unless they were very 
rich, which we are not ; or else very willing to beg, 
which we are not. We procured Mr. Hall ; he has 
preached for us seven Sundays, and three Thursday 
lectures, to our universal acceptation and admira- 
tion. His preaching has been highly appreciated, 
and his character as a man has secured our respect 
and regard. In the meanwhile, the Calvinists have 
done everything to plague and thwart us that they 
could. They have not scared us, but they have tried 
to ; and I dare say they have sent word to Boston 
they have succeeded. But no matter, facts speak. 
Yesterday we organized our society ; about fifty per- 
sons associated themselves. Of these persons not 
more than six or seven can be said to be in easy cir- 
cumstances ; the others are persons who supply the 



184 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

wants of every day by the toil of every day. It will 
be obvious that the principal burden of expense must 
rest on the six or seven first mentioned, but they are 
prepared for the work ; and all, even the poorest, have 
manifested the disposition to do what they can. A 
committee was chosen to build a meeting-house, and 
the money is to be paid for it by seven individuals. 
Another committee is chosen to make arrangements 
with Mr. Hall to remain with us permanently. Of 
our success in this we are not certain, because we 
know that his talents and attainments are such as 
entitle him to a better situation ; but we intend to 
make him the very best offer in our power, and it 
will be such a one as will enable him to live com- 
fortably in this place, — and it is a situation in which 
he will be able to do a great deal of good ; and as he 
seems devoted to this object, it may be a powerful 
inducement with him to stay among us. I should 
like to have you state these facts to Dr. Channing, 
whose opinion we greatly reverence, and whose ap- 
probation we would gladly deserve. We hope to 
have him preach for us whenever we get a meeting- 
house. With respect to "all the world," we intend 
to have a notice put in the paper for their informa- 
tion and satisfaction. 

On the subject of the Calvinistic zeal which you 
advocate, I must say I greatly differ from you. I 
have lived among Calvinists twelve years, and I 
often have had them inmates of my house ; the 
recollections of this period of my life would furnish 
me well-authenticated anecdotes of them, which 
would fill a volume. I have sometimes thought to 



ZEAL IN RAISING MONEY 185 

record them, but I feel that it would be an unworthy 
office, and that it is far better to forgive their in- 
juries, and remember their extravagances only to 
avoid them. I know that their zeal has carried them 
to distant lands and to the isles of the sea to make 
converts, and that it has enabled them to endow 
their theological institutions munificently ; but I 
know, too, that it has in most instances failed to 
teach them the more difficult duty of subduing their 
own hearts, and eradicating their own bad passions. 
And I know, too, that much of the money bestowed 
on their favorite objects is procured by foolish and 
nefarious means. They do not hesitate to beg first 
in the parlor, and then in the kitchen, — first of 
the parent and then of the child ; not only from the 
wealthy, but they will urge the pittance from the 
"hard hand of poverty." They will do what is worse 
than all ; they will go to the bed of death, and seize 
in God's name the trifle which affection would 
bestow on needy relatives. This is nothing figura- 
tive, — facts bear me out in every assertion. This, 
and more also, the Calvinists have done for the 
Amherst Institution. They have hired beggars by 
the day, and taken subscriptions of twelve and a 
half cents from those who had not the change to 
give. If Cambridge would do this for its institution, 
they could get double the money they want in a few 
weeks. Hut would the end sanctify the means ? I 
scorn to see such conduct under the mantle of 
religion. < >ur Saviour, when on earth, was indeed 
poor, but did he beg ? 

I have always thought it a great privilege of true 



186 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

religion that it united so readily with common 
duties, and I will not allow that Unitarians are 
inferior to others in discovering its effects in their 
lives ; but we will treat especially of their zeal. 
Surely, you have distinguished individuals among 
you, who have lent their whole intellectual existence 
to the cause of true religion ; and I turn with pleas- 
ure to my good friend and minister, Mr. Willard, 
who has stood at an out-post for a course of years 
— rejected by his brethren, exposed to slander and 
malignity — and has exhibited a firmness of purpose 
and a strength of principle which convinces me he 
would not shrink from the fagot and the stake in 
supporting his Christian integrity ; and the young 
minister whom we hope to call our own gives strong 
indications of the same character. He has not yet 
been tried, but I trust he will be able to pass the 
furnace of Calvinism without blenching. I hope 
you will not think me impetuous on this subject ; but 
I have dwelt so long exposed to these unholy fires, 
I have seen them so often consuming all gentle and 
sweet affections, all noble and lovely virtues, all 
holy and heavenly principles, that they are the 
objects of my peculiar aversion : no crime named in 
the Decalogue brings more unpleasant association to 
my mind than Calvinistic zeal. I pray that we may 
kindle a purer flame, that it may burn with a more 
equal lustre, that it may enlighten many understand- 
ings and purify many hearts, making them fit inhabi- 
tants of that heavenly kingdom which is the object 
of all our aspirations. Do not think I mean to 
be indiscriminating in my censure of Calvinists. I 



EARLY DA YS OF THE CHURCH 187 

know that there are those among them who fear 
God and regard man ; but these are not the persons 
who are continually thrusting themselves forward to 
relate their religious experiences, and publish their 
religious donations. True piety with them, as with 
sincere and devout Unitarians, takes a more quiet 
but a more useful and honorable course. I do 
believe that there are some sanctified hearts among 
all persuasions, but the general character of Calvin- 
ism seems to me to have few touches of the spirit 
manifested by our Lord and master. If you know 
any Calvinists who are distinguished alike for a true 
zeal and an enlightened Christian morality, I would 
thank you to let me know who they are, for I should 
be as willing to respect and admire them as you are. 
I feel that I ought not to tax your patience with 
them any longer. 

Mrs. Mills has always manifested some impres- 
sions that the Calvinists here conducted improperly, 
though she has said but little about it. She at* 
tended a Thursday lecture here before she went to 
Boston, and I think hearing Dr. Channing and Mr. 
Gannett did her good. Nevertheless, she is so 
shackled here, I think it will be difficult for her 

to come over to us. Mrs. has for the most 

part observed silence ; the Dwights, too, have been 
very silent, and have been at our meeting at an 
evening lecture. I think Charles Sedgwick's prac- 
tical illustration of Unitarianism has been very 
serviceable to them. Betsey Chester is at Weath- 
ersfield. These are all the Calvinists here that you 
care anything about. We feel as though our worst 



1 88 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

trials were over, and every one manifests great 
pleasure that they are so. If we only can get Mr. 
Hall, we shall be secure of a respectable society as 
well as a good minister. He came this afternoon, 
after I had half written my letter, and made us 
a social visit, and was very easy and agreeable; 
in this respect he has improved very much since 
he first came, — among entire strangers he appeared 
diffident and embarrassed. But that has passed 
away ; though he is a truly modest man, he seems 
to possess the social turn which is so desirable in 
a minister. You do not know how attentive all 
the law-students have been to the preaching. I 
think it quite an object that young persons just 
entering life should exhibit such a disposition, as 
I do believe it will have a valuable effect on their 
future conduct. 

As you may receive my letter at a time when you 
are not at leisure to read a volume, I think I hacj 
better say farewell. With love to your family 
circle, ever affectionately yours, 

S. L. Howe. 

It will of course naturally be seen that no differ- 
ence in the forms of their religious belief ever 
affected, in the smallest degree, my mother's feel- 
ings towards her Orthodox neighbors, or theirs to 
her. One whom she reverenced has said, "A saint 
should be as dear as the apple of an eye." And so 
they were to her, in all times and places. One 
lovely Christian woman in the Old Church, who dis- 
tributed tracts every six months through certain 



A CALVINISTIC SAINT 189 

districts, was wont to call at these regular intervals 
on my mother, some years after our church was 
formed, with her package. She would make a long 
call, talking delightfully on many topics of common 
interest, and, just as she left, would drop the tracts 
in my mother's lap ; who thanked her, laid them 
quietly in her mending-basket, and cordially urged 
her to come again. It was somewhat of a surprise 
to me, as soon as Mrs. E. had gone, to see her 
gather up the tracts in her apron, and drop them 
one by one into the fire ; watching with a peculiarly 
beaming countenance the destruction of such cheer- 
ful titles as " Can these Dry Bones Live ? " " Sin- 
ners in the Hands of an Angry God," &c, &c. 

Why my straightforward mother should never 
have told Mrs. E. she did not want the tracts, and 
would not have them, I could not see ; and I told 
her so. "Why, my dear," she exclaimed, "that 
woman is a saint. If I were to tell her that, she 
would stop coming to see me, and I should lose 
a visit I enjoy. She thinks she is doing God ser- 
vice in bringing me these tracts. Let her think so. 
I am sure there is nothing easier than for me to 
burn them up, so that they may never ' pison the 
fountains' in this house." 

The establishment of the Round-Hill School in 
1823, and of the Law School soon after, of which 
Judge Howe was the head, and its most inspiring 
influence, made an era in the life of my parents, 
from which they dated many of their highest social 
privileges. The coming of my Uncle and Aunt 



190 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Howe to Northampton in the year 1820 had been a 
source of unmixed satisfaction to both of them. At 
last, those retired and admirable lives that had been 
gathering strength and resource among the quiet 
hills of Worthington were to be brought into closer 
intercourse with a more extended circle, and to taste 
the delights of wider influence and more appreciative 
society. Ah ! it is the destiny that grows as life 
wears on, that is the fine one ! And yet in these 
latter days of luxury and over-refinement, we grudge 
those years in the lives of young people, when com- 
parative retirement and privation and exertion are 
really fitting them for a middle age of highest use- 
fulness and enjoyment. We want them to begin 
with all the gathered store of appliances with which 
we end. How grave a mistake ! 

The two schools brought to Northampton a corps 
of professors and teachers, such as few colleges have 
ever seen. Messrs. Cogswell and Bancroft, who 
were the first teachers in the Round-Hill School, 
were the first in this country to exemplify the sys- 
tem of the German Gymnasium ; and all their ar- 
rangements were made on a scale of magnificence 
for that day, which soon attracted the sons of the 
wealthy from all parts of the country. In the 
summer-time, families from Virginia and the Caro- 
linas would take boarding-places in the neighborhood, 
to be near their sons who were in the school; and 
my father delighted in his rare opportunities for 
intercourse with some of the choicest spirits of the 
South. For the Hamiltons and Middletons and 
Draytons and Waynes, with many others, found 



THE ROUND-HILL SCHOOL 191 

themselves soon at home in the hospitable house 
whose front-door always stood open ; and from the 
Law School came daily incursions of professors and 
scholars, whom Mrs. Burt would always designate 
to my mother (when she asked from the nursery 
who had come in) as "only the every-day gentle- 
men." Among these were Hooker Ashmun, George 
S. Hillard, George Tyng, Timothy Walker, Wm. 
Meredith, Russell Sturgis, and others. What a con- 
stant and pleasurable excitement for the grown-up 
sisters and«cousins this society made, and what an 
entertaining time for my mother's little children, 
who were pets and companions always ! How rarely 
we ever felt that we were put to bed to be got 
out of the way, although our hours were early and 
regular ! 



CHAPTER XI. 

Happy will that house be in which the relations are formed from 
character, after the highest and not after the lowest order ; the house 
in which character marries, and not confusion and a miscellany of 
unavowable motives. . . . The ornament of a house is the friends 
who frequent it. — Emerson. 

T TOW full to overflowing were my mother's days 
1 [ at this period of her life ! It was the hey-day 
of her existence, in which little thought of self came 
to mar her absolute enjoyment of Nature, of her 
family, of society, and of choicest friends. Her 
perfect health made her life of activity a pleasure 
as well as a duty, and to this health there were few 
interruptions. During the months preceding the 
births of her children she suffered a great deal, and 
as her strength and vigor prevented her from claim- 
ing any immunity from care or exertion, she had 
not the rest she should have taken. But the births 
of her children were the slightest possible causes 
of retirement or anxiety in her case. She had never 
a physician at any time, — the faithful Burty carry- 
ing her through these occasions with excellent care 
and skill; and she able the very next day to sit up 
in her large easy-chair, with her mending-basket 
and book beside her, making first one and then the 
other her pastime for some hours of each day. One 
week was all the time that Burty ever could succeed 



THE NOONTIDE OF HER LIFE 193 

in keeping her in her room ; in the second week, 
she had resumed all the duties of the house, and 
was driving all over the country with my father. 
But, in all her cares and duties, she was seldom with- 
out the invaluable aid of my father's grown-up 
daughters and nieces. 

Doubtless a nature so vivacious, and a life so 
active, experienced reaction enough to call up reflec- 
tive sentiment whenever she wrote letters ; for these 
occasions were really among her few periods of com- 
parative rest. 

To Miss Forbes, June 20, 1823. 

I have been expecting you every day for more 
than a fortnight ; in the mean time, Dr. and Mrs. 
Gorham have passed a day with me, and were dis- 
appointed that they could not meet you here. I was 
pleased with Mrs. Gorham, but the doctor is super- 
lative ; I liked him amazingly. And I was glad to 
find that the unfortunate occurrences of his family 
did not prevent him from taking his wife to Niagara, 
as well as to the other curiosities of that part of the 
country; though I think there was rather a cloud 
hanging over their prospects after they got to Can- 
andaigua, but it had passed over before they got 
here, and they were in good spirits. I was sorry 
that the doctor did not let his wife go to the moun- 
tain, which they ought to have done in the morning 
before they came to visit me, — for you know the 
afternoon is no time to look on the western view. 
But 1 took her upon Round Hill, and rode around 
the town with them in the afternoon, and did all I 



194 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

could to prevent their losing time while they stayed. 
Old Mrs. Lee came here a few days since, with her 
grand-daughters, from New York; and I could not 
help hoping, that by some accident you would hear 
of them and come at the same time ; but now I 
despair of seeing you at all. I was much pleased 
to receive a note from you by Mrs. W., because it 
gave some encouragement to my hopes that you 
would not return to Boston without seeing us. I 
have feasted my eyes on the beautiful Mrs. Eliot, 
and think she is the queen of beauty, — in our hemi- 
sphere, at least. I never liked her husband as well 
as I did this time. He was exceedingly condescend- 
ing and attentive to those around him. She ap- 
peared desirous to please, but her countenance 
indicated the melancholy reflections that had so 
lately had possession of her mind ; you know she 
was the only daughter of her mother, and the sub- 
ject of her idolatry. 

I saw John a few days ago, and told him that 
you would be here soon. He is very well, and 
I always hear is doing well. The gentlemen on 
Round Hill have certainly made very great efforts, 
and they have been accompanied by the most won- 
derful success ; which is not only fortunate for them, 
but very much so for the town. The instructors, 
too, all that I have known, have been of the highest 
order ; and I think their method is greatly calculated 
to raise the standard of education in our country. I 
have enclosed an account of it, which I think exceed- 
ingly clear and intelligible, and which I believe was 
penned by Mr. Bancroft. 



DETAILS OF HOME LIFE 195 

To Mrs. Greene, Sept. 10, 1S23. 

My dear Abby, — -You know, nothing is so un- 
usual in my family as solitude, or, in other words, as 
tranquillity ; and in proportion to the rareness of 
our blessings we prize them. I hail this hour then 
with peculiar gratitude, for it is a temporary exemp- 
tion from care, from bustle, and from company, — such 
a one as I cannot recollect to have experienced for 
more than three months. But much as present 
objects occupy me, I always find time and occasion 
to think of my dear Abby. Your last kind letter, 
together with Sally's, gave us much pleasure, — as 
do all your letters, inasmuch as they convince us of 
your continued health and happiness. Happiness 
in an unusual degree I always knew you must be in 
the enjoyment of, for you were always in the posses- 
sion of a well-spring that cannot fail you altogether, 
though it may be subject to temporary checks. 
Disciplined feelings, with the determination to bene- 
fit others in all we do, must insure a measure of 
happiness. 

I could get no further when an interruption stayed 
my hand, and my letter will have to wait another 
mail before it goes. 

Charlotte left me some weeks ago, and Harriet 
came in to go to dancing-school and writing-school. 
I was very sorry to part with Charlotte. I believe I 
told you my baby was named Susan Inches; and a 
lovelier creature I never saw. Did 1 tell you in my 
last, that on the first of October Mr. Cogswell and 
Mr. George Bancroft — two professors from Cam- 
bridge — were going to open a school on the plan of 



196 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

a German Gymnasium ; of course Joseph is to be an 
alumnus of the institution. It proposes to teach all 
that is taught in any college in the United States. 
I do not feel quite so much enthusiasm as to the 
success of their plan as many others do ; but, at any 
rate, they will be an immense accession to our 
society, as they are distinguished for their learning, 
piety, and wisdom. If I get an opportunity, I will 
send you their prospectus. 

Emma Forbes is staying with me, and has just 
observed that she wished you made one of our circle. 
I never can cease to deplore those I am separated 
from by distance and by death, however I may 
appear reconciled to it. Present enjoyment will 
always depend much on our retrospect of the past, 
as well as our contemplation of the future. In the 
former — 

" The few we liked, the one we loved, 
A sacred band ! come stealing on ; 
And many a form far hence removed, 
And many a pleasure gone," 

must, to the thoughtful, impair the enjoyment of the 
present. But hope — that anchor to the soul — is a 
partial antidote, and enlightens the gloom of melan- 
choly reflections. For "fancy, delusive most where 
warmest wishes are," arrays the future in the colors of 
the rainbow ; and we are deceived by it so gradually, 
that it is imperceptible to our dull senses, except it 
relates to some particular object, — such as a favorite 
child becoming profligate, or a near friend deceiving 
us. Perhaps the enthusiast enjoys most; for enthu- 
siasm adds an imaginary value to every object of our 



BIRTH OF MRS. GREENE'S CHILD 197 

pursuit, and of course brightens our anticipations in 
regard to it, be it what it may. . . . 

To Miss Forbes, Oct. 19, 1823. 

I have written this much concerning the Gymna- 
sium, because I knew you were interested in its 
progress, as well as in John. We have a clergyman 
now preaching for us, who has been two years in 
Scotland, studying with Dr. Chalmers, but I hope 
he is not the best specimen of that kind of educa- 
tion, for it was the whirlwind in comparison with the 
"sigh of evening gales that breathe and die." . . . 
Mr. Hentz has dined with us once since you left us ; 
he made particular inquiries after you ; he is just in 
that state when youth, 

'Adds bloom to health, o'er every virtue sheds 
A gay, humane, a sweet and generous grace, 
And brightens all the ornaments of man," 

and in every respect makes him the most interesting 
youth that ever was. Thinks Northampton a little 
heaven below, and wishes for nothing so much as to 
make it his future residence, which, if all things go 
well, no doubt he will do. . . . 

To Mrs. Greene, Dec. 14, 1S23. 

It is unnecessary, my dear Abby, for me to inform 
you with what unmingled sentiments of pleasure and 
gratitude 1 heard of the safe arrival of your little 
daughter, for you must have observed by my last 
letter that f had given up all anticipations of such 
a gratification. I have a realizing sense of the joy 



t 9 3 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and gratitude which reign in your heart on this occa- 
sion. I think that produced by the birth of a first 
child is something of a more elevated and exciting 
cast than anything we ever experience afterwards. 
We feel ourselves called upon in a new capacity 
which we never realized the possession of, and com- 
bined with it such a new set of affections, sensa- 
tions, and anticipations, that it in fact creates a new 
mental existence. But beware of the indulgence of 
these feelings to too great a degree ; discipline your 
heart, and fortify your mind for all the inequalities 
which are incident to human enjoyment. And per- 
haps the enjoyment to be derived from our children 
is as susceptible of interruption as any we have. 
But uncertain as it may be, I can attest to this truth 
after twelve years of ordinary experience on the sub- 
ject, there is no pleasure or satisfaction in human 
life which is equal to that afforded to us by our chil- 
dren. There is a constant compensation for all the 
care and sorrow they bring, either in their innocent 
playfulness, or their intellectual progress. And 
there is a pleasure, too (if a selfish one), in the idea 
that they, being of so exalted a nature, made but 
little lower than the angels, belong to us ; we derive 
from it a new importance, a new self-estimation 
which rewards us for the increase of duties and 
responsibility that it brings. We that have families 
may look around us and say to ourselves, In the 
existence of all these dear objects we are identified; 
and in them we shall leave a representation of our 
efforts and, if we have any, of our excellences. 

In the case of your parents, my dear Abby, they 



ON THE COMFORT OF CHILDREN 199 

appear to have but one thing left them, and that is 
or ought to be a rich and fruitful source of comfort to 
them. For I know of no people more blessed in 
their children. I presume Mary mentioned to you 
in her letter that Harriet had gone to Litchfield, 
where she will have the benefit of Mr. Brace's 
instruction for a year, unless she goes to you in the 
spring. The school there is much better than any 
we have here ; the situation otherwise may not be 
as good. . . . 

Martha is quite a favorite here ; she has strength 
of mind with great originality, and much more im- 
provement than you could anticipate with the disad- 
vantages she has had to encounter. She reads to 
me every day, assists Anne Jean in getting her les- 
sons, and explains them to her in a very lucid man- 
ner. Charlotte has a fair mind, and is perfectly 
innocent and pure in all her thoughts ; and, if I 
were going to choose a friend and companion for 
Anne Jean, I do not know where I could find one so 
near her own age that I should prefer to Charlotte ; 
for, at the same time she is without Anne Jean's 
levity of character, she is divested of her vivid fancy. 
But they mingle with great interest and harmony in 
each other's enjoyments. ... I spent the time I was 
in Westfield at James Fowler's. lie and his wife 
had just returned from a long journey, and found 
their youngest child dead, and were very melancholy ; 
but that did not make them the less interesting to 
me ; for they are good people and sensible people, 
and lead pious lives, and envy nobody. . . . 



200 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To Miss Forbes, Northampton, March 21, 1824. 

" Sae I gat paper in a blink, 
And down gaed stumpie in the ink, 
Quoth I before I sleep a wink, 

I vow I'll close it." 

Now, my dear Emma, nothing short of a resolu- 
tion equal to that of my friend Burns, when he 
uttered these lines, could tempt me so far to absent 
myself from thoughts of present emergencies (of 
which there are a never-ending succession that claim 
my unwearied attention) as to undertake to write a 
letter. I shall never again wonder at people who 
give up writing. The circumstances which, to the 
head of a family, rise in opposition to it, are suffi- 
ciently formidable to justify a conscientious person 
in abandoning it altogether; but I am too selfish for 
that. I cannot give up the pleasure I derive from an 
intercourse with my absent friends ; and, as I cannot 
purchase letters with any other coin, I will some- 
times tear myself from the imperious duties of my 
family, and get up a scrawl. I should have answered 
your earnest inquiries about the Round-Hillers, but 

thought as Mrs. was going to Boston she could 

tell you about them ; and as my account would not 
be exactly like hers, I thought you had better hear 
her first. I do not wonder that she feels as she does ; 
yet at the same time that I can sympathize in her 
feelings, I cannot think with her about the gentle- 
men who keep the school. It is obvious to me that 
they are conscientiously bent on bringing their 
scheme to the highest perfection, and that all their 
efforts and all their time are now occupied to that 



THE ROUND-HILL SCHOOL 201 

effect. They say that no boy in the school has been 
more assiduous, or has improved more the last 
quarter, than John has ; he attends principally to 
Latin and French. Joseph does the same, with the 
addition of Greek and English, — the latter at my 
earnest entreaty. Mr. Bancroft told me that as the 
days became longer, and the children got more ad- 
vanced in the languages, they should pay more par- 
ticular attention to English studies, — which is the 
only objection that ever could be raised against the 
school. From what I know of other schools, there 
is no doubt in my mind it is far superior to any in 
our country. And I believe with such materials 
they will make John both a good man and a scholar. 

Miss C passed an evening with me a short 

time since ; she said she thought, with the exception 
of four or five, the boys were uncommonly stupid 
and ignorant ; and I think her opinion to be relied 
on as unprejudiced. But when I reflect on the 
aggregate of society, there is not a larger proportion 
of intelligent people, if as many, as four to sixteen ! 

Are you not glad that Mary Bickard is going to 
England ? She will be a loss to her friends here, 
but she will more than compensate them on her 
return for a temporary deprivation. But suppose 
her friends in England should tempt her to remain 
with them ? I am sure I should think they would. 

I feel very glad that Edward and Ann are going; 
if he were perfectly well, I see no reason why they 
should not go : they have seen but little of the 
world, and as they are divested of its cares, it will 
enlarge their minds, and do them a v"reat deal of 



202 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

good. I wish I were going myself, but I believe I 
shall have to content myself with remaining sta- 
tionary. I suppose you have read " Saint Ronan's 
Well." I think it the poorest thing that has ap- 
peared in print for many years, — that I have read, I 
should add. The evil always has been a serious one 
to encounter such people as prevail in that book, but 
to be called on to contemplate them in books is an 
unnecessary evil, and therefore more intolerable 
than our actual experience of them ; for they do not 
seem designed to contribute to any moral views. In 
short, the author does not appear to have any end in 
view, but to string together the shreds and patches 
of his imagination that nothing may be lost ; and 
there is an avarice in it that I don't like. I have 
lived among the Indians lately. I have been read- 
ing Heckwelder's account of them. He found a 
great many Yamoydens among them during his forty 
years' residence in their society. I am now reading 
what you must get and read — Mr. Bancroft's trans- 
lation. 

To Mrs. Greene, April 27, 1S24. 

Three years have elapsed since we parted ; in 
that time I have had much satisfaction from con- 
templating you in the enjoyment of a great many 
calm and rational pleasures, such as only the well- 
balanced and rational mind can enjoy. And the 
pain of separation has been much mitigated to me 
by the belief that you have been withdrawn from 
sorrows which would have pierced your heart had 
you been here, — though your presence could not 
have had the effect to remove them. . . . 



ON THE EFFECT OF MATRIMONY 203 

You know is peculiarly susceptible of the 

influence of those around her, and if she could al- 
ways live with good people she would always be 
good ; and the reverse is equally true. . . . Now, you 
know no one more cordially approves of matrimony 
than I do. I think it is the effect of an interest in 
domestic duties to strengthen our virtues, to enlarge 
our benevolence, and to concentrate our good affec- 
tions ; it helps to a sound judgment and right-bal- 
ancing of things, and assists in giving integrity and 
propriety to the whole character. But this cannot 
be the case unless there is something to engraft 
upon, and unless the union consists of materials cal- 
culated to foster the growth of such principles. . . . 

My sister C. divided the winter between Mrs. 
Howe and myself; and I am just now quite afflicted 
to be obliged to part with her, but it is unavoidable. 
She diffuses most salutary influences on all those who 
come within her sphere. She is always happy her- 
self to a certain degree, because she lives in the culti- 
vation of unfailing resources of a purely intellectual 
character, such as have no dependence on artificial 
excitements or dissipation of time for their basis. 

I have been reading lately such trash as " Adam 
Blair," "Reginald Dalton," and "The Spae Wife," 
and got a little entertainment, if not instruction, 
from them ; and, for better aliment, Mr. Sparks's 
Tracts and "The Christian Examiner." Adieu! 

To Miss Forbes, Oct. 23, 1S24. 

I am perfectly astonished that Mr. II. should 
have made so wise a choice. Mrs. Ii. certainly ap- 



204 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

pears like an uncommonly rational woman, is very 
interesting in her manners, and I should judge 
would prove every thing such a thriftless man would 
want in regard to economy. She dresses herself 
with great neatness and good taste, contrary to my 
expectations ; and all who have seen her are much 
pleased with her. 

I have had a short but delightful visit from Miss 
Sedgwick. She is indeed a most excellent charac- 
ter, and has all the requisites for making herself 
agreeable to every class of society, and seems to be 
equally beloved by all the different ranks with whom 
she mingles. I am sure I wish there were more like 
her in the world ; but they are so rare that she may 
be said almost to be a unique. It is really wonder- 
ful that two such women as herself and Mrs. Theo- 
dore Sedgwick should have fallen to the lot of one 
family. If Mr. Minot had not lost his house by 
fire, Miss Sedgwick would have made a long visit in 
Boston this autumn. I am sure I am very sorry she 
did not. I think she would be a more operative 
leaven in that society, than in New York. 

To Mrs. Greene, Nov. 24, 1S24. 

I have neglected to describe my New Bedford 
friend, Miss Rotch, to you ; though I intended to 
do it at length, when I commenced, hoping to com- 
municate to you some of the pleasure she afforded 
me by her society. But now I could not do her 
justice, and will not attempt it, more than to say 
she was born and educated in England as an enlight- 
ened Quaker ; is a speaker of great and distin- 



ON CONSTANCY OF AFFECTION 205 

guished eloquence among her adherents, and is 
rendered peculiarly interesting by great personal 
beauty. 

To Miss Forbes, Jan. 12, 1S24. 

You recollect my old favorite among the young 

men, . He settled in Springfield on purpose to 

court , whom he fell in love with at first sight, 

at a Fourth of July party in this town. The sequel 
is, that, after being engaged to him a year, she has 
gone to New York, seen somebody she likes better 

and turned poor adrift. So much for being a 

butterfly instead of a woman. What do you think 
of such pliable affections, as well as morality ? At 
any rate, such things have the sanction of fashion 
to authorize them. I presume it will not injure the 
lady in anybody's estimation but mine and two or 
three such antiquated lovers of constancy. 

The foregoing letter was discovered by my father 
on the afternoon of the next day, the 12th; and he 
hastened to announce with pious gratitude the birth 
of his eleventh and last child, Catherine Robbins. 

January 12th. I found the foregoing letter in its 
present state this afternoon. I now have the pleas- 
ure to announce to you the birth of a beautiful 
daughter. Rejoice with me, my dear Emma, and 
render praise to the Author of every good and per- 
fect gift. And let all our friends unite with us. 
In haste, I am truly your friend, 

Joseph Lyman. 



206 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

How sure were all the family friends to write to 
Cousin Emma of every event that occurred, whether 
of joy or sorrow, certain that she would feel them 
all in her heart of hearts. Madame Recamier's 
biographer says of her that she had "the genius of 
sympathy." And so had this dear friend, in an 
almost unequalled degree. Can we ever forget the 
glow of her expression, the glistening of her eye, 
the pressure of her hand ? Will any one, who was 
a little child then, ever forget the tone in which she 
said "My love"? Our dear Lizzie Ware used to 
say of her, that she was equally at home in a palace 
or a hovel. And so she was, for the depth and 
warmth of her sympathy led her for the moment to 
put herself wholly in the place of each. 

In February of 1825, Cousin Emma decided to 
go to Europe,— a trip far less frequently taken than 
now; and the cousins joyfully gave her a God-speed 
over the wide waters. 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes, Northampton, Feb. 25, 1825. 

My dear Emma, — - As I hear you are going over 
the great water, I must write a few words to bid 
you God-speed. A thousand interesting objects 
present themselves to my mind when I think of 
such a voyage; if I were young and without care, 
it were the thing of all others that I should delight 
in ; as it is, I have neither the wish nor the hope of 
ever undertaking it. But when you are in the far, 
foreign land, I wish you would now and then look 
at things with my eyes, so as to bring me home 
pictures of them. I mean the eyes of my under- 



MRS. HOWE'S LETTER ON TRAVEL 207 

standing. Many things would delight me, but of 
all God's works there is nothing I love like his 
human creatures. You will see Walter Scott — the 
person who has given me more pleasure than any 
one living whom I never have seen. Leave not a 
hair of his head unscanned, and if you can get his 
barber to save a hair that he combs out, for me, I 
will put it up with the single one I have of General 
Washington. 

I hope you will see Mrs. Grant ; I should like to 
know if she retains the warm affections of her youth, 
now that she is in the vale of years. If you go to 
Dumfries, you will see Burns's monument, and that 
living monument of him, his Jean. You will see 
other people, I dare say, whom the literary annals 
of the last twenty or thirty years have made famil- 
iar ; and I would set down in my journal the impres- 
sions they make, as you go along, lest hurrying 
from place to place should drive valuable ideas from 
your mind. It requires great industry and effort 
to keep a journal when travelling; but you will do 
it, because it will be a treasure when the cares of 
the world have blotted some interesting recollec- 
tions from your memory. What a store you will 
lay up for future entertainment for your friends, 
and how much you will enlarge the compass of your 
own thoughts ! Next to celebrated human beings, 
beautiful natural scenery is the most interesting 
thing to see in foreign lands ; you will feel this 
beauty in a high degree. Milton Hill is a fair 
school for the cultivation of taste in that depart- 
ment. Our own favored land is rich in natural 



208 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

beauty, but we have not the wonders of art, the 
beautiful buildings, the rich paintings, the curious 
machinery, which you will visit. Pray be all eye 
and all ear, for there will be hungry expectants on 
this side of the water for the treasures your senses 
are to collect for you. 

You will see Mary Pickard ; how welcome you 
will be to her ! But, perhaps, unlucky chances may 
prevent this meeting. You will carry friends with 
you, so that you cannot be desolate ; and may your 
voyage cheer drooping spirits, and give all the sat- 
isfaction which you hope for from it ! I give the 
warning Mary Revere gave to Mary Pickard : do 
not let any foreign knight-errant detain you from 
your country and your friends ; this is the land of 
liberty and of plenty ; it gave you birth, and I hope 
it may crown your gray hairs with countless blessings. 

Susan joins me in affectionate wishes. I never 
see John. Round Hill is a monastery, and the 
inhabitants never mingle with others. I dare say 
he has written to you, to bless your path over the 
waves. 

We are all pleased and happy that our new society 
is formed, and that we are to have a new meeting- 
house ; this is the only news I have for you. 

Fare you well ! If the prayer of friendship will 
guide you in safety, it shall be yours. 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes, Northampton, Feb. 23, 1S25. 

My dear Emma, — How truly in the spirit of 
a heroine it is for you to go to England ; and yet 



LITTLE CA THERINE AND SUSAN 209 

I never heard of your imagining such a thing in 
your most romantic visions of the future. I am 
glad it is so, and half envy you the privilege. It 
will furnish your mind with a great deal of new 
imagery, and you will ever after find your views 
enlarged both of people and things, as well as your 
imagination enriched. To a well-balanced mind 
every thing turns to account, because all the variety 
of circumstances which occur to it receives a right 
direction, and teaches us to draw from them a 
moral influence. Then you are favored, my dear 
Emma, in this means of doing yourself and friends 
good. 

I have had nothing peculiarly pleasurable in the 
events of the past winter. But now that the time 
is consumed, I have much to contemplate which 
excites gratitude and affords satisfaction, and the 
result of which I believe would compensate for a 
great deal more trouble than I have had. Don't 
you wish you could see little Catherine, whom every- 
body acknowledges to be the prettiest creature that 
ever was seen, for six weeks old ? Susan, too, is 
a good little kitten, and moreover looks well ; Mrs. 
Burt is spoiling her as fast as she possibly can. 
I shall try one of these days to rescue her ; but at 
present let her entirely alone, not thinking it worth 
while to spend my strength governing a child of her 
age, — though I dare say Mr. Everett's and Mr. 
Norton's children (of the same age) are little phi- 
losophers at this time. 

Mr. Bancroft is a very frequent visitor here; but 
Mr. Cogswell I never see. I believe he thinks I had 



210 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

some hand in a lampoon which Mrs. Howe wrote, 
and which I think has been of vast service to him, 
or rather to the school. 

There are but two or three children equal to John 
in the school. Mr. G. says he never saw so many 
ordinary children collected in one institution, and he 
should not have thought it possible. 

I do not allow myself to be much excited by our 
religious affairs. The town meeting is over, and a 
division has taken place, and a meeting-house is to 
be built. 

[The remainder of this letter is lost.] 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes, Northampton, Nov. 16, 1825. 

My dear Emma, — With heartfelt pleasure I wel- 
come you to your native land, and sympathize in the 
pleasure and gratitude you must feel in once more 
finding yourself safe on terra firma. I heard of 
your arrival by a gentleman from New York, before 
you reached Boston, and it was a real relief to me; 
for I had begun to be a little fidgety about you, 
having heard that you sailed the last of September. 
I conjectured you must have blown off to the West 
Indies, in a south gale we had the last of October, 
or some such unexpected and undesired cause of 
detention ; but here you are once more among us, 
and with a mind and imagination stored with a 
thousand delightful things that will remain with you 
as long as you live, while the inconveniences you 
have suffered will soon be forgotten, or remembered 
only for their moral uses. I thank you for your 
letter ; it is a treasure to me. It reached me in one 



FRIENDSHIP WITH MRS. HENTZ 211 

of those unhappy hours, when I was trembling for 
the life of my clear Catherine. I will not dwell on 
the scenes past at Milton ; the recollection is yet so 
fresh and so painful, that I would gladly find a more 
cheerful subject. But I know they should be re- 
membered with gratitude, that those dear to us were 
spared and restored after all their sufferings and 
danger. Your mother was the greatest assistance 
and comfort to us, — indeed, I believe she was, under 
God, the means of preserving Catherine's life, when 
in the greatest peril. 

I have a great deal of pleasure in Mrs. Hentz ; 
she is more like some of my old friends than any 
new acquaintance I have made since I came to the 
Connecticut River. She has always lived near me, 
until to-day they have removed into a house Mr. 
Hentz has lately purchased in King Street. It is 
very snug and in good repair, and I think they will 
enjoy a house of their own very much. Mrs. Hentz 
has met with quite a trial, in being obliged to put 
her baby out to nurse. He was too feeble to remain 
with her, and she could not accommodate him with 
a healthy nurse nearer than the top of Chesterfield 
Hill, which seems, at least, as formidable to her as 
you found any of the Welsh mountains. You have 
enough baby-enthusiasm to realize this privation. 

Mrs. Lyman's children have been ill all summer, 
but are now well. C. is just the beautiful creature 
you saw S. two years ago ; and S. is beautiful as an 
angel, and goes to school and learns her letters. 

I long to see you and "hear your cracks;" but it 
must be here, I believe, for I am stationary for the 



212 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

winter, at least. When can you come ? I saw John 
on Sunday, and told him of your arrival. Mr. Howe 
is away holding court, or he would send his love to 
you. Susan is well, and sends her love. My young 
folks are all fat and saucy. I go to my new house 
in a fortnight, and am busy making preparation. 
Remember me affectionately to your mother and the 
little girls. 

Yours ever, with true affection, 

S. L. Howe. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes, Northampton, Dec. S, 1825. 

My dear Emma, — Ever since your return, I have 
had it in my heart to congratulate you on having 
crossed and recrossed the Atlantic, but I have had 
no kind of control of my time. My baby has occu- 
pied me day and night since Sally Woodard left me, 
and Mrs. Burt fell into her place; added to that, I 
have been a great sufferer with the teeth-ache. 
I am sure nothing could give me a more lively sen- 
sation of pleasure than beholding you. At the same 
time that I should see my dear Emma, with the 
same heart and feelings she used to have, I should 
find her head arrayed in a great deal of new furni- 
ture, and her conversation adorned with a great 
deal of new imagery, which would be very delight- 
ful to me. I would not allow you to say one word 
of present subjects, except as comparing them with 
your past experience. I am happy to say that I 
have not one unpleasant sensation in hearing people 
say, "When I was in Europe." Having my friends 
go there, and communicate to me what they have 



A YEAR OF SICKNESS AND ANXIETY 213 

seen, is the only compensation I have for the abso- 
lute certainty that I shall never see it myself. Your 
letter, written in Scotland, I can never sufficiently 
thank you for. It came at a time when I most 
needed something to withdraw my attention from 
present suffering. 

The last year has been the most trying one of 
my life, as it respects sickness, care, and anxiety. 
Until within a month, I never have known a single 
night of unbroken rest for a year, — a circumstance 
which tends very much to shatter both the nerves 
and the understanding. For more than two months, 
I was in the daily anticipation of the death of one 
of our family at a distance, besides contemplating 
sick children at home ; and I think it has all com- 
bined to make me about sixty years old. Now, I 
don't know of any thing that can make me younger 
but having Catherine and you jump into the stage, 
and come up here and make me a visit ; and perhaps 
you can get your mother to come, too. As it re- 
gards the children's coming at some future time, the 
prospect has brightened very much. 

Only think of my having such a saint in the house 
ten days as Henry Ware ! Should you not have 
thought it would have converted us, and that we 
should now be as good as he is himself? I most 
devoutly wish it were so. 

An interruption warns me to bid you adieu. 
With much affection, 

A. J. Lyman. 



CHAPTER XII. 

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there 
shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they 
seemed to die, and their departure is taken for misery, and their 
going from us to be utter destruction : but they are in peace. For 
though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full 
of immortality. For the memorial of virtue is immortal : because it 
is known with God and with men. When it is present, men take 
example at it ; and when it is gone, they desire it : it weareth a 
crown, and triumpheth for ever, having gotten the victory. — Wisdom 
of Solomon. 

IN the summer of 1825, a severe form of typhoid- 
fever appeared in the family at Brush Hill, and 
several members of the family were stricken with 
it. It was a very sad summer. My Uncle, Edward 
H. Robbins, was very ill with it in Boston, and 
recovered ; but his devoted friend, Mr. Marshall 
Spring, who was much with him during his illness, 
took the disease from him, and died, — a life-long 
grief to my uncle. My Aunt Howe, on hearing of 
her brother's illness, went directly to assist in the 
care of him, although her heart and hands were 
always full of her own home cares. After three 
weeks of great anxiety, she returned to Northamp- 
ton, but had been at home only a few days when 
the news came that her sisters Mary and Catherine 
were taken ill, directly after she left them, with the 
same disease. With characteristic solicitude and 



TYPHOID-FE VER AT BR USH HILL 2 1 5 

disinterestedness, my Aunt Howe immediately made 
arrangements to quit her family again and return 
to Brush Hill, to nurse her sick sisters; and her 
husband did every thing to aid her to get off. In 
a private memoir of my Uncle Howe, which my 
Cousin Mary has kindly permitted me to use, my 
Aunt writes : " I received the letter announcing 
that my sisters were more ill, on Friday evening. 
I did not feel willing to wait until the next week, 
and I told my husband I wished to take the morn- 
ing stage. He said he would carry me to Belcher- 
town that night, that I might not have the fatigue 
of going through in a day. I felt that this necessity 
to part with me so soon again was a great sacrifice 
to him, and I highly appreciated the generosity with 
which he made it." 

My two aunts recovered, although they seemed 
long to hover between life and death ; and when 
she had seen them so far restored that they could 
do without her unwearied devotion, my Aunt Howe 
returned to Northampton. Only a few days after 
her return, she received news of the death of a 
faithful and attached domestic at Brush Hill, whom 
she had left, as she supposed, also convalescent. 

Mrs. Lyman to her Mother, A T orthampton, Aug. 24, 1S25. 

Dear Mother, — I little thought to have expe- 
rienced so sudden a check upon the joy and grati- 
tude that filled my heart last week, as the sickness 
of Catherine has produced. I was contemplating 
a tour to see you, with the little baby and Edward, 
who is a confirmed dyspeptic. He has got pretty 



216 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

well ; but nothing seems to agree with his stomach, 
and he looks very feeble, though he is uncomplain- 
ing. I don't know that I ever had so much cause for 
anxiety about any of my children. I should be so 
much occupied with my children that I should only 
be in your way if you have sickness, without having 
any opportunity to relieve you ; and I shall, of 
course, give it up. We have enjoyed Abby's visit 
highly ; though her person is extremely thin and 
changed, the excellent qualities of her heart re- 
main untarnished ; she is the same interesting, good 
creature that she was when she left us ; and her 
husband seems to have a just sense of her worth, 
which he proves by a most devoted kindness and 
attention to her. She has a very delicate child, but 
it appears healthy. 

I dare say you have heard of our disappointment 
in relation to Mr. Hall, who is too unwell to deter- 
mine when he can be ordained. Give my love to 
Catherine. I am sure I wish I could be with her ; 
but the claims of little children are not to be 
resisted, and she is aware that the most important 
station for me is in the midst of them. What with 
the conflicting claims of society and of children, 
I cannot compare my life this summer to any thing 
but living on the top of a high tree, in a great 
gale of wind, in which all one's efforts are bent to 
holding on. Sally has got home without sustaining 
any ill effect from her journey, or the children from 
her absence. I don't know that Judge Howe re- 
grets it, but we think it a great pity that he has 
got his house so small ; there are a sufficient num- 



FAMOUS AM A TEUR THE A TRICALS 217 

ber of rooms, but they are all too small. The par- 
lors that open together are the size of our library, 
and those are the largest rooms in the house. But 
I believe I have an unreasonable dislike of small 
rooms for a large family. We have parted with 
Abby, who has gone to Providence ; she was afraid 
she should not go to Boston, but I think Mr. G. will. 
Tell Catherine, as soon as she gets well enough, 
I shall have her transported up here. I thought 
I would send her a copy of Mrs. Hentz's hymn, 
written for our ordination. Sally's little James is 
rather sick, but I hope not seriously. 

In the year 1826 came off a famous dramatic 
entertainment at our house, in which the most beau- 
tiful girls in our village (so famed for beauty) took 
part, and the finest young men in the Law School 
were also actors. The " Lady of the Lake " was 
dramatized with wonderful effect ; my father and 
Uncle Howe declaring that they had never seen any 
such acting on any stage in Boston or New York. 
The beautiful Martha Strong, the pride of our vil- 
lage, dressed in a suit of Lincoln green, took the 
part of James Fitz-Jamcs ; and for many years after 
the tears would come to my mother's eyes as she 
described the scene where he was found alone, mourn- 
ing over the loss of his steed. My mother allowed 
the house to be turned inside-out and upside-down, 
to arrange for this elegant theatrical display ; and 
she was rewarded by the enthusiastic pleasure of the 
young actors and of the neighborhood, — who were 
wont to tell of it for years. For a scene of this 



218 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

kind was of rare occurrence in those days. The 
children were moved up-stairs, and the nursery con- 
verted into a green-room ; a stage was erected at the 
end of the long hall, and one of the corridor win- 
dows was removed. So that when the lovely Ellen 
pushed "her light shallop from the shore," the boat 
glided off the stage by invisible ways and pulleys, 
past a wooded shore of evergreens, directly into the 
corridor, which was dark. The beautiful Anne Jean 
took the part of Allan Bane ; and with her white 
wig and bending figure, touched her harp with most 
mournful and effective strains. My cousin Martha 
was Lord Douglass ; and other parts were equally 
well chosen and sustained. What acting is so fine 
as the private acting of a band of enthusiastic young 
persons of culture and refinement ? 

To Mrs. Greene, March 22, 1826. 

My dear Abby, — Mr. Eben Hunt's illness has 
cast a gloom over our neighborhood, together with 
the illness and death of a young man by the name 
of Wilder, whom, I dare say, Mr. Greene will re- 
member to have seen at the Cambridge Commence- 
ment, where he had the first part. He was alto- 
gether the finest young man of his age that I ever 
knew, and his being removed from this world was 
one of the most inscrutable and mysterious Provi- 
dences that I have ever experienced. He had aged 
and respectable parents depending on his efforts. 
He was the professor of mathematics on Round Hill, 
though a member of Judge Howe's Law School. He 
was one of those delightful characters that insure 



THE SPRING OF 1826 219 

the unqualified regard and admiration of all who 
know them, and I can hardly contemplate his death 
with composure. He had those warm, social feel- 
ings which gave him peculiar power to diffuse pleas- 
ure wherever he visited, which he did here fre- 
quently. 

Our neighbor, Mrs. Pomeroy, died this winter 
with a lung fever. Our clergyman, Mr. Hall, was 
so unwell as to go to Baltimore immediately after 
the dedication, and pass the winter. So that you 
see we have had abundant cause for gloom. . . . 

I was sorry to find that you were going to be dis- 
appointed about Mr. Willis's residence, but hope 
there will be some compensating circumstance an- 
nexed to it, such as will reconcile you in some 
measure to the evil. 

My sister Catherine has passed the last few weeks 
with me, and we have had so few interruptions from 
society that we have become quite literary, and 
begin to think ourselves quite of the " blue-stocking 
order." We have read, amongst other things, Scott's 
"Lives of the Novelists," — a most delightful book, 
particularly to one who has read the old-fashioned 
novels, as you and I have, — such as "Clarissa Har- 
lowe," "Sir Charles Grandison," and others of the 
same stamp and age. We have read also Moore's 
"Life of Sheridan," and Prior's "Life of Burke," 
which books afford one a most lively contemplation 
of the great men and the state of the different par- 
ties which existed before and at the period of the 
American and French revolutions. As I am in my 
old age increasing my interest in political affairs, 



220 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and have a satisfaction in tracing to their causes 
the most recent events in the history of the world, 
as having a more immediate bearing on the present 
state of things, all this is very agreeable to me. 

Nov. 2, 1826. 

My dear Abby, — Judge W. has returned to Sa- 
vannah. Mrs. W. is a very beautiful and accom- 
plished woman, but not of natural fine abilities. I 
think less and less of fine accomplishments every 
day. If they are the ornaments of a very fine char- 
acter, it is very well ; but if they decorate a coarse 
material, they only illustrate more powerfully the 
defect of the original fabric, and, instead of being 
a cover, they render it more conspicuous to any but 
a superficial observer. 

Mrs. Lyman to Caroline Lee Ilentz, Dec. 25, 1S26. 

My dear Mrs. Hextz, — I have read your letters 
with so much pleasure, and so warmly reciprocate 
the feelings expressed in them, that I cannot with- 
hold my pen. We thought of you with a good deal 
of anxiety, I assure you, until we heard from your 
own pen that you had reached your journey's end, 
without any other disasters than might have been 
reasonably expected. Our temporal journeys are 
very apt to be like the journey of life, — made up 
of pleasures and pains, of hopes and fears, and prom- 
ises of sunny clays which are soon overcast by the 
clouds of disappointment. But that true philosophy 
which supplies an invariable antidote to all the 
troubles we are subject to, short of sickness and 



LETTER TO CAROLINE LEE HENTZ 221 

death or vice, is a just estimate of the realities of life, 
connected with the never-failing trust which is awak- 
ened by correct views of religion, or confidence in 
an overruling Providence, which has for its end the 
"good of mankind." There is much to cheer us 
in this belief. If we value our own deserts only 
as we should, we shall not form too bright anticipa- 
tions for our fate. If we appreciate poor human 
nature to be the imperfect thing it is, we shall not 
be surprised in our intercourse with our fellow mor- 
tals at the imperfect pleasures which result from 
such interchange, but shall be fortified by these just 
conceptions to meet all the casualties of which life 
is made up. 

But you do not want to hear me prosing to you 
about what you know as well as I do ; you want 
to know how much the people of Northampton had 
their happiness lessened by your absence, and 
whether their love was worth having. Then let me 
tell you mine was. For if I did not see you often, 
I had a pleasure in contemplating my vicinity to 
you. I think of all good people in my neighbor- 
hood as the beings who contribute to purifying the 
moral atmosphere. My pride, too, is gratified in the 
belief that they are improving the credit of our kind, 
and helping it to a better name: and, in short, that 
they give a character to our society. I am truly 
glad to find that you are favorably impressed with 
your new situation, and that you are convinced that 
happiness is not loeal, but everywhere. The well- 
balanced mind and truly disciplined heart will find 
it in places much less pleasant than our beautiful 



222 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

valley, and, I am sure, will often realize the absence 
of it here in those deficient of the above-mentioned 
qualities. 

Mr. Bancroft and Mr. Beck will not be married 
for six or eight weeks. Mr. Hall and his wife are 
pleasantly situated at our son Sam's ; they have half 
the house, and Mr. Ware's two children live with 
them. They are a perfectly congenial couple, and 
I think have laid their foundation deep for happi- 
ness ; she is every thing a good woman and a minis- 
ter's wife should be, and he is constantly increasing 
the love of his people towards him. 

Mrs. Howe sent your letter to the Miss Seegers 
for their gratification, and they have read it with 
delight. Mary is going there this evening to a 
dance. Jane is passing the winter in Boston. 

Mr. Mills went away, accompanied by Mrs. Mills, 
in quite an invalid state. I very much doubt if he 
ever recovers. Helen is engaged to Charles Hun- 
tington, and Sally remains as when you were here. 
Mrs. Howe has the pleasure of having my sister Cath- 
erine with her, and they both desire their love. 
With much love to Mr. Hentz, believe me, your sin- 
cere friend. 

To Mrs. Greene, Jan. 9, 1S27. 

My dear Abby, — I continue to use my old recipe 
for opening my heart ; you will recollect that Lord 
Bacon said there was nothing like a true friend for 
that purpose, "to whom we may impart griefs, joys, 
fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatever lieth 
on the heart to oppress it." He likewise says, "It 



READING WORDSWORTH'S EXCURSION 223 

is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, 
without which the world is but a wilderness ; and 
whoever is in his nature and affections unfit for 
friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from 
humanity." After dilating the subject to its true 
extent without magnifying its influence, he closes 
with observing, " Friendship indeed maketh a fair 
day in the affections from storms and tempests ; it 
likewise maketh daylight in the understanding out 
of darkness and confusion of thoughts." I am a 
believer in its power, for I have always indulged 
myself in all its privileges, though it has been my 
fortune to live widely separated from some of those 
I love best, and feel most confidence in, as the re- 
pository of my feelings. 

June 15, 1827. 

I have been reading Wordsworth's " Excursion " 
of late ; I could read it again and again with renewed 
pleasure. It is not a popular book at all, but I am 
not astonished at that. The light-minded and frivo- 
lous part of the community should not understand it, 
and those who read poetry merely for amusement 
would not. But I do wonder that it is not more 
read and admired by thinking people ! There is 
little in it to gratify the appetite for narrative and 
adventure ; it is sometimes dull, even to tediousness ; 
notwithstanding which, I consider it the most splen- 
did monument of thought, of deep reilection, and 
beautiful sentiment that has been reared in many 
generations. It has to do with the mind altogether, 
its capacities, its pleasures, its abuses, and its clis- 



224 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

eases ; and to understand it you must read it with 
all your faculties as much concentrated as to read 
Locke. It contains the truest philosophy, the sound- 
est views of life, the purest devotion, and the most 
eloquent poetry ; and if these are not more than 
enough to compensate for its defects, then indeed it 
deserves the neglect it has met with. To my appre- 
hension, Wordsworth has excelled in the highest 
order of poetry, — in the moral sublime. I wish you 
would read it. I believe in some of my letters I 
have described our minister, and the state of our 
parochial affairs. I am glad you saw Edward Low- 
ell ; he is called the finest young man of his age 
that there is in Boston. Quite a prodigy of learning, 
premature in everything. 

July 12, 1827. 

Have you read "Woodstock"? I think it alto- 
gether the best of Scott's late productions, and may 
be considered a fine historical sketch calculated to 
strengthen and confirm the impressions of Crom- 
well's character and times. The works of Mrs. Bar- 
bauld have lately been published, and should make a 
part of every lady's library. Her life and writings 
have done much to elevate the standard of female 
character, and I feel a pride in them that I am sure 
is not sinful ; though I am humbled to think such 
people are so rare, arid that there is only such a con- 
stellation as Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Edgeworth and 
Miss More and Mrs. Hemans about once in a cen- 
tury, though there are some I have not mentioned, 
who certainly are not inferior to them, — Mrs. Ham- 



MEETING RALPH WALDO EMERSON 225 

ilton and Mrs. Radcliffe for instance. I am drawing 
near the end of my paper without having said much ; 
I wish to know every thing about little C. I pray 
and hope you will get her through the summer with- 
out sickness. . . . 

I long to look in upon you, and see the dear chil- 
dren. I hope you will be so fortunate as to raise 
them, for I consider children a great blessing ; 
although they are a blessing accompanied by great 
care. But 'tis care that, like ballast in a ship, helps 
to preserve the mind's balance by checking its buoy- 
ancy ; and, as that is good for us and necessary for 
us we ought not to consider it an evil. 

I hope you have seen Miss Sedgwick's " Hope 
Leslie." It is a most exquisitely beautiful thing. 

In the autumn of 1827, our minister, Mr. Edward 
B. Hall, being in ill health, the pulpit was supplied 
by ministers from Boston and the neighborhood ; 
most of the preachers being young men. My 
mother was warmly attached to Mrs. Hall, and felt 
the anxieties and cares that this excellent and high- 
minded woman was subject to very sensibly. All 
the more that Mrs. Hall was one of those cheerful, 
sustained Christians who never looked on her cares 
as hardships, but who bore all burdens in the hap- 
piest frame of mind. During this autumn my 
mother heard that Mrs. Hall was expecting one of 
the preachers to stay at her house for a fortnight. 
She did not even know the name of the expected 
guest ; but she knew Mrs. Hall was not well : so she 
sent her word that when the preacher came she 
would like to have him transferred to her house. 



226 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

It was Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, then a young 
man, who took up his abode for a fortnight under 
her friendly roof. I have no power to convey in 
words the impression she used to give me of this 
visit, or its effect upon her appreciative mind. To 
her sister she mirthfully quoted an expression some- 
times used by her Orthodox neighbors about cer- 
tain students at Amherst, and wrote : " O Sally ! 
I thought to entertain 'a pious indigent,' but lo ! 
an angel unawares ! " Not long after this visit my 
brother Joseph became intimate with Charles Emer- 
son at Cambridge ; a friendship which my mother 
hailed as one of the highest and holiest influences 
in the life of her beloved son. She rarely saw Mr. 
Emerson in her later life ; a few letters passed 
between them. Once (in 1849) ne spent a few days 
at her house, while lecturing in Northampton ; and, 
after her removal to Cambridge he called to see her. 
The personal feelings towards him thus engendered 
burned henceforth with a flame that threw light 
upon every passage of his writings, gilded the gloom 
of many a weary day, and made her fine face shine 
with responsive sympathy for the author, as she 
read aloud. She was wont to feel a sort of property 
in him and his works ; and I have seen her ready 
to shed tears when she could not see any apprecia- 
tion of his thought in her listener. To one I have 
heard her say " Well ! you call that transcendental, 
and that's all you have to say about it. /call it the 
profoundest common sense." To another, "You 
think it very arrogant of me to pretend to under- 
stand Mr. Emerson. Well, I tell you I have the 



JUDGE HO WE 'S NE W HOME 227 

1 

key to him ; and I am not going to pretend I have 

not, whatever any one thinks." 

And so as the years went by, and volume after 
volume appeared of the "Essays," she hailed them 
with delight, and read them till they became a part 
of herself. 

In December of 1827 fell the heaviest shadow on 
the social life of my dear father and mother that 
they had yet known. My Uncle and Aunt Howe 
(who had moved into the new house they had just 
built at the foot of Round Hill) were full of delight 
in their home, and enjoyed it all the more from 
having been subjected to many changes and incon- 
veniences, which, however, they had always borne 
with their accustomed patience and cheerfulness. 
My Uncle Howe had been very successful in build- 
ing up the Law School, and his hopes of the future 
were high and sound. His health, never firm, was 
seldom a serious drawback to his efforts. But in 
this year it sensibly declined. Mr. Rufus Ellis, in 
his admirable little memoir of him, writes : — 

"Through life he had been afflicted with most 
exhausting headaches ; indeed, almost every effort 
at the bar was followed by suffering of this sort, — ■ 
and this year began with violent attacks, from which 
he did not recover so thoroughly as at former times. 
During this year a slight difficulty of breathing 
first showed itself, originating in a cartilaginous 
formation in the windpipe, which from the first was 
beyond the reach of human skill. These last days 
in his earthly home were not without their premoni- 
tions to Judge Howe, and he seems to have been 



228 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

persuaded that his end was at hand. The current 
of many of his thoughts is apparent from a dream, 
which made a very deep impression upon him. 

"He seemed to stand upon the piazza of his 
dwelling, his new home but lately erected, as he 
had hoped, for a pleasant and permanent abiding- 
place, where the hearth-fire might be kept burning, 
and into which his children might be gathered about 
him, for many happy years. This beautiful resi- 
dence, a monument to his elegant taste, quietly 
reposes at the foot of the shapely eminence which 
crowns the village. He looked out upon the glories 
which from that spot meet the eye at every turn. 
The sun shone out resplendent, and poured his beams 
aslant upon mountain and meadow and the modest 
village, almost buried under its gigantic elms. The 
shadows stretched out in huge lengths before him, for 
the day was far spent. Presently, as often happens in 
that valley, there rose a heavy mist which obscured 
the whole landscape, and sent a chill to his heart. 
But the darkness and the cold were only for a mo- 
ment. Soon the mist disappeared, and the sun sank 
to rest in that wondrous glory, which, like the bow 
in the clouds, the kind Father seems to have ap- 
pointed to cheer and reassure our hearts in this 
world where so many must be afflicted, and where 
all must die. He awoke, and behold ! it was a 
dream ; but his inmost prophetic soul said to him, 
'So shall it be with thee !' And so it was. 

" In the month of December, Judge Howe left his 
home, in company with his wife and their infant 
child, to hold a court in Worcester. This proved 



JUDGE HO IV E \S" DEA TH 229 

to be his last labor. An unusual pressure of busi- 
ness detained the court until Thursday of the third 
week. During the following night, Judge Howe was 
completely prostrated by a profuse hemorrhage, but 
rallied sufficiently to travel a part of the distance 
to Boston, on Wednesday of the succeeding week ; 
and, after his arrival in Boston, remained tolerably 
comfortable during the remainder of the week. On 
Monday he was much more ill, and continued in a 
condition of great suffering for twelve days, almost 
without power for continuous thought or attention ; 
and it was soon but too evident that his case was 
hopeless, though affection clung to hope, almost to 
the last." 

My Uncle Howe died in Boston, at the house 
of his brother-in-law, Dr. Edward II. Robbins, on 
the twentieth day of January, 1828. Of the closing 
scene, Mr. Ellis goes on to write : — 

" About nine o'clock, of Saturday evening, he was 
aroused from a state of partial stupor by the arrival 
of Judge Lyman. Then the mist cleared away, and 
the light of his soul shone out most gloriously dur- 
ing the closing hours. . . . We are rather inclined 
to dwell on the hour of his death, because the spirit 
which adorned and ennobled it animated the whole 
life, because it did not stand out as an exception, 
but entirely corresponded with all the rest of his 
days. 

"lie began with prayer to God that he might 
have strength to meet the duties and trials of the 
hour ; and then, taking the hand of Judge Lyman, 
whom he called ' the best friend any man ever had,' 



230 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

his soul seemed to overflow with gratitude, and he 
numbered up his mercies with thankful acknowledg- 
ment. 'There seems,' he said, 'to be a most happy 
combination of circumstances at this hour, — the 
coming of my friend, Mr. Lyman, the sight of my 
dear son, the best medical advice, and the comforts 
of a devoted brother's home all lavished upon me; 
these last especially move my heart to gratitude. 
God's blessing rest upon him who has been more 
than a brother to me in my feebleness ! And then 
he passed to some sober words of religious trust, 
and to some thoughtful and kind suggestions with 
reference to his worldly affairs. ' My confidence,' 
he said, ' is in the mercy of God, as revealed in the 
Gospel. Oh, my confidence in God at this hour 
is worth more to me than riches, or honor, or any 
thing else that this world has ! ' He said that he 
had not been without a deep sense of the responsi- 
bilities which pressed upon him ; and that he had 
been surprised at his success, at the clearness of his 
decisions, and the absence of mental wavering. 
This power he regarded as an answer to prayer. 
He trusted that he had been conscientious in the 
discharge of his public duties ; but he added, ' Thou 
God, knowest ! ' Heaven, he said, had ever been 
regarded by him as the abode of those who cul- 
tivated their moral and intellectual powers to the 
greatest advantage ; and to do this had been his aim. 
'I consider human happiness as exactly measured 
by the amount of happiness which we are able to 
confer upon others.' With the greatest collected- 
ness of manner, and the method which had ever 



JUDGE HOWE'S LAST WORDS 231 

characterized him, he gave a few simple directions 
about his worldly affairs, and commended his house- 
hold to the God of the fatherless and the widow. 
He hoped to have made full provision for them in 
pecuniary matters, but God had otherwise ordered 
it. To each of his friends who were present, he 
addressed words of affection or of disinterested 
counsel, pouring out, for the last time on earth, the 
tide of his full, warm heart. And then praying 
again, partly in the words which our Lord has 
taught us, and expressing again his faith in the 
religion of Jesus, he passed away. 

" We have given many of the last thoughts, and 
some few of the last words of this good man ; but 
it was the spirit that pervaded all, and even beamed 
out from his calm face, that made the chamber of 
death holy and blessed and peaceful. His friends 
felt, as for more than an hour he thus uttered him- 
self to them, that the heart spake, — spake because 
it could not be silent. The throbbings of anguish 
ceased as the sweet, eloquent words fell from his 
lips, and tears ceased to flow. Those who were 
gathered about the bed of death seemed to be trans- 
lated for the moment with one whose soul, just 
ready to take its flight, brought heaven and earth 
together. It was a spontaneous outpouring from 
the heart, and it could heal the wounds of the heart. 
Thankfulness and hope for the moment prevailed 
over dee]) grief, and, in dying as in living, the de- 
parting spirit blessed and strengthened his friends. 

"Judge Howe was buried where he died, in the 
city of Boston, with every fitting honor: the mem- 



232 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

bers of the Suffolk Bar, to whom Chief Justice 
Parker addressed a very eloquent discourse upon 
the services and character of the departed, follow- 
ing him to the grave. And so, after an all too 
brief sojourn of forty-three years, the wise and 
faithful man passed from our sight." 

Directly after the funeral services were over, my 
father accompanied my Aunt Howe to her now des- 
olated home. The grief of my mother for her sis- 
ter's loss, and her mourning for one who had been 
a real brother to her and my father for many years, 
made a profound impression on me, young as I was. 
I recall the sad expression of their bowed heads 
every Sunday in church for many months, and the 
almost constant weeping of my mother, whenever 
an interval from her active duties left her time to 
weep. As for my dear aunt, who was the one most 
deeply afflicted, she was left with the care of six 
young children ; but also with that high sense of 
duty, and that consoling exaltation of spirit, that is 
the portion of those who have enjoyed the highest 
companionship, and to whom the will of God is con- 
clusive and satisfying. During the winter succeed- 
ing to her husband's death, she wrote out in her 
solitary hours all her most precious reminiscences 
of his life. In it she speaks with thankful emotion 
of the seven quiet years she had passed with her 
husband in Worthington. There, comparative isola- 
tion had drawn their hearts closer together in those 
first years of married life, and had given them time 
for that intellectual sympathy which the cares of a 
more extended social circle would have prevented. 



THE HABIT OF READING ALOUD 233 

A home where her sisters and Eliza Cabot and Cath- 
erine Sedgwick were occasional guests, where the 
good and learned Dr. Bryant loved to frequent, and 
where his poet-son had a temporary home ; where, 
when alone, the husband and wife regaled them- 
selves with evening readings of Tacitus and Virgil 
and Mather's Magnalia, — such a home, even on the 
bleak hills of Worthington, was one to remember 
with peaceful gratitude. In one of my Uncle Howe's 
letters to my aunt before their marriage, I find a 
passage which I insert here ; for the anticipation it 
contains was fully realized : — 

" I anticipate great pleasure in reading to you, 
and hearing you read. In this way, we can in some 
measure supply the want of society, which you must 
necessarily feel as a great privation. While we im- 
prove our minds individually, we shall also increase 
the similarity in our feelings, opinions, and tastes ; 
and this will certainly increase the pleasure of our 
intercourse with each other. The desire of being 
useful to each other will stimulate our exertions for 
the improvement of our minds ; and the habit of 
reading and conversing together on literary subjects 
will prove highly useful to our children. I hope we 
shall not be inclined to complain of solitude, while 
we ran enjoy together the society of Shakspeare and 
Milton, Johnson and Burke." 

My aunt's memoir oi Judge Howe is an exqui- 
sitely simple and touching record of a wholly faithful 
career. Mv own limits will only allow me to make 
a few extracts from it ; but they will serve to show 
you, my dear girls, what this lite and death were to 



234 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

your grandparents, and how noble must have been 
the friendship that subsisted between these four 
noble souls. 

Extracts from Mrs. Hcnue 's memoir of her husband. 

" With the perfect sincerity of his conversation, 
and the entire simplicity of his manners, I was im- 
pressed when I first saw him. He was then nearly 
eight-and-twenty, and, although he never in any 
degree lost his natural frankness, I think he after- 
wards greatly improved in his power and ease in 
conversation ; his mind became more enlarged, and 
his range of thought more varied. This was the 
effect of a life industriously devoted to the cultiva- 
tion of his intellectual powers, the welfare of his 
fellow-creatures, and the happiness of his family. 
The mind which is unceasing in research, the affec- 
tions which are daily supplied, must increase in 
strength continually. 

"It was my privilege, from the very beginning 
of our acquaintance, to become the companion to 
his mind. I remember he told me that his friend 
Hayden said to him, ' You are going to marry again : 
speak not of your former wife ; it will be an unwel- 
come subject.' His reply was, 'I shall have no 
interdicted subject with my wife.' 

" It was my happiness to inspire a confidence 
never for a moment withdrawn, manifested in death 
as well as in life. This is a lasting enjoyment, not 
merely in recollection, but in possession. ... He 
who knew me best knew that I was above poor and 
selfish motives of conduct ; and the feeling that he 
did so strengthened my self-respect. 



MRS. .HOWE'S MEMOIR 235 

"The time he spent with us at Brush Hill, pre- 
vious to our marriage, was employed in cultivating 
an acquaintance with me and with all my friends. 
With my father he was immediately intimate. He 
had for him the respect of a son, with the companion- 
ship of a brother. They never met without renewed 
pleasure in each other's society. To every member 
of my family he made himself interesting, and like- 
wise to the whole circle of our friends. This inter- 
est was never in any measure withdrawn ; for it had 
no false pretence, no showy attraction for its founda- 
tion. No human creature could be more superior 
to everything like address or subterfuge. He had 
no vanity to gratify, and he never did anything, great 
or small, for display. This makes the vain parade 
which some persons make of accomplishments and 
intellectual attainments seem contemptible to me ; 
but I try to overlook it, because he always forgave 
it. The extravagant claims of others never seemed 
to interfere with him ; he never flattered others, and 
never expected praise. He was, indeed, too good 
and wise and kind to make it necessary to convince 
others of his excellence, or conceal from them his 
motives : they might be read in his countenance, 
heard in every word lie uttered ; and no one had 
need to say, 'Why do you so ? ' The activity of his 
mind was very uncommon. I do not think he had 
what men call genius ; he was never imaginative, 
but his powers were always in use. To reason and 
compare, to think, to read, and converse, were his 
constant occupations. 

"When conversation ceased, he had always a book 



236 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

at hand, and reading with him was not a selfish 
enjoyment. I believe that I may safely say that he 
has read hundreds of volumes aloud to me. He dis- 
continued, in some measure, after he began deliver- 
ing lectures, because he had then so much use for 
his voice, but never entirely. He read to me every 
thing that was interesting in the newspapers and 
reviews, and some other things, as long as he lived ; 
and always told me about what he read, when he 
could do no more. His peculiar preference in books 
was for those which contained facts, — history, biog- 
raphy and travels. He read all the ' Waverley 
Novels ' with much delight, and Miss Sedgwick's 
with a heartfelt and affectionate interest ; but not 
many others, while I knew him. He was fond of 
Shakspeare and Milton, but was indifferent to most 
modern poetry, and to metaphysics. He had so 
much professional reading to do, that he, preferred 
things that taxed the mind less. 

" I think he had ambition, — the ambition that 
aspires to true excellence, and proposes to itself 
honorable rewards. It was not grasping in its nat- 
ure, however, nor did it interfere with his other 
habits. I remember that Judge Jackson told him, 
when he was about two-and-thirty, that he might 
come to Boston and live without any risk, and he 
would be sure of the best kind of business ; but he 
loved the tranquillity of the country, and did not 
court a city life." 

My aunt, in another portion of her memoir, relates 
the fact of her husband's close intimacy with the 
Sedgwick family, and the deep enjoyment they both 



JUDGE HOWE'S RELIGIOUS VIEWS 237 

had in it through life. She thus describes the 
change in her husband's religious views: — 

" Previous to my marriage, I had never conversed 
with my husband on religious opinions, although I 
knew that he was sincerely religious, both in princi- 
ple and feeling. The controversial questions since 
agitated were not then much talked of. I had been 
often to hear Dr. Channing, Mr. Buckminster, Mr. 
Thacher and others preach. Their faith seemed 
to me that which was delivered to the saints ; and 
I never liked the Calvinist preaching, which I hearc" 
enough of at Milton. 

" One Sunday evening, not long after my mar- 
riage, I expressed my views of religion very fully. 
Your father seemed to think me in great error, and 
reprehended me with a good deal of decision. I 
was rather hurt, perhaps more so than the occasion 
warranted. I made an internal resolution not to 
introduce the subject again. I knew I could agree 
to differ about mere opinion. About two years 
after, your father met Henry D. Sedgwick at the 
Berkshire Court. Sedgwick was fond of argument, 
and a zealous Unitarian. They talked together on 
the subject. Sedgwick lent your father ' Yates's An- 
swer to Wardlaw.' This book and the New Testa- 
ment he read with care, after his return home, com- 
paring it with Scripture; and was entirely convinced 
of the truth and reasonableness of the Unitarian 
faith, which he afterwards held through life. He 
was much interested, and read a great deal upon the 
subject. Jt was a most sincere delight to me that 
the only difference of opinion of any importance 



itf RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

between us was removed. I told him how glad I 
was, and glad likewise that it was effected without 
my influence. He had the kindness to say, 'You do 
not know how much your conduct has influenced 
me." If I had controverted with him in my imper- 
fect manner he might have refuted me, and never, 
or not for a long period, have investigated the sub- 
ject ; for we lived away from what I considered re- 
ligious privileges. But I had the happiness to prove 
to him that I feared God and regarded man ; and he 
was interested in the foundation of my faith, and 
felt that it would be a privilege to think with me on 
a subject of so much importance. I bless God for 
the result : our religious sympathy was a new bond 
between us." 

In another portion of this memoir, my aunt makes 
a long quotation from a letter of Miss Sedgwick to 
herself ; one of the sentences seems to have been 
left incomplete in the original; it is printed just as 
it stands : — 

" He always seemed to me more highly gifted in 
his social powers than almost any one I ever have 
known. He set a high value on the social relations, 
affections, and enjoyments. He made them a dis- 
tinct object of attention. They were not to him 
incidental and subordinate, as to most professional, 
active, and busy men. They were not means, but 
ends ; he gave his time and talents to them. His 
character was fitted for friendship and the tenderest 
relations. His sound judgment, his rational views, 
the equanimity and forbearance of his temper, and 
his pleasant vein of humor, which, if it seldom rose 



MISS SEDGWICK'S TESTIMONY 239 

to wit, was as superior to it for domestic purposes 
as the ready and benignant smile is to the loud and 
boisterous laugh. He had a decided love and pref- 
erence for female society, and that indulgence for 
us which has marked all the men of noble spirit 
that I have known." 

To Miss Sedgwick's testimony, my aunt adds : 
"This love of female society I have often heard him 
dwell upon. He said he did not like to hear women 
claim equality of talent ; they had no need of it. 
Women were more disinterested, more single- 
hearted than men (that was his experience among 
his associates) ; and they ought to be satisfied with 
being better, without contesting the question of 
intellectual equality." 

It is hard to take only passages from a biography 
so perfect ; but I close them, as my dear aunt did 
her memoir, with these lines, — 

" And is lie dead, whose glorious mind 
Lifts thine on high? 
To live in hearts we leave behind 
Is not to die." 



CHAPTER XIII. • 

Let us be patient I these severe afflictions 

Not from the ground arise, 
But oftentimes celestial benedictions 

Assume this dark disguise. 

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors ; 

Amid these early damps, 
What seem to us but dim, funereal tapers, 

May be Heaven's distant lamps. 

There is no death ! what seems so is transition ! 

This life of mortal breath 
Is but a suburb of the life elysian, 

Whose portal we call death. 

We will be patient ! and assuage the feeling 

We cannot wholly stay ; 
By silence sanctifying, not concealing 

The grief that must have way. 

Longfellow. 

A FTER my Uncle Howe's death, my mother 
■*"*■ received many letters from friends who had 
loved and appreciated him. She kept one from Mr. 
Emerson, with peculiar care. 

To Abby she wrote a long letter, pouring all her 
sorrow into this faithful and sympathizing heart. 
But I will only extract one passage. After speak- 
ing of the loss to those nearest, and to the commu- 
nity, she says : " For our own family I can say that 
death has taken such a friend and counsellor as the 
world cannot furnish us with, and left in its place a 



LETTER FROM R. W. EMERSON 241 

deep-rooted sorrow, which I hope may lay the foun- 
dation of many virtues. But it is a hard exchange. 
It is sorrow which marks with strongest impression 
our experience in this life, much more than any of 
the joyful occurrences in it. Some author I have 
lately read observes, ' It is sorrow which teaches us 
to feel properly for ourselves and for others.' We 
must feel deeply before we can think rightly. It is 
not in the tempest and storm of passions that we 
can reflect, but aftcrzvards, when the waters have 
gone over the soul ; and like the precious gems and 
the rich merchandise which the wild wave casts 
upon the shore out of the wreck it has made, — such 
are the thoughts left by retiring passions. Reflec- 
tion is the result of feeling. It is from an all-absorb- 
ing, heart-rending compassion for one's self, that 
springs a deeper sympathy for others ; and from 
the sense of our own weakness, and our own self- 
upbraiding, arises a disposition to be indulgent, to 
forbear and -to forgive. At least, such I believe to 
be the intention of Providence in permitting sorrow 
to exist in the world." 

Mr. R. IV. Emerson to Mrs. Lyman, Divinity Hall, Cambridge, 
Feb. 11, 1S28. 

My dear Madam, — It was very kind of you to 
think of me again. I have thought of little else 
lately than the irreparable loss which yourself and 
your friends and your town have sustained. It will 
not be the least of the many alleviations of this 
grievous affliction that it is felt as it should be 
throughout the community. The world is not so 



242 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

selfish but that such a bereavement as this is felt 
as their own by society at large. I do not surely 
allude to this sympathy as if it yielded a gratification 
to vanity in the general attention our own calami- 
ties excite ; but from a far higher reason, that it is 
grateful to us as justifying our own grief in giving 
us the testimony of mankind, that our partial affec- 
tions have not misled our judgments, but that the 
object on which we have spent our affections, was 
worthy of them. This makes the value of the 
unanimous tribute of respect and sorrow that has 
been paid to the memory of your friend. 

To me, if it is not idle to speak of myself, his 
death was a most unexpected disappointment. I 
had rejoiced in my good fortune in making his 
acquaintance, and looked forward with earnestness 
to its continuance. His acquaintance was a priv- 
ilege, which I think no young man of correct feel- 
ings could enjoy without being excited to an ambi- 
tion that he might deserve his friendship. But it 
has pleased God to remove him. 

I cannot but think there is the highest consola- 
tion in the occasion of his sickness, and the manner 
of his death, which have filled up the beauty of his 
life, and have left nothing to be amended, if they 
have left much to be desired. In such a death of 
such a man, if there must be to his family and 
friends the deepest grief, there must be also to 
them a feeling of deep and holy joy. There is 
something in his character which seems to make 
excessive sorrow unseasonable and unjust to his 
memory ; and all who have heard of his death have 



EMERSON'S FRIENDSHIP 243 

derived from it new force to virtue and new confi- 
dence to faith. 

You will have the goodness to offer my respect- 
ful condolence to Mrs. Howe ; I was denied, by- 
accidents, even the melancholy satisfaction of at- 
tending the funeral of Judge Howe. The following 
day I was in town, and learned at Mrs. Revere's 
that Judge Lyman and Mrs. Howe had returned 
home. 

I am very sorry to hear that your children have 
been so sick. I trust they are wholly well. I have 
the greatest regard for my little friends, though 
it is probable they have forgotten their ancient 
admirer before this time. I want to become ac- 
quainted with Joseph, but Charles thinks the air of 
Divinity Hall altogether too musty to suit his youth- 
ful friend. I read to my brother your kind remem- 
brances. He is very fond of your son, and very 
happy to second his own ambition, in giving him 
his just place in college. 

Please to make my respects to Judge Lyman, 
whom I hope to see when he is in town again. 

With great regard, madam, your faithful friend 
and servant, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes, Northampton, March 14, 1S2S. 

My dear Emma, — I have fallen on you of late 
as the fittest subject for neglect. But in doing so 
I deserve great credit, let me tell you. For in no 
instance could I make a greater sacrifice amongst 
my correspondents than in giving up your letters. 



244 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I should have a great deal to say about my disap- 
pointment in not seeing yourself and Ben net this 
winter, but you know that a bitterer feeling has 
filled the place of all minor considerations ; and all 
disappointments appear insignificant to me when 
I think of the chasm made in our social circle, 
which can never be contemplated by me except 
with a feeling of the most poignant regret. It is 
true, our religion furnishes us with the delightful 
hope of a reunion with those we love, and with 
a perfect confidence in the goodness of an all-wise 
Judge, who has ordered these things for our good. 
But there is an earthly feeling which will accom- 
pany us through this terrene abode, and the wants 
of our gross nature, whether of a corporeal or of an 
intellectual kind, will be listened to. We shall as 
naturally seek for sympathy in the confiding bosom 
we have made the repository of our kindest and best 
affections and inmost thoughts, when we have 
realized a reciprocation of the same, as we shall 
seek food when oppressed with hunger. And we 
shall as naturally deplore our inability to indulge 
the one as the other, notwithstanding our religion 
and our reason instruct us to be patient, and go on 
with the duties of life with renewed vigor, and if 
possible make up to the world by our efforts for 
the excellence it has lost. I feel how necessary 
the chastisements of Providence arc to extract 
vanity and folly from our hearts, and convince us 
of the real blessings of life. When we see the 
main pillars, the strongest props of virtue laid low, 
we must feel that earth has been a loser unless it 
strengthens the virtues of those who remain. 



IN MEMORY OF JUDGE HOWE 245 

I have just been called to listen to the complaints 
of the widow and the orphan, who close with saying, 
"It would not be so, if Judge Howe was living." 
There are a kind of people who are kept straight 
by fear of the inspection of the wise and good of 
their neighborhood, and the want of that restraint 
we shall feel more and more every day. 

Sally has been wonderfully carried along thus far, 
but I think she has only begun a new existence in 
(to her) a new world, the difficulties of which will 
be every day developing themselves ; and I trust 
they will find her endowed with new power to meet 
them. She is fortunate in being able to have Cath- 
erine with her, for her spirits would not admit of her 
giving much direction to the children, and C. is of 
the greatest importance to the comfort of the family. 

Northampton, Oct. 6, 1828. 

My dear Emma, — I suppose you received by 
John a very ungrateful message from me, which 
was, that I did not write to you because I had writ- 
ten to everybody else. Now, the compliment you 
must extract from this apparent unkindness, after 
all you have done and suifered for me and mine, 
is, that I expected more patient forbearance from 
you than any one else. 

Miss Sedgwick got here Saturday evening, and 
I was greatly disappointed that she did not, as she 
had promised to, come directly here; but she ex- 
plained it to my satisfaction, — though I could not 
help feeling very much grieved to see so little of 
her. But according to the admirable system of com- 



246 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

pensation which marks the kind Hand that adminis- 
ters our portion, there was still a great indulgence in 
store for me, though it was to endure but for a short 
time. Miss S. had in her company a lady who 
joined her and spent much of the day with me. 
Mrs. Griffith I will not pretend to describe to you, 
for she is of that nonpareil cast that baffles my skill 
altogether ; but I can refer you to a characteristic 
of her mind in a production of hers to be found 
in the last "North American" "On Bees." Last 
evening H. sat deeply engaged in your favorite 
occupation — biting his nails — which it seems she 
had admonished him for before. She took her pen- 
cil, and wrote on the blank leaf of a small volume 
of poems with which she had presented him, and 
which lay near her, the following impromptu : — • 

" In France, where the grape luxuriant grows, 
A Frenchman feeds on snails ; 
But here, where a feast of reason flows, 
No need of a feast of nails." 

You will not wonder at my introducing you to 
a person of such striking quickness and aptness of 
thought and expression. Her occupation has been 
for many years the cultivation of the most remark- 
able nursery of trees in this country ; and the object 
of her visit to Boston was to see agricultural gentle- 
men, with whom she wishes to hold correspondence. 
She was left a widow many years since, with seven 
children, and no other property than an estate in 
New Jersey, on the Raritan, called Charley's Hope. 
It was then unproductive ; but, by her great energy 



VISIT FROM MRS. GRIFFITH 247 

and management, she has for many years obtained 
an income of six thousand dollars from it, and main- 
tained her family in splendor, as well as great 
comfort. 

We felt very sorry to have the ladies leave us this 
morning, and H. is quite dejected about it; but he 
has consoled himself as well as he could with going 
to the mountain this morning, — and a brighter and 
more beautiful day never shone in October. It 
rained all last evening, which prevented my tak- 
ing my heroine up to see Mrs. Howe, but which 
has improved all external appearances indescribably. 
The verdure is everywhere as perfect as it was in 
June, and the trees have not yet assumed their 
autumnal garb. Miss Sedgwick spent the evening 
with Sally, and gave her the particulars of the Cabot 
experiences. 

I wish you would make application to Dr. Harris 
for the best account of the natural history of the 
aphis, or aphidea ; and either copy it for me, or point 
me to the place where I can find it. You know he 
is a distinguished entomologist, and has made com- 
munications on this subject to the public by means 
of the "New England Farmer." Give my love to 
your mother and Mary, and tell the former that we 
shall long remember and be grateful for her kind 
attentions to Anne Jean, who is continually talking 
of and enjoying her past experiences. 
Your affectionate 

A. J. Lyman. 



248 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

In 1829 my sister Mary was married to Mr. 
Thomas Jones, of Enfield. She was of a most 
lovely and affectionate nature; and her departure 
was a serious loss to the family circle. She had 
always been specially devoted to our father's com- 
fort ; and once, in a moment of confidence, told my 
Cousin Martha that she had never in her life wanted 
to do any thing that he did not wish. Though I was 
but six years old at the time of her marriage, I recall 
vividly the bitterness of the parting from her, and 
the homesick longing for her I experienced for many 
months. For I had slept with her from the time 
of my infancy, and her care and love had been 
boundless. A vision of her always rises to my 
memory, as she sat at her window in the room above 
the office, bending over a neat little board covered 
with flannel, on which she laid the linen cambric 
ruffles of our father's shirts in the most exquisitely 
fine plaits. She had large and beautiful eyes, and 
a most tender and loving heart. 

My Uncle Howe's death had been the beginning 
of a series of changes which deeply affected both 
my parents. In 1829, my Grandfather Robbins 
died; and in 1830, the sudden death of little Annie 
Jean Greene, my Cousin Abby's beautiful little 
daughter (to whom she had given my mother's 
name), called out all the deepest sympathies of my 
mother's heart. 

Mr. R. IV. Emerson to Mrs. Lyman, Boston, Aug. 25, 1S29. 

My dear Madam, — My friend, Mr. George P. 
Bradford, has promised to give Mr. Hall a "labor 



EMERSON INTRODUCES MR. BRADFORD 249 

of love" next Sunday, on his return through North- 
ampton from New York, whither he has gone with 
his sisters, — a victim of the travelling passion. 
And as Mr. Bradford is a man of mark among his 
friends, I want him to have the happiness — which 
I shall grudge him, too — -of spending half an hour 
at your house. But who is Mr. Bradford ? He is 
Mrs. Ripley's brother, and a fine classical and bib- 
lical scholar, and a botanist, and a lover of truth, 
and " an Israelite, in whom is no guile," and a kind 
of Cowper, and a great admirer of all admirable 
things ; and so I want him to go to your house, 
where his eyes and his ears shall be enriched with 
what he loves. 

I went yesterday to Cambridge, and saw your 
friend, Professor Ashmun, inaugurated. . . . As far 
as I can guess, the appointment of him is a very 
judicious one. It was a fine assembly, free of all 
crowd and fatigue, and contained some of the finest 
people in America. I sat (as it is always expedient 
to do on public occasions) next to Mr. Upham, of 
Salem, and got him to point me out the lions, — for 
he is a man having the organ of society in very 
large development, and knows all men in the United 
States ; and one could not desire a more eloquent 
expounder of their various merits. 

I hope yourseli and Judge Lyman are well. I am 
truly sorry that the distresses of the time should 
have come so near your friends. God seems to 
make some of his children for prosperity, they bear 
it so gracefully, and with such good will of society; 
and it is always painful when such suffer. But 



250 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I suppose it is always dangerous, and especially to 
the very young. In college, I used to echo a fre- 
quent ejaculation of my wise Aunt's : "Oh, blessed, 
blessed poverty ! " when I saw young men of fine 
capabilities whose only and fatal disadvantage was 
wealth. It is sad to see it taken from those who 
know how to use it ; but children whose prospects 
are changed may hereafter rejoice at the event. 

We get no good news from Mr. Ware, except 
that he is no worse ; but he now writes that he is 
really no better than when he left home. We had 
so many flattering rumors, that this sounds worse. 
It is really good ground to hope that he has no 
seated consumption, I think, if after so long an 
interval he remains as well ; and a winter in Italy 
may do much. 

Charles has just been in to see me, much rejoic- 
ing in having turned the key for the last time in 
his school-house, and in the prospect of living again 
with Joseph Lyman, at Cambridge. . . . 

I am, with respectful remembrances to Judge 
Lyman, and to the family, 

Dear madam, yours affectionately, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

In the autumn of 1829, my mother decided to 
send our dear Annie to Boston, to Mr. George B. 
Emerson's school. When I recall how close and 
tender the tie was that bound her to her children, 
and what a delight to her their perpetual presence, 
I realize fully the sacrifice she so often made in the 
long separations from them which she cheerfully 



ANNE JEAN AWAY AT SCHOOL 25 1 

endured. It was a part of that large, generous, 
and broad outlook she took of life, that she could 
never feel she had done her whole duty to children, 
if she had only given them herself. I have often 
heard her say, that she did not think young people 
who had lived always in the bosom of their families 
were as well fitted to cope with the after-trials of 
life, or to understand the various characters they 
would be sure to come in contact with, as those 
who had a wider experience. She thought that 
family peculiarities were rubbed off or lessened by 
attrition with other families ; and that young people 
became more liberal and enlarged by finding out 
that there were a great many roads to the same 
place. 

My mother had the greatest satisfaction in Mr. 
Emerson's school. 

To her daughter, Northampton, Nov. 15, 1829. 

My dear Anne Jean, — I was sorry the cloak did 
not suit you any better, but it was made like one 
from New York which we supposed to be the height 
of the fashion, as was the size of the cord. I have 
sent you some money to pay for the dyeing of the 
gown. If there should be an opportunity to send 
it by Maria Hunt's bundle for me to make, you had 
better. Your cloak was made, with my assistance, 
for forty cents, which could not have been done 
in Boston under five dollars. It is the multiplica- 
tion of such little expenses that in the aggregate 
make large sums. Now, the dyeing and fixing of 
your merino will be all the expense of a new dress, 



252 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

if you carry it to a mantua-maker in Boston ; but 
if you will describe how you wish it to differ from 
your other gowns, I will attend strictly to your 
orders. You said nothing about the worked collar, 
but I hope you have got it, and that it suited you 
better than the cloak did. I moreover hope you 
will live to see what I probably shall not, — a mil- 
lennial existence, one in which there will be no 
sorrow about clothes ; where the only anxiety people 
will have will be how they will do the most good 
with their time and talents. I do not care how 
much anxiety you expend on these objects. Clothe 
your mind, for that will never wear out, if you 
take care of it ; and it is an inexhaustible fund of 
usefulness to others, as well as one's self. The 
ability to instruct those who want for intellectual 
light is vastly better than the ability to give money 
(as the case may be) ; and it is an independent re- 
source that we can control without the interference 
of third persons. Give my love to your grand- 
mother ; and, whenever you have any time, take your 
work and go and sit with her. I am very sorry to 
hear of your grandfather's lameness ; when you 
write, you must mention how he is. . . . 

The fringe will do very well. Give my love to 
your Aunt Revere ; I want to hear how she gets 
along weaning the babies. I hope the crowd has 
passed by, so that she will have a little time left to 
herself ; for it appears to me her life is a good deal 
like mine, — broken up by innumerable casualties, 
leaving us but little control of our time or thoughts. 
John is a good boy, but I cannot get him to write 



THE MILLENNIUM OF DRESS 253 

very elegant epistles ; but I hope his mother won't 
think the fault is in me. The fact is, he don't love 
to write, — nor does any little boy of his age, — and 
he will not take the pains to do nearly as well as he 
could. Tell Joseph the man has gone away that 
engaged to do his chair. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

Now, there was not the smallest occasion for 
desiring "a millennial existence," as far as the 
dress of the dear Anne was concerned. She was 
a pattern of the most exquisite neatness and the 
strictest economy. Oh, I can imagine that cloak 
that was "in the height of the fashion," made up 
for forty cents, after " a pattern from New York ; " 
and I know well why it caused sorrow ! What 
would my dear mother say noiv, if she could come 
back and see the overskirts and trimmings of the 
present day ? Surely, not that the millennium of 
dress is near at hand! 

Northampton, Dec. 30, 1829. 

Mv dear Mrs. Barnard, — I received your last 
letter yesterday evening. I feel much obliged to 
you for writing, for it must be a trial to Mr. Lyman 
to have to write the same thing so many times as he 
has. My father's illness, considering its cause, has 
been wonderfully protracted. It must have been 
many weeks since he could have derived any nutri- 
ment from any thing he has taken. But we must 
recollect that his disease attacked him in the full 
vigor of an unimpaired constitution. It is not there- 



254 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

fore strange that there should be a powerful resist- 
ance at the close. 

It seems, perhaps, to you, as if it would be diffi- 
cult for me to realize (without being on the spot and 
witnessing the whole scene) the departure of my 
father, whom I have had so few interviews with for 
eighteen years. But imagination is a powerful 
agent in presenting the images of our friends, and 
enforcing by irresistible associations upon our minds 
their presence, their thoughts, their views on all 
subjects, as similar ones occur. And, perhaps, no 
one was ever led more frequently to recur to and 
quote the opinions of another, than I have been to 
those of my father, — believing his mind (as children 
are prone to) to be a fountain of wisdom and inflexi- 
ble virtue, founded in genuine and sincere religious 
feeling. If I did not think so, I should have been 
forced to the belief that he was a hypocrite, for no 
one ever had more constantly on their lips the sense 
of dependence on God, and more frequently ex- 
pressed their confidence in the provisions of his 
providence and grace. His conduct in relation to 
the divisions in the town of Milton have been pecu- 
liarly illustrative of his love of peace. I speak of 
this as an incontrovertible proof of his true love of 
practical religion. Mr. Bigelow, a clergyman now 
staying with me, who knew my father in the eastern 
country, thinks there are few men in our country, 
if any, who have done so much for religious institu- 
tions as he has, and that the imperishable monu- 
ments of his influence will be felt in that country 
to remotest generations. Here I will stop; for no 



DEATH OF HON E. H. ROB BINS 255 

one doubts he was an active supporter of the prin- 
ciple and practice of virtue in all its forms, and that 
he has been in the hands of Providence an instru- 
ment of much good in his day and generation. 

I feel grateful that my father should have come to 
the close of life, without having experienced the 
torpor and uselessness of old age ; and that his 
mind, with all its sensibility and sympathy, should 
have remained till the close. It is ever to be re- 
gretted, when friends survive their usefulness long 
enough to consider themselves cumberers of the 
ground, or to have their friends consider them in 
that light. And still our regret must always be 
deeper, and the loss of our friends more to be de- 
plored, when they are taken from a sphere of emi- 
nent usefulness, as is the case with my beloved 
father. At the period he was taken ill, his connec- 
tion with the world was as strong as it had been at 
any period of his life, and the duties he was engaged 
in as important to its interests. But the Disposer 
of all events has ordered this in wisdom, and it is 
not for us to say that we can imagine a better way, 
or a better time. It would have been an unspeak- 
able satisfaction to me to have seen my father again ; 
but if I had been there, Mr. Lyman could not have 
been away at this time, and I view his presence of 
so much more importance than mine could have 
been, that I have reconciled my mind to the depriva- 
tion. I take much pleasure in contemplating the 
revelations concerning the future to the good. 
"Behold I make all things new." May we not ex- 
pect a renovation of the moral as well as the vital 



256 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

principle, and at the same time that there is an end 
to pain, sickness, and death ? 

Mr. R. W. Emersoti to Mrs. Lyman, Boston, Jan. 6, 1830. 

My dear Madam, — I cannot help offering you 
my condolence on the new loss you have been called 
to bear, which, with all its alleviations, cannot but 
be a painful one. I never have had the happiness 
of any acquaintance with your father, but he appears 
to have enjoyed in an eminent degree, what is much 
more rare than public applause, the confidence of 
the community. He has lived long and usefully, 
beloved and honored. He has not been taken from 
you till every office of parent and friend had been 
discharged, and till he had reached that period of 
life, when you could not reasonably expect for any 
long time the continuance of his powers of action 
and enjoyment. Still, I know very well that these 
circumstances, whilst they qualify, do not yet re- 
move the grief which the loss of a good parent 
awakens ; and I doubt not you find your best relief 
in those consolations which never grow old, which 
spring from the hopes which our Saviour has 
imparted to us. Take away those hopes, and death 
is more ghastly to the soul than the corpse to the 
eye. Receive them, and the riddle of the universe 
is explained ; an account given of events perfectly 
consistent with what we feel in ourselves, when we 
are best. 

My wife unites with me in expressions of par- 
ticular regard to yourself and Judge Lyman, and to 
your family. Give me leave to say a word to him 
for a friend on the other page. 



LETTERS FROM R. W. EMERSON 257 

Respectfully, dear madam, your friend and ser- 
vant, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

Boston, Jan. 21, 1830. 

My dear Madam, — I had mislaid the enclosed 
letter, till it was so old that I hesitated at sending 
it at all, until I met Mr. Palfrey who told me he was 
going presently to Northampton. I should be unwill- 
ing to let the event pass, to which it refers, without 
offering you any expression of condolence. Since 
writing it, I have seen your sister, and heard at 
large such a character of your father, and such 
accounts of his life and death, that I feel acquainted 
with him ; and could almost offer a solemn congratu- 
lation, rather than condolence, at a life so well con- 
ducted and ended, — or, as our faith has taught us 
to say, begun. 

Yours affectionately and respectfully, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 

Mr. George B. Emerson to Judge Lyman, Boston, June, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — Your daughter has never been doing 
better than she is doing at present. She had not 
made a perfectly good beginning in the languages, 
and therefore found it more difficult to learn accu- 
rately than she otherwise would have done. She has 
succeeded, and is succeeding, in conquering the 
difficulty, and daily becomes more accurate and 
discriminating in her language and, I have every 
reason to believe, in her perceptions and thoughts. 
This I consider the most important part of her work. 



258 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

She is inquisitive, — acquires and retains well. Her 
taste is beyond her power of execution, and she is 
much oftener dissatisfied with herself than I am with 
her. Her feelings are nice and delicate, and her 
deportment, without a single exception, has been 
always exemplary. Perhaps there is a slight ten- 
dency to undue severity in her judgments. Not 
more, however, than seems to be incident to a quick 
perception of what is ridiculous; and the forgiving 
spirit of our religion will probably eradicate it in its 
application to others, especially as she applies it first 
to herself. On the whole, she is such as I should 
wish my daughter to be at her age. And it has been 
a subject of regret to me and to Mrs. Emerson, that 
we could not have so pleasant a pupil a member of 
our own family. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant and 
friend, 

George B. Emerson. 

To Mrs. Greene, Sept. 26, 1830. 

You see Boston papers enough to know who dies 
and who is married. You will recollect a very fine 
youth who was with Dr. Willard, at Mr. Peabody's 
ordination — Edward Lowell; he matured into 
almost unparalleled excellence and fine talent, and 
had completely redeemed the pledge given by the 
striking characteristics of his early youth, when he 
was called to join the world of spirits. One can 
form no calculations upon the loss the world sustains 
by such an event. The diffusion of the influence of 
a correct and highly-gifted mind through society 



MISS DEBB Y BARKER 'S LO YA LTY 259 

cannot be appreciated by any data our experience 
furnishes us with. But if we cannot estimate its 
value, we can sincerely deplore its loss. Every thing 
and everybody who assists to elevate the standard of 
human perfection, and exemplify the power of virtue, 
gives incalculable strength and efficacy to it. . . . 

During the year 1830, my mother was delighted to 
hear news of her old friend, Miss Debby Barker, at 
Ilingham, whom my Uncle and Aunt Revere visited. 
In the course of the visit, my Uncle Revere said to 
her, "We have met with a sad loss, Miss Barker, in 
the death of Chief Justice Parker." Miss Debby 
applied her handkerchief to her eyes and remarked, 
" We, too, have met with a heavy loss, Mr. Revere, in 
the death of George the Fourth." And on looking 
at her again, my Uncle observed that she was dressed 
in purple, — which was then the mourning of the 
Court. These old ladies always spoke of themselves 
as "eating the King's bread," because they received 
a small pension from the British Government, on 
account of their father having been an officer. His 
sword always hung over their fireplace in Hingham 
as long as they lived. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Thy mercy bids all nature bloom : 

The sun shines bright, and man is gay. 

Thine equal mercy spreads the gloom 
That darkens o'er his little way. 

Norton. 

IN the first letter in this chapter, written by my 
mother to my Aunt Catherine, is an allusion 
to a young law student who was then leaving the 
town. Of her own devoted kindness to him she 
said never a word, — I doubt if she remembered it. 
Every young man was "somebody's son" to her; 
and when she found that this youth was some one's 
natural son, — she knew not whose till long after his 
death, — all the more was she under the necessity 
to make her house a home to him ; and to soothe, 
so far as might be, that craving for kindred ties that 
is apt to become morbid in young persons so cir- 
cumstanced. 

I have never found it easy to speak of my mother's 
beneficences. They were a part of her nature ; 
she could not help them, they were the great lux- 
uries of her life. She had no set plan of doing 
good, she belonged to no organization, was president 
of no society. Not that she did not honor all good 
organizations, but they were not needed in North- 
ampton, and scarcely existed there. And it ac- 



MRS. LYMAN'S BENEFICENCES 261 

corded far better with her temperament and habits 
to do exactly as she did. She simply kept her eyes, 
ears, and heart open all the time ; and they were 
always finding enough to do. It was the occasional 
strong word spoken in season, the always-helping 
hand. And it was the feeling that every one must 
have had in that village, that it gave her heartfelt 
pleasure to share their joys and sorrows, and aid 
them where she could, that gave her such constant 
opportunity. In her daily rounds through the lovely 
village, how many things met her eye that escaped 
common observation. One day, a few years later 
than this period, she came in from a walk greatly 
afflicted because she had seen a small boy torment- 
ing a chicken. He was an orphan, and, though ten- 
derly cared for by the excellent women who had him 
in charge, she felt he needed a man's hand to direct 
his future course. She lay awake at night, unable 
to get him out of her mind ; then rose at four 
o'clock to write in secret a letter that brought, a 
few weeks later, a distant male relative to the 
village, who took away the boy, and educated him 
for a good and useful man. I recall her air of ap- 
parent grave abstraction as one neighbor after 
another spoke of the boy's disappearance as "a 
special Providence." " Susanna," said she, looking 
over her spectacles, when they had all gone out, 
" I have observed that the Lord works through 
human instruments sometimes; but this is none 
the less a special Providence." " Do I see the 
human instrument before me?" said I. A nod, 
with her finger on her lip, was the only answer. 



262 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Not long before my Aunt Howe left Northamp- 
ton, she wrote this letter to Cousin Emma : — 

Mrs. Howe to Miss Forbes, Northampton, June 25, 1S30. 

I fear you think me negligent before this ; but 
I often think of writing and then delay it, because 
I have so little to communicate. Mother and I 
have spent most of the time together in my little 
library since you left us. There has been so much 
rain that we have been rarely tempted abroad. 
Mamma's health and spirits are greatly improved ; 
she looks quite like herself again. She reads a 
great deal; we have just had "Clarence." Mother 
and I were delighted with it ; we sat up one night 
till after midnight, reading it. Now, this girlish 
interest in me is not so remarkable, because I know 
and love Catherine, but to mother she is a stranger ; 
and, in the last three generations, mother has wit- 
nessed more romance in real life than any person, 
except Sir Walter Scott, our noble cousin, could 
describe. 

I was amused by hearing a remark of Mr. James 
Savage, upon the birth of Mr. Henry Ware's Roman 
daughter. " Well," said he, on hearing of the event, 
"when people are in Rome, they must do as Ro- 
mans do." 

Mrs. Lyman to Miss Forbes, Nov. 20, 1831. 

My dear Emma, — One thing I do, I always 
answer letters the first moment I can get after 
receiving them. But I have lived under unusually 
high pressure for the last two months. It would 



LIVING UNDER HIGH PRESSURE 263 

be idle for me to attempt to give you any account 
in detail. But such coming and going you can 
scarcely conceive of, and the train of thought under 
such circumstances is altogether indescribable. A 
friend, a short time since, asked me what I had 
been reading, and I could not help answering that 
I did not know, for it was a great while since I had 
done any thinking. And reading is not of much 
value, unless one has some opportunity for reflection. 
There is no doubt but in the midst of this whirl 
of matter my mind has had a great rest, and it is 
not certain but I may come out quite brilliant after 
all the refreshing is over. 

After writing the above, Mrs. Mills sent for me 
to go up to her ; and, after passing all the day, 
except while eating dinner, in such a high state of 
excitement, it seems hardly right for me, in my 
exhausted state of feeling, to try to afford you any 
pleasure by my pen. Oh, Emma ! how hard it is to 
be reconciled to these dark dispensations ! And 
yet we need not go farther than Salem and New 
Bedford to discover that there are much greater 
trials and sorrows than can be produced by the 
death of good and dear children. You and your 
mother know, without my telling you, how intense 
the sufferings of poor Mrs. Mills are, as well as her 
family. Elijah, had he lived, might have discovered 
great frailties. Hut I only knew him as pre-emi- 
nently gifted in grace of manners, rare wit and 
genius, which made him highly interesting as a 
companion, and gave fair promise of usefulness 
and distinction, lie was the only youth who has 



264 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

grown up in this place, within the last twenty years, 
at all distinguished for genius or talent ; though 
Mrs. J. H. Lyman's sons are very fine young men ! 
I must say, I consider him as a loss to our town, 
and to me in particular, as he often visited us. If 
there was anything new in the papers, he would 
come down into my parlor to read it to me, and 
make his comments, while I minded my work. And 
having Mr. Ashmun removed and Elijah taken away, 
in addition to the removal of Mrs. Howe's family, 
is rather more than I know how to bear. . . . 

I am inexpressibly sorry to hear of Mary Ware's 
being so much of an invalid. I trust she is not 
going to follow in the steps of her mother, who was 
prevented by ill health from any enjoyment nearly 
twenty years. We have a young clergyman from 
Cambridge, who thinks Mr. Ware is doing an im- 
measurable quantity of good in the Divinity School. 

Since I have been writing this letter, I have heard 
of the death of little Robert Ware. I feel as if this 
blow would penetrate the inmost recesses of Mary's 
heart. He was the first object who had awakened in 
her the feelings of a parent, and with that feeling 
made this earthly sphere a new world to her, — one 
of new interest and new hopes, unlike any she could 
have felt before, and such as no one knows who has 
not experienced them. To have all these cut off and 
crushed will tax the whole panoply with which Mary 
is armed. But it is not in human nature to resist 
unharmed the stroke which severs these tender ties. 
I feci much for her, and hope she will be sustained, 
as I have no doubt she will be. 



DEA TH OF HENR Y SEDG WICK 265 

Mary mentions that you heard Dr. Channing's 
discourse on the death of Miss Adams and Mrs. 
Codman. It must have been a highly profitable one. 
Mrs. Codman's was a remarkably useful life, as well 
as Miss Adams', though in a very different way. 

I dare say you have heard of the death of Henry 
Sedgwick. . . . Few of my acquaintance, if any, have 
had their virtues so tested as Jane Sedgwick, and I 
never knew any one who had given such a practical 
exemplification of their power. If the riding contin- 
ues as good as it has been, I mean to try to ride up 
and pass Sunday with her ; but may be I shall not 
accomplish it. 

Dr. Flint has just returned from Stockbridge. 
He was sent for to make an examination ; . . . and he 
wonders how H. has lived for years. 

Give my love to your mother and all friends. 
Write me a history of your life the past year. Tell 
Margaret it would have been a good idea for you and 
her to have returned this way from New York. 

To Mr. John M. Forbes, Jan. 1, 1S32. 

My hear John, — . . . I had not much belief when 
I wrote, that you would attach much value to the 
letters of such an antiquated lady as your cousin. 
But since they find favor in your sight, and lest you 
should forget the many social ties which bind you to 
your race (in spite of your expatriated condition), I 
will occasionally emit a little of my habitual dulness. 
I was pleased to get your letter of the 29th, and am 
sorry to find that the want of all those privileges 
which are peculiar to Christian countries makes you 



266 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

unhappy ; and yet I am glad to find that you realize 
the want of such rational and salutary means of 
enjoyment, as are common to all who inhabit this 
favored land. There is none that would be a greater 
deprivation to me, than not being able to go to 
church, and feel that myself and household had one 
day in seven for rest as well as worship. We re- 
quire (particularly men of business) the relaxation as 
well as mental refreshing, which this exercise fur- 
nishes. The analogy between the mind and body is 
very striking. They both require to be nourished 
and stimulated by food adapted to them ; and if we 
don't have much time for reading and reflection, 
owing to the occupations we are engaged in during 
the week, — if we go to church on Sunday and 
renew our good resolutions, and feel our moral and 
religious views strengthened and invigorated by the 
arguments contained in the discourse, our gratitude 
and devotional feeling stimulated, — we are made 
happier and better for it. 'Tis a favorable exercise 
for the mind, to abstract it occasionally from the 
harassing pursuits of business, and allow it to take 
an upward flight into the regions of intellectual 
space, and to the abode of Deity, of angels, and the 
spirits of the just : — 

" Mind, mind alone, without whose quick'ning ray, 
The world's a wilderness, and man but clay; 
Mind, mind alone, in barren, still repose, 
Nor blooms, nor rises, nor expands, nor flows." 

Then, my dear John, do not forget to take care of 
the mind, as well as the body. Become an intel- 
lectual being, and it will prevent your being a sen- 



HOME NEWS TO JOHN FORBES 267 

sual being, and prevent you from feeling the little 
inconveniences which affect the senses only, — by 
constant attention to which, we bring a blight over 
all disinterested and generous purposes. You will 
begin to think that I mean to give you a sermon in- 
stead of a letter, and that my New Year's reflections 
are to supersede the congratulations of the season, 
and the history of the times, which will be, I am 
sure, much the most interesting to you. It is now 
more than a year since Joseph left college and en- 
tered the Law School. I have just parted with him 
after a few weeks' visit. He is thinking of going to 
live with the Rev. Mr. Emerson, and study law in 
Mr. Charles G. Loring's office, in Boston. 

. . . Charles Mills is fast accpuiring the confidence of 
his employers, and I believe he has a good prospect 
before him. Anne Jean sits by me and sends her 
love to you, and hopes you do not forget her. When 
you see Cousin Bennet, give my love to him ; I hope 
he will soon be on his way here. . . . 

Your old friend, Miss , has taken her flight to 

future worlds ; she was sick only one week. She 
took it into her head, it was so cold, that she would 
sit up nights (it has been uncommonly cold ; we had 
a month of very severe weather before Christmas) ; 
and the consequence was, she took a violent cold, 
which settled on her lungs, and withdrew her from 
this sublunary abode. The next morning, I looked 
out of the window and saw a double sleigh passing, 
with a long trunk in it, covered over with a bed- 
quilt ; and was told it was "sister," going to Ipswich 
to be buried. 



268 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I feel much obliged to Dr. Jennison for an excel- 
lent letter, and shall soon write to him. Mr. Lyman 
and Joseph send you much love. I wish you to 
economize all you can, and lay by a little money, and 
then get yourself translated to a pretty cottage in 
Northampton, and sit down and lead a calm and pas- 
toral life, with some nice, agreeable young woman. 

To Airs. Greene, Northampton, Feb. 2S, 1S32. 

My dear Abbv, — My employments are always of 
a very engrossing nature when the children are at 
home. In the morning and evening I instruct them, 
with the assistance of Anne Jean, — who returned 
sooner than I intended she should from Boston, 
owing to indisposition. She has improved her time 
well since she has been at Mr. Emerson's school 
(the last year and a half) ; and, though she is still 
attending to her studies under Mr. Peirce, — one of 
the teachers on Round Hill, — she has furnished me 
with a great deal of entertainment (being very good 
company) this winter. She now has a friend making 
her a visit, — Miss Wilson, of Keene, New Hamp- 
shire, who is a remarkable young person for fifteen. 
She is as much engaged as Anne Jean in the study 
of algebra, Latin, and history; and we have had Mr. 
Rush Bryant giving lectures in chemistry all winter; 
he is a brother of the poet. I dare say you wonder 
that I should retain an enthusiastic zeal in regard to 
education, when I tell you that those brought up 
under my care have exhibited striking marks of im- 
perfection. But, so far from its being a reason for 
lessening my care and my zeal, it only increases it, 



PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATION 269 

If, with all the pains my children have had, they are 
no better, what would they have been without it ? 
Possibly, the weeds of error might have overgrown 
and rooted out the few virtues they now possess ; at 
least might have so far overshadowed them, as to 
have checked their growth. There are a few im- 
mutable principles in education that will never be 
controverted openly in any theory, and that furnish 
a fair groundwork for a cultivated understanding. 
Let example and surrounding influences, as much as 
they can be controlled, tend to cherish a love of 
truth and perfect sincerity. Let all those petty in- 
terests and vanities be excluded which take such 
strong hold of the minds of young people, which 
tend so little to make them happy or tranquil, and 
which so entirely pre-occupy the mind as to prevent 
any thing good from entering into it permanently. 
How can children love knowledge when their daily 
experience teaches them that their most attractive 
grace and best distinction is the beauty of their 
clothes, or something exclusively external and adven- 
titious ? They must perceive that what creates the 
highest happiness is the acquisition of something 
intellectual, or the power to contribute to the good 
of their fellow-creatures ; and early be taught the 
superior worth of the soul, with its various capaci- 
ties, over the body, — which is a mere tenement of 
clay for an inhabitant destined to remain in it but a 
short time, and then return to its Maker unspeak- 
ably enlarged and qualified for eternal, as well as 
celestial, occupations and joys, such as never entered 
into the heart of man to conceive. It is rare to find 



21 o RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

well-educated women who have grown up in great 
prosperity. If their minds are tolerably cultivated, 
their hearts are perverted, their objects of pursuit 
arc shadows. 

Martha is very fortunate in living with people 
who educate their children exclusively with the pur- 
pose " to produce a certain state of mind," rather 
than to accumulate a great catalogue of accomplish- 
ments. Martha has, I presume, told you that Mr. 
Cary's children are the finest that ever lived. They 
were never in a school. They never viewed them- 
selves in competition with any other children in 
their lives, — to think who had the prettiest clothes, 
or who was the head of a class most frequently. 
But their minds, being divested of all such vain com- 
petitions are like a sheet of white paper, on which 
you may write what you please ; and there are, she 
says, no impurities there to mar the impression. I 
have seen children so educated, and, I must say, 
that the best people I have known have had a pri- 
vate education. People can study mankind to better 
advantage after they come to maturity than while 
they are children. I believe you are tired of so 
much prosing, and I should think you might be. 
Mr. Hall will want to know who we have had preach- 
ing for us ; Mr. Julian Abbot, the first of the winter, 
and Mr. Pierre Irving the last six weeks ; that is, 
he has read to us, and gives us a very fine selection 
of sermons and prayers. Mrs. Henry Ware is still 
a very great invalid, and many think will never 
recover. Tell your sister Sally I was much obliged 
to her for her letter, and shall answer it. Your 



MAKING FRIENDS WITH NATURE 271 

mother is a good deal of an invalid, but your father 
enjoys comfortable health. Harriet has a small 
school, and I think it very improving to her, and 
hope something better will offer for her. 

To Miss Forbes, March 5, 1S32. 

If you observe any discrepancies in this letter, all 
I can say is, it has been written in haste, with Mr. 
Lyman reading Clay's speech as loud as he well 
could. Give my love to your mother, Margaret, and 
the young ladies ; and remember me to Miss 
Martha Stearns, whom I was much pleased with. 
Tell her her brother is well, and preaches finely. 

To Mrs. Greene, March 22, 1832. 

Anne Jean and I have had a good opportunity to 
read this winter, and to improve the children in 
various ways. Indeed, I think winter is the season 
of mental improvement, and summer the time to 
study in the great book of Nature, and apply our 
knowledge. If we make friends with Nature, she 
will never fail us ; but wherever we go, the intimacy, 
like the Masonic tie, will be acknowledged, and we 
shall find her good company. Not so with artifi- 
cial tastes ; you may look in vain abroad for the 
forms of society and means of amusement to which 
you have been used in the world ; but if you have 
loved the grass and clouds, go where you will, they 
are indigenous in every climate, and are always to 
be enjoyed. 

I was very glad to get your last letter, but have 
seen accounts in the paper of still greater distress 
than you said any thing about. . . . 



272 RECOLLECTIONS OE MY MOTHER 

To Miss C. Robbins, April?,, 1S32. 

I wish you could come up and see what comfort 
we have in our Sundays. Mr. Stearns hardly ever 
exchanges, and always preaches well. And I have 
a charming set of scholars at the Sunday-school, 
which gives me a sort of foretaste of the millennium. 
If you are ever well enough, and go to one meeting 
long enough at a time, I recommend to you to take 
a class in a Sunday-school, that are old enough to 
study Paley's "Evidences," and Miss Adams's " His- 
tory of the Jews," and "Josephus," and such kind 
of works, as well as the Scriptures ; and if they are 
intelligent, there is real pleasure in it. . . . 

How perfectly I recall my mother's delight in my 
Aunt Mary's twin babies ! It was during this year, 
I think, that General Moseley, our only military 
hero, was thrown from his horse during a review, 
and broke his leg. He was carried into Warner's 
tavern, and spent many weeks in a room on the 
upper floor. I recall my mother's insisting, as soon 
as she heard the limb was set, that she must go and 
see him, and take the twins with her. She had 
them dressed in pink, and seated on the foot of his 
bed. " The sight of these twins can't mend his 
broken leg, but would mend a broken heart any 
time," she said. 

My mother suffered severely from the ill health 
of both Joseph and Anne Jean. All her plans of 
life were formed for health, and the sight of severe 
suffering always distressed her immeasurably. Then, 
as she was apt at times to exaggerate symptoms, 



PLANNING FOR HEALTH 273 

through her intensity of sympathy, and was rarely 
judicious in the use of remedies, her children avoided 
the mention of disease, whenever it was possible to 
do so. 

In a letter to Cousin Abby, dated December 3, 
1832, she pours out her sorrow for the sufferings of 
these two beautiful and noble young people. Speak- 
ing of Joseph, she says : — 

" The idea of so young a person being under the 
necessity of acting the part of an invalid, and carry- 
ing about him a local infirmity which may last him 
through life, I sometimes feel to be almost insup- 
portable." 

Speaking in the same letter of the cholera, which 
had prevailed during the previous season, she 
adds : — 

" We have had a great deal of anxiety on your 
account, ever since the cholera was known to be 
in your city. I am rejoiced to hear it has abated. 
It is a new form of trouble to me. In the summer 
season, there were a great number of people here 
from the cities, and all wondered that we did not 
conform our mode of living to the prospect of 
cholera, as they did in New York and other places. 
But your uncle and I both thought that we had 
better continue to do exactly what we had done, 
as that had preserved us in health so far; and we 
never made the slightest difference about eating or 
drinking, and you know we never were very luxuri- 
ous livers. But a kind Providence has preserved us." 



274 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To Mrs. Greene, March 22, 1833. 

P. S. I think your father has been remarkably 
well and happy this winter. They have in every 
respect appeared comfortable. I see your father 
every day. He talks of his happiness as something 
that he realizes ; and says, " Don't you see how 
much better off I am than Major Taylor?" I en- 
joyed seeing a great deal of M. when I was in 
Boston. She is the most improved young person 
I know of, and has secured herself the best of 
friends in Mr. and Mrs. Cary, — who say they never 
shall be willing to do without her till their children 
are all grown up. Mary Jones is going to Boston 
for a visit soon, and Jane, after she is married. 

To Miss C. Robbins, March 28, 1S33. 

My dear Catherine, — When I first got home 
I was, of course, very much occupied,— I need not 

say how. And soon Mr. 's folks got aground, 

and came after me to pay them some attention, but 
they are now getting along nicely. They have not 
much resolution to meet difficulties in the onset, 
but they have patience and perseverance, and that 
always carries people along. I hope mamma got a 
letter I wrote rather more than a week ago. The 
badness of the travelling has prevented Joseph from 
going back as soon as he intended. He has been 
a constant source of entertainment to all of us, and 
produced the exercise of a great deal of laugh- 
ing. I have sent you Mrs. Cushings's "Travels," 
and wish mother and you may derive as much 
entertainment from them as I did. I believe I have 



PREPARING FOR JANE'S WEDDING 275 

not read any thing since my return but Mr. Ware's 
book, — which I am delighted with as another speci- 
men of his beautiful mind, — and "Lord Colling- 
wood's Letters," and " Cousin Marshall." I hope 
Miss Martineau will continue to write ; I don't 
know of any kind of writing calculated to do so 
much good to common readers. I wonder if you 
have read the last "Christian Eximiner;" if you 
have not, you must see what malignity and ill-will 
can suggest against that faultless work of Mr. 
Ware's, "The Formation of the Christian Charac- 
ter." I am glad you are able to hear Dr. Follen. 
I am sure he must be an interesting lecturer, though 
I do not care so much about the German literature 
as many people do. I think, if I were young and 
able to, I should not learn the language, but should 
devote much more time and attention to the best 
works in the English than is common for the young 
people of the present day. 

I do not hear how Susan Howe is getting along 
with her school, but I hope well. I am very glad 
to hear Mary is enjoying so much at Philadelphia. 
The weather has been very fine here for a week 
past, and of course it is much warmer there. The 
travelling is still horrid, and I dread to have Joseph 
take this journey ; but he thinks it won't do for him 
to stay any longer from the office. You must tell 
Emma I do not expect to be any thing but a drudge 
till after Jane is married, though I shall try and 
answer her kind letter one of these days. And tell 
her, if I had not heard her say she never meant to 
do any more work with her hands, I should beg she 



276 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

'would come up and help me till next June. Mar- 
garet Emery was coming up to make me a visit 
from Springfield ; but I shan't let her come till you 
are here, or Emma, or somebody that has time to 
enjoy her fine intellect, which, in the present state 
of my interests, would be lost on me. Give my love 
to Sally and her family. I hope she will get up 
here this summer. Give my love to mother and 
all friends. Your affectionate sister, 

A. J. Lyman. 

To Mrs. Greene > July 14, 1833. 

My dear Abby, — I was much pleased to receive 
your letter of the 4th. Your repeated invitations 
to Anne Jean have not been unheeded, or passed 
over without much speculation. The chance to go 
with Mr. and Mrs. Peabody I consider a good one; 
or with Mrs. Cutter. But though we have thought 
much of it, both in connection with her health and 
likewise in connection with our desire to have her 
in your society, enlarging as well as increasing the 
fountain of good affections, still it requires an effort 
of resolution that I do not feel equal to at present. 
Her father says she may go if I think best. I 
cannot help remembering that it must be a long 
separation, and that her health is very indifferent, 
and that I should have great anxiety on her account, 
and great deprivation. For she is every thing to me 
in the way of a companion, as well as an assistant, 
and it would come hard to me to do without her. 
I have not the least doubt you would be satisfied 
with her, and find much sympathy and pleasure in 



MISS BEECH ER 'S ESS A Y 277 

her society. She has a serious and reflecting mind, 
and I know she would be much improved by en- 
larging her experience in such a tour. . . . This 
proves that I am wanting in a heart full of gratitude 
for the blessings I have ; and I am induced to utter 
this portion of Pope's prayer : — 

" Save me alike from foolish pride, 
Or impious discontent 
At aught thy wisdom has denied, 
Or aught thy goodness lent." 

We feel very* much delighted to hear that Sally is 
getting along, and that her baby was doing well. 
You did not say who she called her baby for ; it is 
a very pretty name. I told Anne to write and say 
we hoped it would either be called Abby Greene or 
Anne Jean. But I think on such occasions people 
are right to follow their own judgment. 

I am very glad you are pleased with Dr. Bancroft. 
There is no member of his family who is half as 
interesting as he is, and, notwithstanding his cracked 
voice and shaking head, there are few who in the 
vigor of youth can write so well. I am glad too that 
you realize the promise of her youth in Miss 
Beecher ; I always thought she must be a most 
intelligent companion. Her "Essay on Education," 
which was published a few years since, was highly 
creditable to her, and gave me a high idea of her 
mind. 

My sister Catherine is staying with me, and says 
nothing but the entire impossibility of her leaving 
an aged mother prevents her from accepting your 



278 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

kind invitation ; for she has a great deal of enter- 
prise about moving and journeying, besides in this 
case a great desire to see her friends. She sends 
her love to you, and says she shall lay up her invita- 
tion for a more convenient season, and that she is 
much obliged to you for it. 

If Anne Jean gets the resolution to think she 
can undertake this journey before the opportunity 
passes by, we shall promote it, with all our hearts. . . . 

A. J. Lyman. 

In the spring of 1833, our dear sister Jane was 
married to Stephen Brewer, and this marriage prob- 
ably added more positive enjoyment to our family 
circle than any that ever occurred in it. For this 
sister was not, like most of the others, to be removed 
far from our vicinity. The village known as 
"'Leeds," in later years, was then simply called the 
" Factory Village," and Mr. Brewer was the agent 
for the woollen manufactories there. He was a man 
of the finest feelings, and most reliable judgment in 
his dealings with men. And this made him the 
personal friend and care-taker of the whole little 
village under his charge. During the years that he 
was there, no justice of the peace was ever employed 
to settle difficulties in that place. His private influ- 
ence was all they needed to keep them in order. 
His house stood at the top of the hill overlooking 
the village, with a charming grove of pines in front 
and at the side of it, where the winds made constant 
music. It was a most picturesque situation, and 
only a drive of four and a half miles from our door 



JANE 'S HOME AT FA CTORY VILLA GE 279 

in Northampton. To go with father or mother in 
the chaise or carriage to see " Sister Jane," and 
have a frolic with our kind and genial brother-in-law, 
made one of the prime enjoyments of our childhood, 
and we were often left to pass the night, or stay a 
few days,— which was one of the most delicious 
treats to school children. And as we grew older, 
and had young friends and visitors, our dear sister 
and her husband made them also welcome to the 
hospitable home, and many are the bright recollec- 
tions of those happy days at the Factory. Sister 
Jane had been a suffering invalid from her birth, but 
her perfect patience and entire disinterestedness 
prevented her ill-health from being any drawback to 
the spirits of the young people about her. She 
carried through life that blessed unselfishness, inher- 
ited from our dear father, which saved her from the 
worst crosses of life, though she had always to bear 
the cross of pain and weakness. 

I remember well the months preceding her mar- 
riage, — the wedding haste of the dear Anne Jean 
whose deft ringers made many a garment, the drives 
to the Factory to see the house. And the day be- 
fore the marriage when my mother took me, a child 
of ten years, out into the grove behind the house, 
and said, " Here, Susan, you will often come and 
have happy days. I want you to learn Bryant's 
'Thanatopsis ' here, for here you will understand it." 
And I learned it, then and there ; and can never now 
repeat, "The groves were God's first temples," 
without recalling those groves, and all the joys con- 
nected with them. Who could have dreamed then, 



zSo RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

in those peaceful days, that the beautiful village 
would become that scene of ruin and disaster, which 
the calamity of 1873 made it? 

In the autumn of 1833, Anne went to Cincinnati 
to pass the winter with Cousin Abby. It was in- 
deed a heavy sacrifice to part with this beloved 
daughter even temporarily, for, in spite of her ill- 
health, her presence was of the utmost importance 
to the comfort of the whole family circle. But when 
did they ever fail to make any sacrifice that they 
believed to be for our good ? Writing to Abby, in 
relation to Anne's going, my mother said, "It is 
an unspeakable effort for me to let her go, and one 
I could not make for any less beloved objects than 
herself and yourself." 

How plainly I recall my dear father's voice trem- 
bling with emotion, and his glistening eyes, as he 
told years afterwards one characteristic story of his 
parting with Anne for this long winter. He gave 
her fifty dollars in ten gold pieces for her pocket- 
money during the visit. That was a great deal in 
those times, — more than a hundred would be now ; 
and Anne duly appreciated the gift, and thanked him 
warmly. When spring came, and he went to bring 
her home, she quietly handed him a beautiful purse 
she had knit for him, of silk, with steel beads; and 
in it he found the ten shining gold pieces he had 
given her at parting. She remarked simply that it 
had been a great comfort to her to have so much 
money by her all winter, as she had felt herself 
ready for any emergency ; but that she had had 
no use for the money, and it was a happiness to 



RE A DING ENGLISH HIS TOR V 281 

her to return it to him, knowing how many people 
he had to provide for. Such was her tender consid- 
eration for him, at eighteen years. 

During that winter, we children attended Mr. 
William Huntington's school, and in March our 
brother Edward left home, to go into a store in 
Boston. His loss was very great to the family 
circle. Yet all the young people were at the time 
busy in getting up a little drama called "The Queen 
of the Rose," to be acted in our long hall, as the 
" Lady of the Lake " had been, a few years before. 
And in the midst of all her cares, and her journey 
to Boston before her, to take her youngest son, my 
mother allowed the play to go on, and it was entirely 
successful. 

Throughout this winter of our dear Anne's ab- 
sence, how devoted our mother was to the education 
of her little children ! It seemed as if she wanted 
to make up to them and console herself for the 
absence of the daughter who was the sharer of all 
her cares. I recall the beautiful winter evenings 
when she gathered us after tea around the hall table 
and read to us from Good's "Book of Nature," and 
a plentiful amount of English history, which she 
made so dramatic and impressive that in spite of 
Froude, and all the light of modern literature, it is 
difficult for us to think of "that old wretch, Henry 
the Eighth," as she always called him, in any other 
light than hers. 

My dear Sox, — When I saw that father was 
about to despatch a quantity of white paper, I 



282 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

thought I would black a little more of it, though 
there are not many interesting details with which 
to entertain you. The bell continues to ring every 
evening, and people assemble every morning without 

a bell. Mrs. has been in to-day to say she is 

very tired of living here and seeing so much pre- 
tence of religion ; but I told her I had found it con- 
venient to keep a large cloak of indifference for all 
the disagreeable things that presented themselves 
before me, that I could not avoid ; and if she would 
do the same I thought she would get along much 
better than by indulging a great deal of feeling on 
the subject as she seems disposed to do. 

Elizabeth Brewer has left us, and we felt very 
sorry to part with her. In losing her I have lost 
E. Cochran too ; they both deplored your loss very 
sincerely. May you always deserve their regard. 
Our little girls regularly set a chair for you at table, 
and a plate ; this gives me some pain, but likewise 
much pleasure, for I know it to be an unaffected 
expression of their remembrance and affection, — 
and there is no part of the Christian rule I value 
more than that which prescribes brotherly love, 
"Love ye one another," — "for by this it shall be 
known that ye are my disciples." And though this 
command was not circumscribed by kindred ties, it 
may be allowed to begin in families, and expand 
itself over communities. . . . 

Your affectionate 

Mother. 



THE NAME OF "HANNAH" 283 

March 30, 1834. 

I have but little to tell you — I have been so 
much shut up — that can interest you. But I know 
sister Eliza will want to know how things are going 
on at the Factory. Jane has had the best of nurs- 
ing, and when I went to see her yesterday, I found, 
preparatory to Mrs. Munroe's leaving, she had got 
down stairs ; had got into the bedroom next the 
parlor, and was cheerfully seated by the parlor fire, 
with Elizabeth devoted to her, and Mrs. Munroe 
quilting the baby a cradle quilt. The baby has had 
another name found to add to her value. Hannah 
is the name of Mr. Brewer's mother, and Hannah it 
must be. I for one have no objection to the name. 
Distinguished people have borne it, in both sacred 
and profane history. If she is as good as the mother 
of Samuel, or as wise and exemplary as Hannah 
Adams, it will be of little consequence what name 
she bears. 

Our little ladies send their love to you. They 
have gone this afternoon, with their father, to see 
sister Jane. 

Mrs. Moscly Wright, who lived with and was 
housekeeper to Mrs. Napier, is dead, and I must at- 
tend the funeral. Give my love to sister Eliza and 
all the children. 

Your affectionate 

Mother. 

I am afraid she did not altogether like the name 
of " 1 fannah," from the pains she took to prove how 
excellent it was. 



284 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To Mrs. Greene, A T orthampton, March 30, 1834. 

My dear Abby, — There are certain states of mind 
I never should wish to write in ; and that state fur- 
nished me with an excuse for allowing a number of 
weeks to pass without writing to Anne Jean. 

It was quite a blow to me to find, after I got to 
Boston, that Edward was to be withdrawn from the 
paternal roof. And while I was there I had to pre- 
pare him for the change of place, and my own mind 
for the event. I find, as I grow old, an increased 
reluctance to a separation from my children ; and, if 
it were not that I consider discontent a very great 
sin, I am afraid I should, in this case, have become 
a victim. A third of Joseph's short life has been 
spent away from me, and it seemed very hard that 
Edward should go (probably never to return), when 
he was but fifteen years old ; and he has always been 
so remarkably kind and good in all his feelings, and 
so desirous to make those around him happy, that it 
is impossible for us to forget the chasm produced in 
our family circle. I always have aimed to avoid 
magnifying the evils and inconveniences of my lot, 
and hope I do not attach too much consequence to 
these things. Indeed, I have too many admonitions 
in the fate of others to justify myself in complaint. 

You will see in the Boston newspapers the death 
and character of young Dr. James Jackson, the son 
of the distinguished Dr. of that name. I wish you 
to notice it. It was written without any exaggera- 
tion. This death has shaken the earthly happiness 
of his family to its foundation, for he was their idol 
and pride. He was a friend of Joseph's, and through 



DEATH OF DR. JAMES JACKSON 285 

him I have been made acquainted with his worth. 
But speaking of it in relation to myself, I feel that 
I ought to be grateful that my children are alive, 
even if I cannot have the pleasure of living with 
them. It is a rare case, when parents are the 
favored instruments under Providence of creating 
and bringing to its highest perfection a human soul 
that is an honor to them, an honor to human nature, 
and, more than all the rest, an honor to his Maker. 
What an event in one's life to reflect upon ! How 
much it must mitigate, while at the same time how 
much it must magnify, the intensity of feeling ! You 
(as well as /) can bring it home to your own heart 
with a realizing sense. . . . 

Judge Lyman to his Son, April 2, 1S34. 

My dear Son, — We received Joseph's letter last 
evening, and were happy to hear that you were both 
well, and are also much pleased with your arrange- 
ment of writing every Sabbath. You are aware that 
we have no children with us except Susan and Cath- 
erine, and since you have left I have no one to aid 
me in attending to the little out-door concerns. 
Your own good was the only inducement to part 
with you, and it will be a source of great satisfaction 
to me to know that you are acceptable to your 
employers, and that your behavior is such as is pecul- 
iarly gratifying to your friends. I have noticed so 
often your diligence in studies and in business, that 
I think you will continue to deserve the reputation 
which you have acquired. Whenever you have any 
time, I wish you to revise your studies and preserve 
what you have acquired. 



286 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I have concluded to go to Cincinnati on the first 
week in May, and bring home Anne Jean. I have 
written her to that effect. I hope that no disastrous 
occurrence will prevent me. 

Our County Commissioners are now sitting, and I 
am writing in the Court House amid much talk 
about licensing taverners and retailers ; those who 
encourage intemperance or keep disorderly houses 
will be prevented from doing further mischief. With 
us it is disgraceful to be seen at a tavern or retail- 
shop as drinkers or loungers. I am happy that it is 
so ; the work of reformation goes on prosperously, 
and I am delighted that you are coming to manhood 
at a time when the vice of intemperance will be ban- 
ished from the land. Be happy, my dear son ; to be 
so — be virtuous. 

To her Son, Northampton, April 6, 1834. 

There is so little passing that is worth making a 
record of, that if it were not that love and sympathy 
are ever present to a mother's heart, and are inex- 
haustible fountains from which the pen is always sup- 
plied with something to say to an absent child, — I 
say if it were not for these you would rarely hear 
from me. Your brother Sam has added to his 
treasures another daughter. A lovelier babe I never 
saw ; it is really beautiful though but two days old, 
weighing ten pounds. Almira appears remarkably 
well and comfortable. Poor Sister Jane is now hav- 
ing a trying time, and I have sent Mrs. Carley out to 
stay with her till she gets better. Her child is 
nicely. But she was not ready to part with her 



LIFE OF BARCN CUVIER 287 

nurse ; and I dare say she will soon be better, now 
that Mrs. Carley is with her, — who is very expe- 
rienced in baby affairs. I dare say you saw Mr. 
Jones when he was down. I hope Mr. Powers got 
your things safely to you. I have not yet heard 
of your getting the apron and things contained 
in the first bundle. 

I wish some time when you are passing by print- 
shops you would go in and inquire for an engraving 
of Baron Cuvier ; if there are any to be sold quite 
cheap, let me know. I have been reading his life, 
and should like to associate him (as I do many others 
whom I read) with some particular expression and 
appearance, which I can do only by having a picture 
of him. The Baron Cuvier classes with the most 
exalted of God's works. He was two years younger 
than your father, and died two years ago. Perhaps 
no man living in the same age in any part of the 
world did as much good. No one could do more, for 
he passed his life in the most untiring industry, com- 
mencing under a conflict with poverty, which how- 
ever rather brightened than repressed his native 
genius. And his success in the investigation of one 
science only stimulated him to the pursuit of another, 
until, at an early age, he became the greatest natu- 
ralist in the world ; and was chosen the instrument 
of Napoleon Bonaparte for forming constitutions for 
the various literary institutions throughout his vast 
dominions, and for reforming and giving laws to all 
common schools. And it truly may be said of him 
that his superior knowledge and love of science were 
excelled only by his philanthropy, which led him 



288 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

sedulously to apply his hard-earned treasures of in- 
tellect to the various wants of man. The acquisi- 
tion of information is in itself a pleasure, — it is 
feeding the better part of our nature — our minds. 
But the good does not end here. We must look on 
these intellectual treasures as we should on our 
property, and think, How can I apply them most 
usefully, and make them most serviceable to myself 
and my fellow-creatures? — "What can I do to re- 
form the wicked and enlighten the ignorant ? " is 
a question every one should put to himself, and 
it indicates a duty none are exempt from. Till we 
have reached maturity we are the daily recipients 
of favors. And the only acceptable mode of prov- 
ing our gratitude to our Heavenly Father for such 
a provision of His bounty is in some humble man- 
ner to imitate Him, and do what we can to con- 
tribute to the good or the happiness of those around 
us. . . . We have had very warm weather, and a fine 
shower has made the country look beautiful. It 
seems as if one might enjoy every moment, the sea- 
son imparts such cheerfulness to one's spirit ; and 
every new flower that makes its appearance is only 
a new expression of a Heavenly Father's love and 
kindness, and seems to be calling on us for a new 
expression, or rather a renewed feeling, of love and 
gratitude to the Author of all our blessings, and fur- 
nishes us with continual lessons which we cannot 
refuse to extract good from, and 

" Instructs us to be great, like Him, 
Beneficent and active. 
Thus the men 



MISS BEECHER 'S PRIZE TALE 289 

Whom Nature's works instruct with God himself 
Hold converse : grow familiar, dav by day, 
With His conceptions; act upon his plan, 
And form to His the relish of their souls." 

I did not mean to be poetical : but these beauti- 
ful, though simple, expressions of Akenside are 
forced upon my mind spontaneously by contemplat- 
ing the subject of which they treat. I have but a 
shadow of the beauties of Nature near me, but a 
walk will furnish it at any time, and I am called to 
a good many rides. 

Anne Jean sent me last week a prize tale, for 
which the author, Miss Harriet Eeecher, obtained 
fifty dollars. I like it very much, and, after I have 
got Mr. Atwill to copy it into his paper, will send it 
to you, for I think your sister Eliza, and Joseph and 
others, will be pleased with it. It was published in 
the "Cincinnati Magazine," without any of the cant 
that characterizes Orthodox publications, notwith- 
standing there is sickness and death and conversion 
in it. 

Mr. Stearns gave us excellent sermons this morn- 
ing and afternoon, on the importance of watchful- 
ness of ourselves ; spoke particularly of giving im- 
portance to trifles, and undue attention to external 
appearance, — thereby fostering personal vanity, 
which closes the mind to good and improving reflec- 
tions. I dare say you bear a great many good 
preachers, besides Mr. Frothingham. Does he have 
a Sunday-school ? 

Your atiectionate 

Mother. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE spring of 1844 was a sad one in our fam- 
ily annals. My father went to Cincinnati to 
bring home our dear Anne ; and my mother occu- 
pied herself in gathering together all the children of 
the neighborhood, who were deprived of a school by 
Mr. Huntington's departure, and teaching them her- 
self, until some new teacher should appear. But 
very soon she was summoned to Enfield, on account 
of the illness of my sister Mary, who died only ten 
days after the birth of a son. It was a bitter grief 
to have to communicate to the absent ones ; and my 
mother wisely kept it out of the newspapers, hoping 
they might reach home without hearing of it by the 
way. It was a long and weary journey by stages 
from Cincinnati to Northampton, and she had much 
anxiety for the delicate Anne Jean in taking it. 
After they had left Albany, and were in the stage 
for Pittsfield, a neighbor from Northampton entered, 
and expressed condolence with my father on the re- 
cent death of his daughter. The shock to both of 
them was severe, and, in the shattered condition of 
Anne's health, the manner of hearing it affected her 
sensibly, as well as the loss of the sister to whom 
she was so tenderly attached. 

Not long after their return home came the added 



A SAD SUMMER 291 

sorrow of brother Dwight's death, at a moment when 
they were looking for his return, after a two years' 
absence in China. I will not dwell on this sorrowful 
summer. My mother's letters were full of sadness 
for many months, and she felt keenly the heavy trials 
that had fallen on my father. She mentions in one 
letter, that, though they deeply regretted the illness 
of a young friend who was staying with them, it had 
consoled Anne and herself to be allowed to take 
care of her. They passed a very quiet summer, 
reading the same books, weeping together over the 
heavier sorrows of others, and devoted to the most 
tender and affectionate intercourse after their long 
separation, — the chief trial of the present, aside 
from the family grief, being the fact that Anne's 
health had sensibly declined within the year. 

In August, my father's only brother, our Uncle 
Lyman, died, and again she writes to Abby : — 

To Mrs. Greene, iVorthampton, Aug. 22. 1S34. 

My dear Abby, — For the past season you have 
continually heard of the increased indisposition of 
your father. I have now to communicate that he 
has terminated his mortal career, and that we fol- 
lowed him yesterday to the silent grave, where he 
was laid by the side of her to whom he had given 
his earliest and best affections. Our clergyman, 
Mr. Stearns, officiated with great solemnity; and, 
when we got to the grave, made such remarks on 
the mortality of all around, and on the inevitable 
destiny of man, which was sooner or later to bring 
us to the same point, that, had there been any want 



292 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

of seriousness or lack of tears, he would have caused 
them to overflow. 

The day that Anne Jean wrote you last, my 
Edward, who was on a visit to us then, carried your 
father to take a ride of several miles, and he said 
riding refreshed him, and made him feel better. 
Your uncle and Justin have carried him, whenever 
he felt able to go, all summer. But ten days before 
his death, when Justin went to take him to ride, it 
was impossible to get him into the chaise, with the 
assistance of another man, he was so very weak ; and 
from that time he grew weaker daily, and your uncle 
found a man to go and watch by him, day and night, 
till he died, at twelve o'clock in the evening, on the 
20th of this month. 

We (your uncle and I) left him at nine in the 
evening, and thought he might continue till morning. 
He knew us ; spoke quite strong ; said he was in 
no pain, and believed he was better. Just at twelve, 
he asked for a cup of tea, and, while they were get- 
ting it, ceased to breathe, without a struggle. The 
Sunday previous, we thought he would not continue 
through the day, and your uncle asked him if he was 
willing to die, when he answered, " I am always 
ready. I can always say, as Watts did, — 

' I go and come ; nor fear to die, 
When God on high shall call me home.' " 

His mind, I think, has been much clearer for the 
last year or two than when you were here, and I 
have felt sorry that you could not witness the tran- 
quil happiness he seemed to enjoy; being able to 



DEA TH OF UXCLE L YMAN 293 

extend his view beyond the "dark valley of the 
shadow of death," a glorious prospect beyond it 
seemed to be lighted up. When I said to him, " You 
have done a great many kindnesses and charitable 
actions in the days of your prosperity," he answered 
me, with his habitual sclf-forgetfulness, " A great 
many people have been kind and friendly to me," — 
never reverting to the many who had been thought- 
less and unkind, or, to say the least, forgetful. 

Your mother has been much exhausted by sleep- 
less nights ; and, when I asked her to return from 
her solitary dwelling with us for a week or two, she 
said she must remain alone, while she should be 
permitted to stay in the house, and recruit herself. 

As to your sisters, I know that children who are 
brought up in moderate circumstances may be better 
brought up than the children of the wealthy, gen- 
erally speaking, though this is not infallible. 

I have two young ladies, wards of Dr. Robbins's, 
who have been staying with us for the last three 
weeks, — Sarah Perkins and Elizabeth Spring. An 
income like Miss Perkins's would seem to preclude a 
disinterested, self-sacrificing zeal for the good of the 
distressed ; and yet she is very disinterested and 
lovely, and as good as she can be. 

The marriage of one of her favorites, Sally 
Lyman, to Mr. Richard L. Allen, was the next 
joyous event to call for her sympathy, after the 
sorrows of the previous spring. In one of her letters 
at this time, she says: "There are few like Richard 
Allen in the world. He is an admirable person." 



294 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To her Son, Sept. 13, 1835. 

I cannot let Mr. Henshaw go without taking a 
few lines, to assure you that you are constantly re- 
membered. My attention has been a good deal 
taken up by Mrs. Watson, who came on Monday, 
and is to leave to-morrow. She has stayed with 
Mrs. Dvvight, but has visited me daily, and I have 
carried her to Amherst, and went so far as to prom- 
ise to go on the mountain with her ; but fortunately 
the day appointed was so very foggy, that it was im- 
possible to go. Then there has been a family of 
Longfellows from Portland, very interesting, agreea- 
ple people ; they had a daughter with them, who 
married a Mr. Pierce, formerly in the Law School 
here. 

I went up this evening to see Mrs. Bliss. I never 
have seen her when she was so perfectly beautiful ; 
she had the color given by a slight fever. Her eyes 
were very bright, and she was excited by seeing 

me, and by having Mrs. by her side, who had 

just come in and had burst out crying, for the sake 
of a scene ; and in the midst of it all the doctor, 
whom she seems much delighted with. But it was 
the glow of strong emotion which irradiated her 
whole face, and presented her perfectly beautiful. I 
do really think she may get well now ; she has had a 
temporary interruption, which she is fast recovering 
from. Miss Stearns has been sick a week ; she has 
now recovered and dined here with Mr. and Mrs. 
Watson, Friday ; and Mrs. Whitmarsh and husband 
joined them in the afternoon. 

We have had Mr. Noyes to preach all day ; he 



ON B (/LIVER'S WRITINGS 295 

preached finely this morning on the justice of God, 
and this afternoon on cultivating right affections 
towards each other, — showing what I have always 
said, that if we have nothing else to give, we can be 
rich in good affections, and bestow them where they 
are wanted, and will do good. I have felt the value 
of a smile of cordiality, and could realize all that he 
had to say on that subject. I know what a balm it 
may be to a wounded or a too deeply humbled spirit. 
It is so late I cannot write another word. Mr. 
Professor Hitchcock has commenced a course of 
geological lectures, in which there seems to be a 
good degree of interest. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

To Miss Martha Cochran, Jan. 12, 1S35. 

My dear Martha, — Tell dear L. I cannot say 
how much I am obliged to her for her kindness and 
the books which I received two days since ; but I 
have not had time yet to read them. 

Anne Jean and Miss Caroline Phelps, who is stay- 
ing with her, read to me the " Last Days of Pom- 
peii." I beg you will read it, for it has powerful de- 
scription in it, partaking of the sublime. Put it is 
altogether the most sacrilegious thing that ever was 
penned. The whole reminds me of Mr. Frisbie's 
description of Lord Byron's "Works." The effect 
of Bulwer's writings I think very much the same ; 
but this one more strikingly than any of the others. 
" The desolate misanthropy of his mind rises and 
throws its dark shade over his writing like one of his 
own ruined castles ; we feel it to be sublime, but we 



29 6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

forget that it is a sublimity it cannot have, till it is 
abandoned by everything that is kind, and peaceful, 
and happy, and its halls are ready to become the 
haunts of outlaws and assassins." On the whole, he 
leaves an impression unfavorable to a healthful state 
of mind, which is to be deprecated and shunned. 

To Miss C. Robbins, March 30, 1835. 

. . . George Davis has sent me the " Recollections 
of a Housekeeper," which is certainly a most amus- 
ing thing, and one that all country housekeepers 
have a feeling sense of. The children read it to me, 
much to my entertainment. 

I was greatly obliged to you for sending " Silvio 
Pellico." The history of his feelings is an ample 
illustration of the doctrine of sympathy, though 
I think Mr. Roscoe made a great mistake in not 
giving some sketch of his previous life, and the 
political state of the country that should produce 
such calamities. Most young readers would -be 
entirely in the dark as to the cause of his impris- 
onment, from what little is said in the preface about 
it. I have not had a chance to read " Philip Van 
Artevelde " yet. 

In September of 1835, came off a great celebra- 
tion at Bloody Brook, South Deerfield, on the occa- 
sion of the one hundredth anniversary of the- fall 
of "the Flower of Essex," at the hands of the 
Indians. Mr. Edward Everett was to be the orator 
of the occasion ; and my mother and Anne had 
looked forward to it for weeks and months. The 



MISS MARTINEAU'S VISIT 297 

beautiful and accomplished orphan daughters of 
a distinguished lawyer in Connecticut had, some 
time before, taken up their abode in Northampton ; 
and, to find music-scholars for the elder sister, and 
make her own home a pleasant resting-place to them 
at all times, was now one of my mother's many deep 
interests. The second sister, after an absence of a 
year, had now returned to die. 

To her Son, August 2b, 1835. 

My Dear E. — -After writing such a poor scrawl 
by way of apology for not writing, I feel it to be my 
duty to use the first leisure I can command to tell 
you that the variety of duties and excitements that 
have occurred in rapid succession, have pretty much 
excluded the use of the pen. If you have seen your 
Aunt Catherine, she has told you of all the fevers 
and fervors excited by Miss Martineau's visit. 
There is something truly animating in a realizing 
sense of human excellence, accompanied by great 
information and a simple, unaffected eloquence, such 
as is manifested by this good lady in expressing her 
opinions not only of the great men in the world, 
whether statesmen or authors, but also of the great 
interests of mankind. After she was gone, Anne 
Jean and I felt dissatisfied with giving her up, and 
took to reading her books again in our intervals of 
leisure, which though few and far between, would 
give us an idea of her reflections, and continue to 
us her mind alter we had parted with the real pres- 
ence. Nothing can be more simple and unaffected, 
than the exterior of this good, this delightful char- 
acter. 



298 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

This morning your Sister Eliza left us, with 
her children. She was not well, and I felt sorry 
to have them leave. The children were all well 
and very good, and I could have had them longer 
as well as not. We are enjoying Cousin Abby's 
visit unspeakably. Mr. Greene you have seen in 
Boston before this time. Little Catherine is very 
much improved, since you saw her here before. 
She is very much of a lady and altogether un- 
commonly well behaved and well governed for an 
only child. 

I was obliged to stop, and several days have 
elapsed since I have been able to take my pen 
again. Old Dr. Thayer preached for us to-day in 
consequence of Mr. Stearns having left us with his 
wife and child, to go a journey. The day before 
your Sister Eliza left us, we had Mr. Bates's family 
and the new neighbor's, Mr. Church's, to visit us. 
They seem to be clever people, at any rate they 

will do us as much good as Mr. 's family. 

Everybody is anticipating the pleasure of going to 
hear Mr. Edward Everett's Oration on Tuesday 
next. I hope they may realize all they anticipate. 
Give my love to Mrs. Blake and all friends. 

The little girls have been in Deerfield a week, 
and had the most delightful time that ever was — 
went to the Falls you visited and to the Glen. 
Catherine went to the Mill with the young Dr. 
several times, besides visiting every day, and I 
don't know how long it will take to recover her 
from such a tour of dissipation. Susan appears 
unhurt by all these operations. Anne Jean is get- 



DEA TH OF MRS. BLISS 299 

ting over a cold and thinks of accompanying her 
cousin to Boston. In haste, 

Your affectionate Mother. 

To Miss Cochran, Sept. 30, 1835. 

Mv dear Martha,— You will perceive by the 
date that this is the eventful day which has excited 
so much expectation ; and, after all, neither Anne 
Jean nor myself are enjoying Mr. Everett's address. 
You will probably say, "What a disappointment!" 
Indeed, it would be, if it were not merged in a much 
greater. Our friend, Mrs. B., is just dying on our 
hands, and, if Anne Jean and I were to leave them, 
there would be no one to take our places, and these 
young sisters are now in a state that they must 
have some one to support them through the trial, 

for they are entirely prostrated by it. Mrs. II 

got here a week since, with all the effects of fever 
and ague upon her. The Thursday following, Mrs. 
B. experienced, after a dreadful paroxysm of cough- 
ing, a very sudden prostration of strength, and has 
never felt any power in her limbs since, to move 
them, or any sensation but weight. This state of 
things, of course, is an infallible indication of disso- 
lution ; and any account I can give of the effect this 
produced upon the sisters must appear so much like 
exaggeration, that it is not best to use any but 
general terms, and say they are paralyzed by it. 

X. received your note and the fruit. Every ex- 
nression of kindness is grateful to her feelings, and 
she was much affected by this proof of your con- 
tinued interest and remembrance. 



300 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Since I have been writing, Anne Jean has in- 
formed me that she had begun a letter to you, and 
I shall let her send hers by mail, and let mine wait 
for an opportunity. It cannot be many clays before 
you hear of Mrs. B.'s death. She has had great 
comfort in Mr. Stearns's daily prayers ; often re- 
quests him to pray that she may be resigned to 
God's will, at the same time assuring him of her 
wish to live. Last night her reason was very clear, 
after a faint turn which I thought would end her 
existence in a very few moments ; and she spoke 
beautifully of the Providence which had, under 
every trying circumstance, sustained her youth, 
and raised up friends for her under every calamity. 
Anne Jean has been able to stay by her in the 
daytime, with the assistance of another, and I have 
been able to watch three times out of five nights, 
and shall continue to devote myself to her while she 
lives. Mrs. Hunt, too, has done all she could, by 
day and by night. Eliza Seeger has watched once. 

October i. To-day Mrs. B. has but little reason, 
and it does not make any difference who is with her. 
Dr. Austin Flint is greatly afflicted at the result of 
his care ; has sat up all night with her, and been as 
unwearied as if she were his own wife ; has carried 
his father to see her several times, and is still of the 
opinion that she is not consumptive, as is his father. 
But it makes no difference what occasions disease, 
if the result must be death. I do not know that I 
have ever had a friend sick, when I felt such an in- 
tense desire that they should recover, as in this case. 
Mrs. B. had, after many dark and troubled days, 



MR. EVERETT'S ADDRESS 301 

arrived at a sunny spot in her existence, the radiance 
of which was strongly reflected upon the destiny of 
her sisters. I regret that I was not earlier ac- 
quainted with her, and have not done more for her ; 

but you know, when she was with the s, she was 

out of my way. And Anne Jean's health prevented 
her from doing anything about anybody, unless it 
were the poor or the sick. She is now inexpressibly 
afflicted by Mrs. B.'s state, and would sacrifice any- 
thing to her comfort. 

I suppose C. will go with her sister, Mrs. H., to 
Buffalo. She is a good little lamb, and I hope some- 
thing will occur to screen her from the coldness of 
a heartless world ; for she has a degree of sensi- 
bility that will make her peculiarly susceptible to the 
trials she is likely to be exposed to. Oh, how I wish 
there were an asylum for all the unhappy and unfort- 
unate orphans within my sphere ! and that it were 
my destiny to preside over it and make them com- 
fortable ! — endowed, at the same time, with that 
heavenly-mindedness and Christian benevolence 
which would give efficiency to the desire. As I am, 
I need not ask to take care of any more people's 
happiness than has fallen to me. 

Mr. Everett satisfied the expectation of all who 
heard him, I am told. Love to your mother and sis- 
ters, And believe me, truly yours, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

P. S. You know the conflicting interests that ever 
await my destiny. After I returned from watching, 
this morning. I was informed that Miss Martineau 



302 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

would be here, and I should have the pleasure of 
her company to dine, together with that of Mr. 
Everett and Mr. Brooks. 

October 2. Mrs. B. is still living, but I think will 
not be when this reaches you. 

In the late autumn of 1835, our dear Anne was 
seized with a rheumatic fever, which prostrated her 
entirely for two months. Her heavenly patience 
under suffering, and her great energy and efficiency 
in the few intervals of comparative health she en- 
joyed, made her frequent illnesses a source of the 
deepest sympathy in the family circle. 

After writing to Mrs. Greene the affecting details 
of Anne Jean's illness, she goes on to tell of family 
affairs and of the books she is reading. 

"We have just been reading Sparks's second vol- 
ume of ' Washington's Life,' and are delighted with 
it. I have never before realized how much he must 
have encountered from his earliest youth, forgetting 
all the convenient and comfortable things an ample 
fortune and good home would furnish him with, 
while he was living in the most comfortless manner, 
eating for months what the meanest slave would 
complain of as a hardship. How much our children 
ought to learn from such an example in application 
to the common affairs of life! and what a beautiful 
illustration is his life of the power of self-denial and 
self-discipline ! 

" P. S. My little ladies and Anne Jean send much 
love." 



THE BE A UTIFUL MRS. ROGERS 303 

She never flattered children, but I think her pretty 
way of calling us her "little ladies," had much influ- 
ence on our self-respect. 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, July 11, 1S36. 

My dear Abby, — Mr. Stone of Dayton called 
here in passing, and was kind enough to say that he 
would take a letter for us. I should have devoted 
the short space he gave me to writing, but I wanted 
to take him to see Mrs. Rogers, as he would be 
likely to see her sister when he got home ; and that 
has left me but a few minutes for the pen. Mrs. 
Rogers has been here about three weeks ; her calm 
loveliness has an attraction for every one, though 
none seem to feel the power of it as Anne Jean and 
myself do. In her, beauty seems to be the real type 
by which moral qualities are expressed in the outer 
man. And if it were proved to be a false one, how 
entirely would it lose its power over us ! When I 
see Mrs. Rogers, I can't help thinking how one 
particle of affectation or artificiality in any of its 
forms would mar this pure emblem of virtue. And 
her children seem to be after the same pattern. 
With such treasures, Mr. Rogers cannot know the 
bitterness of poverty. 

To Dr. Austin Flint, Northampton, July rS, 1S36. 

My dear Austin, — When there is any kind of 
excitement amongst us, you know it comes like an 
overwhelming torrent. This has been the case last 
week. On Thursday Mr. Webster came here, I 
believe with the intention of leaving the next day. 



304 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

But Mrs. Webster was taken quite ill, and required 
a» physician, and he was obliged to remain until she 
recovered, which was not until the following Mon- 
day. Of course, as he was well, and his daughter 
who was with him, there was a chance for a great 
deal of glorification, in which we as usual bore a 
distinguished part. On Friday, Mr. Bates and my- 
self held a council on what was proper to be done by 
the ladies, and agreed there must be a party that 
would include everybody that ever visits, and who 
would be gratified to see Mr. Webster and daughter ; 
and he consented that it should be at his house in 
the evening. During the day, Mr. Lyman and Mr. 
Bates were to ride with the man whom the people 
are delighted to honor, and show him whatever was 
worthy to be seen ; and in the evening an assembly 
at Mr. Bates's. The next morning, the young gentle- 
men and ladies rode on horseback and in carriages to 
Mount Warner, and home under Mount Holyoke and 
the Ferry, and in the evening assembled at my house ; 
while the elder gentlemen took a late dinner at the 
Mansion, given in honor of Mr. Webster, who came 
also in the evening. Mr. Webster listened with 
absorbed attention to your sister's playing, an hour 
and a half, and said he was rarely so much enter- 
tained by a lady's music ; and added, " I could have 
loved her had she not been fair," — making, very 
gallantly, the quotation from one of her prettiest 
songs. 

Only think of supposing that you will get home- 
sick and dispirited if you are not written to. I should 
like to punish you a little for letting Mrs. Hunting- 



THE JOYS THAT REMAIN 305 

don come away without a line to somebody to say 
that you had a pleasant or unpleasant journey; that 
the first impression was joyous or grievous; that 
you had borne the separation from the loved ones 
manfully or otherwise. I wish we had kept A. and 
baby here a few weeks, for then we should have been 
sure of hearing from you. But I was delighted with 
what Mrs. H. told me ; only that I wanted it from 
yourself. 

After lingering five weeks, Mr. Stearns's child 
died on Tuesday evening, in a most suffering state. 
Your father and myself were with it. The parents 
are exhausted and sick, and we hope to get them to 
take a journey. Dr. Bancroft happened to stop here 
for a visit, and officiated at the funeral, and will send 
Mr. Peabody up from Springfield to preach on 
Sunday. Thus the vicissitudes of this life are ever 
proving to us that "This is not our rest." But there 
are some joys which nothing can deprive us of, — our 
peace of conscience, and sense of doing right. 

"What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, 
The soul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy: 
'Tis Virtue's pri/e : 
Is bless'd in what it takes and what it gives." 

I am told Buffalo furnishes an epitome of the 
grossest vices of the largest cities. If you stay 
there, you will often have an opportunity of acting 
the part of minister at large, or missionary. And 
you must never forget that every opportunity of 
doing good is a golden privilege ; inasmuch as it fur- 
nishes us with the chance to imitate him "who came 



306 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

to minister, and not to be ministered unto." Our 
worldly and our spiritual interests are so beautifully 
harmonized, that every thing we do contributing to 
the latter may likewise be made tributary to the 
former. Your profession, like that of a clergyman, 
furnishes the power for a wide diffusion of every- 
thing that is useful, morally as well as physically. 
To be seen at church every Sunday is an unequivo- 
cal manifestation of your respect for the institution 
of the Sabbath; the instructions and reflections of 
which occasion lay deeply at the foundation of both 
morals and religion. I know of no way to nourish 
spiritual life in the soul but to "feed it with food 
convenient for it." 'Tis the day for balancing our 
accounts with conscience, and laying in a new stock 
of wise reflections for future use ; which want replen- 
ishing as often as one day in seven, or Heaven 
would not have appointed such a use for a seventh 
part of our time. 

July 23. Since the above was written, many 
things have occurred deeply interesting to my feel- 
ings. My friend, Mrs. John Howard, of Springfield, 
has died as she has expected to, — under the most 
aggravated circumstances that a woman can leave 
the world. She never gave birth to her child ; but 
died in the effort. In this dreadful manner have six 
of my youthful contemporaries departed this life ; 
though some of them were advanced, as was Mrs. 

. This morning I received a letter from dear 

Anne Flint, which was unexpected, I assure you; 
for I thought, with the baby not very well, she had 
enough to do without writing to any one but her 



EXPRESSIVE USE OF LANGUAGE 307 

husband ; and I knew she would be faithful to that 
duty. She expresses much pleasure in the idea that 
you are encouraged as it regards your future pros- 
pects. I am delighted that you realize your antici- 
pations. We can never have unmingled pleasure in 
seeing and being near our friends, unless we can see 
them prosperous to a certain extent, and happy. 
That you may always be so, and deserve to be so, 
is the ardent wish of my heart. 

I passed all day yesterday in your father's society, 
at Mr. C. P. Huntington's, who has another son. I 
have seen your sister S. this morning. She was just 
going to take a ride to Belchertown to pass the day. 
She says the terms of existence are much mitigated 
to her by having a good domestic ; they are all well 
at your father's. What shall I say in extenuation of 
the crime of writing such a long and unprofitable 
epistle ? But, no matter ; by an effort of imagi- 
nation you can convince yourself that it is written 
by an affectionate mother after her first separation 
from an amiable and much-loved son. 

I think, if you remain in Buffalo, you will find no 

difficulty in getting the organ for to play upon. 

Yours affectionately, 

A. J. Lyman. 

In the foregoing letter, my mother tells Dr. Flint 
that his sister said, "the terms of my existence are 
much mitigated," &c. This young girl could never 
have made use of that expression ; and this her cor- 
respondent knew. My mother and her sister, Eliza 
Robbins, had both of them a wonderful use of Ian- 



308 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

guage. I have never heard anything at all like it. 
To repeat the things they said always makes them 
sound pedantic ; but on their lips this was never the 
case. As late as the summer of 1856, in Cambridge, 
my mother took her grand-daughter, Hannah Brewer, 
to the window, and described in most glowing lan- 
guage the change in the appearance of the Common ; 
beginning, " Formerly, Hannah, this green expanse 
was only an arid waste ; " and going on as if she 
mere making a speech. And the same summer, 
when I was crossing the Common with her, she 
stopped suddenly, looked at the little trees with 
their growing foliage, and exclaimed : " Oh Susanna ! 
I have crossed this Common under the vertical rays 
of a meridian sun, when I have sighed 'for a lodge 
in some vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity 
of shade.' But, thank God, that time has passed." 

It is related of my Aunt Eliza, that once, being 
on a visit to the poet Bryant, she remained alone in 
his study ; when a cabinet-maker brought home a 
chair that had been altered. When Mr. Bryant re- 
turned, he said, " Miss Robbins, what did the man 
say about my chair?" "That the equilibrium is 
now admirably adjusted," said Aunt Eliza, scarcely 
lifting her eyes from the book she was reading. 
"What a fine fellow," said Mr. Bryant laughing; "I 
never heard him talk like that ! Now, Miss Rob- 
bins, what did he say ? " " Well, he said ' It joggled 
just right, '" said my aunt. 

In the " Life of Catherine M. Sedgwick," in a 
letter from Miss Sedgwick to Mrs. Minot, on page 
320, occurs this reference to my Aunt Eliza: — • 



THE EDUCATION OF AFFAIRS 309 

" I called to see Miss Robbins on my way home. 
She lamented her brother's death with the eloquence 
of an old Hebrew. If your eyes were shut, you 
might have fancied that it was a supplemental chap- 
ter of Job. It was a holy rhapsody on life and 
death. I thought I should have remembered some 
of it, but I might as well have caught a pitcher of 
water from the Falls of Niagara, — its force carried 
it away." 

To her Son, Sept. 25, 1836. 

When you spoke of but just coming to the con- 
viction of what Sunday was for, it reminded me of 
what I have often said, " that, though precept is 
good, experience is a better teacher still." You have 
always seen and felt that it was a day to acknowl- 
edge and worship a Heavenly Father, and learn 
what our duty to him is. But now your experience 
teaches you to realize, that in addition to those 
duties there is another design in it ; and on that 
day a man may rest from his labors and give him- 
self up, while resting the body, to holy meditation, 
and to balancing the accounts of his conscience, 
seeing wherein he can improve upon the past week ; 
and with the aid of such reflections he may extract 
much good from the circumstances which have oc- 
curred to him. Many think that books are the only 
source of improvement ; but the affairs of this life, 
while they enlarge our experience, may continually 
administer to our improvement by proper reflec- 
tion, — and books can be of no use without reflec- 
tion, though most valuable auxiliaries with it. 



310 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

" Keep thy heart with all diligence," was a wise 
admonition from our wisest and best of friends. In 
those few words are contained a great many valuable 
principles. It may be interpreted, Keep your affec- 
tions pure ; avoid all pleasures that are sinful, and 
hurt the soul : there are endless pleasures which 
are innocent, and improve it. Cultivate a sense of 
the presence of an All-seeing Eye, one whom you 
would not for the world offend. 

Now I am in too much pain to sit long to write ; 
it is two months since I have known any long in- 
terval from pain. I was three days divested of it, 
and wrote all my friends I had got well ; but at the 
end of that time it returned with renewed violence, 
though not at all as I had it last winter, and the 
year before. I continue to take quinine, and use 
the same remedies I did under Dr. A. Flint's care ; 
but I dare say it will hang on three months as 
usual. . . . 

Give my love to all friends, and believe me the 
greatest pleasure of my life is that my children are 
good and an honor to their parents. When I am 
in the most severe bodily pain, I can say with 
heartfelt satisfaction this is nothing, when I think 
of those whose children are a source of daily tears. 

In the last letter to my brother Edward, my 
mother mentions being in much pain. To those 
who remember the fearful sciatica that attacked her 
in 1834, and lasted for five years with intense sever- 
ity, her infrequent and slight allusion to it is mar- 
vellous. For months together she would often 



HEROIC BEARING OF PAIN 311 

pass whole nights walking the room in agony ; but 
at the breakfast-table no mention of all she had 
endured escaped her. She bore the infliction with 
the heroism of a martyr, intermitted none of her 
duties, laid aside none of her hospitalities ; simply 
remarking, when we expressed sympathy for her, 
or wonder that she could do so much, that she 
thanked God for the great physical strength that 
enabled her to go on with her work even in misery. 
The elder Dr. Flint showed her the greatest con- 
sideration and sympathy. He once told me he 
had never given powerful sedatives with so little 
effect. 

In the autumn of 1836, our dear Anne went to 
her room for the last time. Ten weeks of alterna- 
tion between hope and fear followed, and on the 
2 1 st of January, 1837, this saintly young spirit, this 
ideal daughter, sister, and friend, with her exquisite 
beauty and Madonna-like purity passed from earth 
to the society of angels. 

To her Son, Dec. 1 1, 1S36. 

I have nothing new to tell you of Anne ; she 
seems to have reached a stationary point in her 
disease. She suffers a great deal, and by her con- 
tinuing so lung I think it fair to hope that a favora- 
ble change may yet take place, — though at present 
there is not even a faint indication of any thing of 
the sort. You may well suppose I feel my spirits 
worn out, when I tell you she scarcely ever loses 
herself in sleep, notwithstanding continued draughts 
of an anodyne character. She can't bear any thing 
on her stomach but such draughts and soda water. 



312 RE COLLE C TIONS OF M Y MO THER 

I was surprised to hear of my friend, Mrs. Bar- 
nard's death, but I hope her friends will see nothing 
but mercy in this dispensation. I had heard she 
was considered, at Hartford, as incurable ; and, 
to me, death seemed like a friend to her. Mrs. 
Barnard's uniform kindness and sisterly affection, 
which commenced with my earliest childhood, never 
will be effaced from my memory. I am glad I have 
not seen her since her reason was impaired, for my 
impressions of her are always agreeable. Anne 
Jean observed, when I told her of her death, "no 
one ever did so much to make me happy as Mrs. 
Barnard, except my near relatives." Many young 
people may say the same thing with equal truth. 
Assure her husband and children, and Miss Bent, 
of my warmest sympathy ; for I shall not be able 
to write to them, as I should under other circum- 
stances. . . . 

Judge Lyma,7i to his Son, Northampton, Jan. i, 1S37. 

Dear E., — I have nothing new to say concerning 
dear Anne Jean's situation. She is much as she 
has been for the last twelve clays. Within that 
time we have had some days when we have been 
much encouraged, and had strong hopes of her 
recovery. This day we have been discouraged, — 
though Dr. Flint says that she is no worse. What 
the event may be is known only to Him with whom 
are the issues of life and death. To his will it is 
our duty to be submissive and resigned. My heart 
is, perhaps, too much bound up in this dear child, 
whom I have ever expected to soothe my dying 



THE WONDERFUL AURORA OF 1837 313 

moments, to submit patiently to such a dispensation 
of Providence as would deprive me of her. Dr. 
Flint continues to encourage us, yet we are at 
times distrustful. 

Wishing you a happy New Year, and that you 
may increase in knowledge, virtue, and usefulness, 
is the earnest prayer of 

Your affectionate father, 

Joseph Lyman. 

Our dear Anne died on Saturday evening, the 
2 1 st of January. When there occurs one of those 
marvellous natural phenomena that excites universal 
wonder and delight, we are wont to associate it with 
the event most deeply interesting to us at the time. 
I recall, at this distant day, the sad evening after 
her funeral, when, after our brother Sam and sister 
Almira had left us, — they also in the deepest afflic- 
tion for the loss of their beautiful little daughter, 
who had died only a few hours later, and was laid 
in the same grave with our Anne, — as we all sat 
mournfully round the fire in the old parlor, the door 
opened softly, and our kind neighbor, Mrs. Hunt, 
looked in. "I think it would do you all good," she 
said gently, " to come to the front door and look 
out." We all put on shawls, and went out into the 
snow. Oh, what a glorious scene was that ! The 
whole heavens were red and glowing, from horizon 
to horizon : the snow was red, and the effect of this 
wondrous light upon the whole landscape, the leaf- 
less trees, the buildings, was something magical and 
indescribable. No telegraphs announced next morn- 



314 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ing how that wonderful aurora of 1837 extended 
over the whole northern hemisphere ; but, in the 
course of a week or ten days, the newspapers had 
informed us how all the principal cities had received 
this spectacle ; how fire-engines had been pursuing 
what they supposed to be a great fire, for many 
miles, in cities like New York and Philadelphia. 

Only a few years later, our friend, Mrs. Hunt, 
was called to part with her daughter Maria. And 
shortly afterwards occurred another scene, — differ- 
ent, it is true, but equally impressed upon the minds 
of those who witnessed it. A gentle rain falling all 
night had frozen about the trees and over every 
little twig and bush in our village, and we waked to 
a brilliant sunshine and blue sky, and a fairy-land 
of prisms and wonderful enchantment. The whole 
village was astir; sleigh-bells were jingling every- 
where. Every one who could hire, beg, or borrow 
a sleigh or horse of any description was out as if 
for holiday. Up to Round Hill first, then down to 
the Meadows; neighbors joyously hallooing to each 
other from morning till night. And, oh ! when 
evening came, and the full moon shone down on 
the beautiful village, what words can describe the 
scene! I remembered the aurora of 1837, and Mrs. 
Hunt's calling us to look at it. And I went to her 
door and asked her to come out. Through her tears 
she said with fervor, " Oh ! if this world can be so 
beautiful, what must be that to which my child has 
gone ! " 



DEA Til OF ANNE JEA N L YMAN 3 1 5 

To Dr. Austin Flint, Feb. 1, 1837. 

Your letter, my dear Austin, reached me at the 
very moment when I was expecting the immediate 
departure of my beloved child ; but she revived, and 
lived two days afterwards. How can I, if I would, 
describe to you all the sorrow of this separation ? 
I have no language adequate to the expression of 
what I have suffered, and what I must suffer. The 
shadows of the past hang like a cloud over my 
path ; they obstruct my view of the future ; and 
I am almost in doubt where I am, or what I shall 
do next. I can say, with Job, " Though he slay me, 
yet will I trust in God." But, think how all my 
plans, all my objects in life, were connected with 
her that is gone ! Was she not my sun-light, my 
angel of mercy, my pride, my stay, my companion 
and friend ; and withal (unworthy as I am to have 
that privilege) my holy child ? She was, indeed, more 
a being of heaven than earth ; and why should she 
stay here ? It was my greatest pleasure to make her 
happy. But who could release her while on earth 
from that dreadful burden her Heavenly Father had 
seen fit to lay upon her? She was, indeed, perfected 
through much suffering. Dear child ! I wish I 
could dispossess my mind of the weeks and months 
of anguish by which she was finally brought to 
resign this life. I could have been more resigned 
to commit her to some of the many mansions pre- 
pared lor those who die in the Lord ; but I have 
found it very difficult to be resigned to her suffer- 
ings. The long and sleepless days and nights, 
which continued nine weeks, are ever before my 



316 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

imagination, like so many spectres ; and I feel 
thankful when I can lose, but for a short time, this 
painful and all-absorbing consciousness of distress ; 
and I am trying in every possible way to divert my 
thoughts from it. Many people ask me what she 
said and what she did. I can only answer, she 
suffered all the time. If there was an interval long 
enough, she was willing to be amused in any way ; 
or to have prayers read, or the Scriptures. Her 
mind was always unclouded and rational ; and, when 
she was able to see him, she enjoyed Mr. Stearns's 
conversation and prayers. But she told him he 
must not expect the same degree of religious fervor 
from her, that was common to her in health, for 
she felt that all her powers were under the dominion 
of disease. She said she had no fear of death. 
She was at peace with her Maker, and with all man- 
kind. She was truly "a. holy child of God," whose 
excellences could be discovered only in the recesses 
of her retirement. 

You know with what a relentless grasp disease 
had fastened itself upon her. I shall not attempt it, 
but I wish your father would give you an account 
of the variety of derangements that have been fixed 
for years upon her constitution. She was convinced 
herself, and spoke of it, that she must have been 
very carefully medicated when under your care a 
year ago, ever to have regained any portion of health, 
after that long and dreadful fever. She often spoke 
of your saying to her, "You must make an effort to 
get out of your room and take the air, and get some 
exercise." "How little he knows," said she, "that 



OPPORTUNITIES OF A PHYSICIAN 317 

it is an effort to live, under any circumstances ; and 
to draw the vital air, even in my easy-chair." How 
often I have shed tears over such recitals, Heaven 
only knows. To feel that one so young was under 
a perpetual blight was at times unspeakably dis- 
tressing to me. But why should I prolong this 
gloomy subject? It is because "out of the fulness 
of the heart, the mouth speaketh ; " and I have no 
power to think of other subjects. 

came to see me yesterday ; she says your 

father thinks and talks of you a great deal, and 
entertains a tender anxiety for your progress. I 

judge from what Mr. says about your lectures, 

that you are encouraged that they will be an advan- 
tage to you. I was much obliged to you for sending 
me the newspaper, and I sent it to your father. If 
I could have given attention to any thing but my 
sick-room, I would have sent it to your grandfather. 
You must not think I am unwilling to be the reposi- 
tory of your troubles, if you will only allow me to be 
the participator of your joys. Anne Jean said, " I 
am delighted that he has found, amidst all the disap- 
pointments of this world, what a resource religious 
hope is. May he, in his life, illustrate the 'beauty of 
holiness.' May he spend it in laying up treasure in 
heaven." Now your very profession constitutes you 
an "angel of mere}'," one of Heaven's agents for 
applying antidotes to the physical miseries of the 
human race ; it enables you to mitigate the suffer- 
ing of your fellow-creatures. And I know by my 
own experience, both of yourself and others, the 
magical charm in obliterating mental suffering, such 



318 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY. MOTHER 

as we often find combined with physical pain, that 
gentlemen of your profession have power, by kind- 
ness and suavity of manner, so liberally to admin- 
ister. 

Give my love to dear Anne, and the baby ; tell 
her to consider this as equally addressed to herself. 
Tell her she must look on all the disappointments 
she meets with in life, as so many ministers of good 
to her soul. She must not allow them to make her 
impatient, but apply them so as to produce "the 
peaceable fruits of righteousness." If she does not, 
her religion is of no avail. 

Yours most affectionately, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

Mr. R. W. Emerson to Mrs. Lyman, Concord, Feb. 3, 1S37. 

My Dear Madam, — I have not attempted to write 
to you since I heard of the death of Anne Jean, for 
death makes us all dumb. They who have had 
many losses, gain thereby no wisdom that can be 
imparted, and each loss makes us more and not less 
sufferers by all that follow. Yet I must write, if 
only to tell you that the news was very painful to 
me, — -to me, quite out of the pleasant circle in 
which she was living, and, on account of my dis- 
tance, quite uncertain of ever seeing her. How 
gladly I have remembered the glimpses I had of her 
sunny childhood, her winning manners, her persuad- 
ing speech that then made her father, I believe, call 
her his "lawyer." In the pleasant weeks I spent 
at your house, I rejoiced in the promise of her 
beauty, and have pleased myself with the hope that 



EMERSON'S LETTER OF CONDOLENCE 319 

she was surmounting her early trials, and was des- 
tined to be one of those rare women who exalt 
society, and who make credible to us a better society 
than is seen in the earth. I still keep by me one of 
her drawings which she gave me. I have scarcely 
seen her face since. But we feel a property in all 
the accomplishments and graces that we know, 
which neither distance nor absence destroys. For 
my part, I grudge the decays of the young and beau- 
tiful whom I may never see again. Even in their 
death, is the reflection that we are forever enriched 
by having beheld them, — that we never can be quite 
poor and low, for they have furnished our heart and 
mind with new elements of beauty and wisdom. 

And, now she is gone out of your sight, I have 
only to offer to you and to Judge Lyman my respect- 
ful and affectionate condolence. I am sure I need 
not suggest the deep consolations of the spiritual 
life, for love is the first believer, and all the remem- 
brances of her life will plead with you in behalf of 
the hope of all souls. How do we go, all of us, to 
the world of spirits, marshalled and beckoned unto 
by noble and lovely friends ! That event cannot be 
fearful which made a part of the constitution and 
career of beings so finely framed and touched, and 
whose influence on us has been so benign. These 
sad departures open to us, as other events do not, 
that ineradicable faith which the secret history of 
every year strips of its obscurities, — that we can 
and must exist forevermore. 

You will grieve, I know, at the absence of Joseph, 
at this time. I lament his great loss. When you 



320 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

write him, please send him my affectionate remem- 
brance. He has kindly forwarded to me lately a 
bundle of Charles's letters to him, which have given 
great pleasure to my mother, Elizabeth Hoar, and 
myself. My mother feels drawn to you by likeness 
of sorrows, and desires me to express to you her 
sympathy. 

Your friend, 

R. Waldo Emerson. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

In thy far-away dwelling, wherever it be, 

I believe thou hast visions of mine ; 
And thy love, that made all things as music to me, 

I have not yet learned to resign ; 
In the hush of the night, on the waste of the sea, 

Or alone with the breeze on the hill, 
I have ever a presence that whispers of thee, 

And my spirit lies down and is still. 

And though, like a mourner that sits by a tomb, 

I am wrapped in a mantle of care, 
Vet the grief of my bosom, — oh ! call it not gloom, — 

Is not the black grief of despair 
By sorrow revealed, as the stars are by night, 

Far off a bright vision appears ; 
And Hope, like the rainbow, a creature of light, 

Is born like the rainbow, — in tears. 

T. K. Hervey. 

ALTHOUGH my clear mother had experienced 
griefs and disappointments, such as come to 
all the children of earth, no sorrow had ever been to 
her like the loss of our Anne. Anne resembled her 
father more in temperament and character than she 
did her mother. Her temperament was always 
balm to the large and generous, but too impulsive, 
spirit, whom she loved and understood as few others 
did. My mother's grief was life-long; and we, who 
knew her best, felt that from this time on she lived 
always in the invisible presence of the beloved child 



322 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

who had gone. There was not a trace of selfishness 
in her grief, or of rebellion ; it was the pure and in- 
tense sorrow of longing for the beautiful presence 
and companionship that had rounded her life. The 
forms of grief were nothing to her; she never shut 
herself up for a day ; the house was open to friends 
and neighbors, as it always had been ; and to the 
casual observer there might seem little change. 
But what added tenderness and sympathy for all 
sorrow we saw in her, and renewed activity in serv- 
ing all who came within her reach ! And as years 
wore on, her cheerfulness returned, and that fulness 
of life that gave joy to many, — although, while rea- 
son lasted, she was subject to occasional days of 
violent and bitter weeping for Anne Jean, which 
nothing could assuage, — even as late as twenty 
years, and more, after her departure. 

To her Son, Feb. 8, 1837. 

I thought as soon as you had gene I should busy 
myself in setting my house in order, getting rid of 
Lucy, and attending to all sorts of creature-com- 
forts ; but no such things did I do. I found I had 
come to a golden opportunity for reflection, and I 
would avail myself of it, and let Mrs. Bird and 
others take care of my affairs. How I wish I could 
set my mind in order with the same ease that I can 
my house; that that large branch of the mental 
household we call the affections could be revolution- 
ized, — changed in its various appropriations, with 
the same facility we do our furniture ! But it is not 
so. She who has occupied my first thoughts, my 



TAKING UP LIFE AGAIN 323 

most tender interest, because of her infirmity for so 
long time, still keeps possession of my heart, and 
blinds my eyes to other and now more important 
callings. But we must direct our thoughts into 
other channels, and appropriate our attention to 
other subjects than have hitherto engaged them; 
and accustom ourselves to the new duties that have 
devolved upon us, by this change in our hearts ; 
and, like others in like circumstances, in time we 
shall. But it can't be done in a minute. . . . 

Feb. 14, 1S37. 

Since Susan recovered from her indisposition we 
have had the interruption of a good many calls. 
I cannot say I have received any that were not 
grateful to me, for they seemed to be a sincere 
expression of kindness and sympathy ; and I have 
had every proof of the respect they had for the 
character of my departed daughter. My neighbors 
have all expressed regret that they could not do 
any thing for Anne Jean, who had, they said, "done 
so much for others." There is a pleasure in feeling 
that we are remembered in our trouble, and are 
the subjects of the good will of those around us. 
And it is particularly gratifying to know that one 
you loved and appreciated was likewise valued by 
your friends and neighbors. 

I have last week read aloud to your father " Von 
Raumer's England," as it was in 1835, during the 
change of the ministry, and the passage of the 
Reform Bill ; likewise, " Ion," — a tragedy, beauti- 
fully written, with a very poor plot. J am glad you 



324 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

have heard Mr. Emerson's lectures ; whatever cen- 
sures he may incur from those too gross for his 
refinement, he will always draw from a fountain of 
purity and accurate information. I had an excellent 
letter from him, and shall acknowledge it at my 
leisure. . . . The children are a constant comfort to 
me ; I don't know what I could do without them. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

To Mrs. Greene, Feb. 20, 1837. 

My dear Abby, — I got your letter and Mr. 
Greene's yesterday. They are a cordial to our 
wounded spirits. There is a melancholy pleasure 
in realizing that our friends make common cause 
with us in our affliction. I know that you are 
among the few who could know and appreciate my 
dear, departed daughter. The world had left no 
stain upon her heart. And I feel no doubt that she 
is enjoying the beatitude of " the pure in heart." 
Dear, holy child ! I wish I could obliterate the 
remembrance of the nine weeks of pain and suffer- 
ing which brought her to the relentless grave. 
But these seem indissolubly blended with her now, 
and add much to my suffering. Much as sorrow 
claims from the remembrance and sympathy of 
friends, I can truly say that mine have more than 
answered my expectation. All of them have ex- 
pressed their sense of our loss, and remembered our 
sorrow, and understood its magnitude. But, with 
all that reason, religion and the sympathy of friends 
can suggest, the heart will bleed for a time, and the 



ANNE JEAN'S CHARACTER 325 

shadow of the past will hang over our path, obscur- 
ing our views of the future. You have realized how 
sad it is to think that one of our best earthly treas- 
ures is gone from us, never more to be enjoyed in 
this world. And this is the impression strongest 
on our minds for a time. Reason and religion 
assure us that the Almighty can arrange our des- 
tiny much better for us than we can for ourselves ; 
and that all we call ours is but a loan that, when- 
ever called for, must be resigned with submission. 
May I prove able to learn this hard lesson; and at 
the same time make all those new appropriations 
of thoughts, feelings, interests, and affections, — to 
say nothing of time and companionship, — which 
have so long been bestowed upon her that is gone ! 
Few can know what Anne Jean was to me. But 
it ought to be, and is, an unspeakable consolation, 
that the earliest fruits of her youth were given to 
her Heavenly Father. She was never unmindful 
of her religious duties, and tried to make us all 
better than we are ; her life was fraught with much 
instruction to others. She accustomed my children 
to receive strong religious impressions from many 
passing events that otherwise might have been lost 
upon them, and had the most unlimited influence 
over them ; so much so, that I never knew them 
on any occasion to fail in attention to her requests, 
or in any duty which she had prescribed to them. 
When she had been sick about a fortnight, the chil- 
dren returned from Deertield. She often called 
them to her, and reminded them of little deficien- 
cies ; telling them that life was made up of trifles, 



326 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

the aggregate of which constituted duty ; and from 
time to time reminded them of what they must do 
to be acceptable to their Heavenly Father, as well 
as what they must do to be agreeable to their 
parents and friends. She said, if there was any 
thing good in her she was indebted to me for it ; 
but I shall always think she was more indebted to 
self-discipline and self-instruction than to anybody 
living. 

She had had and promised herself much pleasure 
in continued intercourse with you, if she had been 
destined to stay on earth. She was, indeed, a holy 
child, of a most stainless character and life. I don't 
know that I have anything to regret about her, but 
the burden her Heavenly Father saw fit to lay upon 
her, all of which, no doubt, tended to insure "the 
peaceable fruits of righteousness." During her 
long sickness, much as she suffered from the weari- 
ness of being unable to lie down, — - though she kept 
her bed nine weeks, — and from sleeplessness, — for 
she rarely slept two hours in the twenty-four, — her 
mind was perfectly unclouded and rational ; and she 
always had prayers and the Scriptures read to her 
by Susan daily. She enjoyed frequent conversation 
with Mr. Stearns, and his prayers ; was taken into 
the church, and had the Rite administered to her in 
her room, with Susan beside her. She told Mr. 
Stearns he must not expect the same degree of 
fervor from her that she felt when she had posses- 
sion of her full strength. She was willing always to 
be amused by reading or conversation, when her suf- 
ferings were not too great. After she appeared to be 



IN ANNE JEAN'S MEMORY 327 

struck with death, the day before she died, she re- 
peated Mrs. Hemans's little poem, "Christ's Agony 
in the Garden," which will give you a good idea of 
her reflections ; and the last verse of the " Sun- 
beam," by the same author. I try hard to divert 
my mind from the sad reflections which now fill it. 

I did not tell you that Sam's dear little child was 
buried at the same time that Anne was, from our 
church, and in the same grave ; that Mr. Stearns 
took the occasion to make an impression on the 
young people by an appropriate address, which 

S has copied for you, and it shall be sent by 

Mr. Dana, or some private opportunity. We shall 
be disappointed if we do not see Mr. Dana here. 

Give my love to all my nieces and nephews. I am 
much obliged to them for their letters. I shall save 
them and yourself some of Anne Jean's hair; and, 
if it were in my power, I would have you all pins or 
rings made. 

Many think to do justice to Anne Jean's character 
when they say, " she was very serious," or " very 
melancholy." But it was not so. The absence of 
all worldly and unholy desires left her at peace in 
her own mind, and enlarged greatly the means of 
intellectual enjoyment. She had uniform cheerful- 
ness ; and, had it not been for personal suffering, 
might be represented as unusually happy. 

A. J. Lyman. 

P. S. The children desire their love to yours. 
Poor Joseph writes as if he were inconsolable under 
his great affliction. If I go to see him in the spring, 



328 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I shall certainly get as far as Cincinnati. I have no 
school for my children, and feel the importance of 
devoting much time to them. They have an excel- 
lent French teacher, and seem to be improving 
very fast in that, as well as in household accom- 
plishments, which must always be important to a 
woman in any condition of life in this country. Tell 
Harriet the last work Anne Jean ever did was to 
make three garments for her grandmother, which 
she sent her. 

To her Son, Dec. 3, 1837. 

You must tell us how you enjoyed Thanksgiving, 
and if you have read the " Letters from Palmyra," 
which, upon a second reading, I think one of the 
most delightful books I have ever seen. There you 
see illustrated the dignity and interest of the female 
character in its true light : a beautiful representation 
of agreeable intercourse between young people ; a 
great deal of well-sustained conversation, of the most 
intellectual character, and well-calculated, by the 
refined moral sentiment contained therein, to im- 
prove and raise the standard of morals and religion. 

I am disgusted with the great commendation 
given to the "Pickwick Papers." I think it might 
have clone to publish one volume of such stuff ; but 
four is oppressive, and promotes a waste of time that 
is unpardonable, to say nothing of furnishing an ad- 
ditional quantity of vulgarity to contemplate, when 
there is already a superabundance in everybody's 
experience of every-day life. 



CRITICISM OF NOVELS 329 

My mother's criticism of novels often surprised 
and disappointed me ; but she came to enjoy heart- 
ily, in her later years, many books that she had not 
earlier appreciated. She was slow to change her 
early and accepted standards about many things : 
and her standard of novel-reading had been formed 
in those early days of Mrs. Radcliffe and Richard- 
son, and later, of Miss Edgeworth. For her, a novel 
must relate either to that high-toned and romantic 
cast of character and scenery and thrilling incident 
that removes one entirely from her own daily atmos- 
phere ; or it must have a distinct moral purpose un- 
derlying the story, as in Miss Edgeworth, and faith- 
fully carried out to the end. The modern novel 
with its natural description of commonplace people 
and events, its paucity of incident, its artistic deline- 
ation of persons and scenery and surroundings, its 
absence of all distinct moral purpose, except that 
which makes itself felt in all truthful portraiture of 
a mixed society, such as exists everywhere on the 
earth, — all this was for a long time a sealed book to 
her; and it was almost funnier to hear her talk 
about Dickens than to read him ; the solemnity with 
which she wondered how any one could spend hours 
reading about such low people, when nothing on 
earth would induce her to spend half an hour in 
their company, was amusing to the last degree. 

She used to be as much moved and excited over 
the characters in novels as though they had been 
real, living persons, and this gave an indescribable 
charm to one's reading aloud to her. I recall her 
getting very angry with Miss Edgeworth's "Helen," 



330 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

— out of all patience with her for not telling the 
whole truth, — till, just as I had got nearly through 
the second volume, she suddenly calmed down, a 
broad smile spread itself over her face, and she 
touched my arm and said, as if the idea had just 
come to her, " Well, Susanna, if Helen had not told 
or acted all those trumpery lies to save her lying 
friend, we never should have had these two very en- 
tertaining volumes." 

To Mrs. Greene she says in one of her letters : — ■ 

"As to Miss Martineau, her book is not without its 
good and pleasant things ; but it is full of mistakes, 
misrepresentations, and radicalism. It is an un- 
wieldy task to judge of every thing, and it is a want 
of modesty and good judgment to attempt it ; nor is 
it strange she should fail. But I would have ex- 
cused her for every thing but her slander of the 
women of our country, and her chapter on the 
'Rights of Women,' in no part of which do I sym- 
pathize with her. I desire no increase of power or 
responsibility. I have more than I can give a good 
account of this moment. 

" Give my love to the children and your sisters. I 
hope you will be able to read this hasty scrawl. In 
my other letter I have said everything you could de- 
sire concerning Mr. Peabody and his preaching. 

"Mrs. Rogers and family are well. They have 
bought the house they live in of Mr. Hall, fitted it 
up, and seem to enjoy it a great deal. They have a 
beautiful baby, called Henry Broomfield. 

"Mr. Huntoon was much beloved, both in Milton 



ON THE PRACTICE OF ECONOMY 331 

and Canton. I never heard aught but good of him, 
and hope your people are disposed to feel all they 
should for him. I presume he would not have left 
Milton had he not thought the western country a 
better position for the advancement of his family. 

"November 10. People are not happier or better 
for being rich. They are more composed and tran- 
quil under the circumstances indicated by Agar's 
prayer as good for all, ' Give me neither poverty 
nor riches,' &c. May you always realize the enjoy- 
ment which that state brings, and reflect with pleas- 
ure on the good you were enabled to do to others 
under more prosperous circumstances. I have al- 
ways lived under circumstances requiring close 
economy, by the exercise of which I have found as 
much satisfaction as I have observed others to gain 
in squandering a. great deal, because they happened 
to have the means. Now, the practice of economy 
lays the foundation of much virtue ; for it accustoms 
one to self-sacrificing habits, which leads to disinter- 
estedness in every variety of form. And we ought 
to be grateful tor any event in our destiny upon 
which by force we must erect a virtue, which virtue 
will prove a satisfaction while on earth, and a certain 
treasure when transferred to our heavenly abode. 

" Mr. Theodore Sedgwick died on the 7th. Though 
a bad politician, he was a most amiable domestic 
character, and a severe loss to his wife and daugh- 
ter, who arc now in Europe with Miss Sedgwick and 
Robert's family- They will pass this winter in 
Rome, unless this event determines them to return 
immediately. My cousin Emma Forbes and my 



332 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

sister are making me a visit, and send their love to 
you. 

" If Joseph is with you when this reaches you, he 
must read it. I hope you will see Mr. Harding's 
daughter Margaret, who is travelling with her 
father, for, though not beautiful, she is extremely 
lovely. Mr. Harding's family are highly creditable 
to him, — Ophelia and Margaret and William in par- 
ticular. Caroline I have not so much knowledge of, 
and the others are quite young. 

" You and I have each been the means of translat- 
ing a being of earth to an angel in heaven. It 
ought to be a continual incentive to us to make 
progress in the course which shall take us to the 
same abode." 

To Dr. Flint she writes about this time : — 
" A voice from the spirit-land is ever in my ear, 
strengthening the conviction of what I have lost, 
and urging me to consider the weight and magni- 
tude of the deprivation I have sustained. This, 
however, does not prevent me from estimating the 
many blessings that remain, nor of cultivating all 
those resources by which I am surrounded. Heaven 
knows the greatest motive which prompted me to 
desire the life of my daughter was, that she might 
illustrate by her example the beauty of virtue, and 
show how indissolubly holiness was connected with 
human happiness." And again : — 

May 6, 1838. 
My dear Austin, — I believe I told you that a 
year ago, when our Mr. Stearns left us, his place 



DEA TH OF MRS. BULFINCH $$$ 

was supplied by Mr. S. G. Bulfinch, one of the most 
angelic beings that I ever knew in that profession. 
He stayed, together with his young wife, many 
weeks with us. She has recently died in giving birth 
to her first child. This is the fourth case of a simi- 
lar kind which has occurred among my acquaint- 
ances since your little A. was born, and I mention it 
that A. may know how favored she has been among 
women ; for, common as it is for children to be born, 
so it is very common for mothers to lose their lives 
in this perilous enterprise. And I do think the 
gentlemen of your profession cannot give too scru- 
pulous a degree of attention to this subject ; for, 
while the world remains, this must continue to hap- 
pen, and must make a constant demand on the atten- 
tion of the profession. 

To Miss Forbes, Oct. 23, 1S38. 

My dear Emma,— I am ashamed to think that 
six weeks if not more have passed over my head 
without my having acknowledged your heart-warm- 
ing favor. I will not pretend to give you all the 
reasons why I have not; you must, whenever you 
can, come and see. Instead of two persons to per- 
form all the social and domestic duties that belong 
to this household, there is now but one; and she 
has been from May until the last two months a poor, 
infirm old woman, in constitutional habit at least 
eighty years old. Hut enough of that ; what is, can- 
not be helped, and should not be complained of. My 
lot has always been better, far better, than I de- 
served ; and if I have had treasures that have been 



334 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

withdrawn, it was because the Bestower of all good 
knew I had more than my portion, and far more 
than my deserts. . . . 

While Mr. Lyman was absent, I had our good 
Hannah Stearns to stay with me. She is about the 
best person in the world, — the most unvitiated and 
stainless ; with the most cultivation, high principle, 
and sweet temper. There is no way I could obtain 
so much satisfaction, if I could afford it, as to give 
her a handsome salary, and always have her to direct 
the improvement of my children. She is as good as 
an angel, and her conversation and example furnish 
a better means of instruction than the best of 
schools. . . . Your affectionate 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

To her Son, Dec. 5, 183S. 

... I am very glad to find, by the letter I got 
from you last night, that you had perfect confidence 
in your own strength and ability to answer to all 
the requisitions that could be made of you in your 
capacity. And I am glad you have. That is an 
unbecoming diffidence which leads people to dis- 
trust the faculties they have cultivated and exercised 
with success, as many years as you have your mer- 
cantile capacity. But there are no people in the 
world placed under such strong temptation to do 
wrong in every respect as travellers are, or who set 
so loose upon the restrictions of society and its 
institutions, conventional forms, and general stand- 
ards of rectitude. Being removed as they are from 
the circle of observing and interested friends, to 



TEMPTATIONS OF TRAVELERS 335 

whom they feel responsible, it is not strange they 
should more readily yield to every passing impulse, 
knowing they are not critically observed upon, and 
have no one to please but themselves. This, then, 
calls for the exercise of all your power over moral 
and religious sentiments ; and your real enjoyment 
will be in proportion to the ascendency they have 
in determining your course of conduct, for it is to 
those sources you must look for aid to sustain the 
true dignity of man. No one can be contented or 
happy without self-respect. Whatever honors or 
flattery he may receive from the world, — in them 
he will find no substitute for the want of it ; and, 
possessed of it, he will have a fountain of inward 
satisfaction which will make cither of them appear 
mean and worthless in the comparison. 

I must feel sorry that this tour did not occur one 
year later, for you know you and I were really to 
go to Niagara next summer, and Canada ; and then 
you could have carried in your imagination an idea 
of the greatest natural curiosity in the world, as, 
surely, that mighty cataract may be considered. 
There is much information about this country, that, 
when you are absent from it, and comparing another 
country and its various institutions and customs 
with it, you will feel the want of it. But you must 
remember liie Las just begun with you, and that 
your seed time is not over ; and, in proportion as 
you feel the want of knowledge, you will be assid- 
nous to learn. I am very sorry 1 had not Dc 
Tocqueville to give you to read on the passage and 
Dr. Humphrey's "Tour." De Tocqueville is a key 



336 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

with which to unlock a vast deal of information 
relative to America; and Humphrey's "Tour" a 
key to much intelligent observation upon whatever 
part of Great Britain you may be in. 

If you will go and see our cousins Forbes, in New 
York, they would carry you to Cousin George W. 
Murray's, with whom I passed nearly a year just 
before I was married ; and if you wished he would 
furnish you with letters to the Murray family in 
England, in case you were in London, or the neigh- 
borhood where they live. . . . 

You will have my constant remembrance and 
prayers during your absence, to say nothing of unre- 
mitted affection. You must keep some small, ruled 
books in your pocket, that you may fill them with 
a journal during your absence ; not forgetting to 
mention the history of all interesting people, and all 
interesting conversations and opinions. Be friendly 
and accessible to worthy people, and you will find 
them so to you. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

Again on Christmas day, 1838: ... "I was glad 
you got the letters and books before you left. I 
think they must have been an entertainment on the 
passage. I had another book I have just finished, 
that I wish I had given you, — ' Stevens's Travels 
in Egypt and Arabia Petrrca, and the Holy Land ; ' 
which has been very interesting to me, from the 
fact that it mentions every place spoken of in 
the Old and New Testaments, with quotations of 
the various predictions of their destiny, by the 



REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AND DEATH 337 

prophets of old. I have thought it was a pity you 
could not have taken (but perhaps you did) some 
letters to the remnants of your grandmother's old 
Murray family, especially Mr. Charles Murray, who 
has been a distinguished lawyer in London." 

Again, Jan. 20, 1839: ... " S. has gone to where 
property is of no value, but where the great and 
good of all climes and all ages, the friends, bene- 
factors, deliverers, ornaments of their race, — the 
patriarch, prophet, apostle, and martyr, the true 
heroes of public and still more of private life, — have 
gone ; illustrating, though unrecorded by man, ' the 
true beauty of holiness,' and all self-sacrificing 
virtue. How often must I visit in imagination that 
unknown country where I have been called to offer 
up a bright ornament, one whose countenance shed 
light upon our dwelling, and peace and strength 
through our hearts ! 

"Air. Brewer has heard of the death of his brother 
William, which is an unspeakably great affliction to 
his mother, Elizabeth, and more particularly his wife 
and infant child. He was a very good young man, 
and was successfully engaged in business, but has 
left nothing. When we hear of such deaths, we can 
only say, ' there they are gathered together, safe 
from every storm, triumphant over evil,' while we 
remain to do our Father's work on earth, — and let 
us do it. Such events should be our admonition, 
to keep our hearts with all diligence, to live in 
a state of preparation for what may take place early 
in life, and at all events must in the course of 
time. . . . 



338 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

"Mr. Barnard is new-furnishing his house, and is 
to be married on the 6th of next month. All things 
in connection with this affair look bright and un- 
clouded. Marriage may be accounted amongst the 
softening influences of our destiny, — where no prin- 
ciple is outraged and where there is harmony in the 
characters of the individuals concerned. It seems 
to have been the plan of Divine Wisdom to supply 
aliment to our best impulses by this connection, at 
the same time that it provides for our happiness. 
How dark would be the gloom of this valley of 
tears, were it not brightened by the sympathies 
of kindred feeling, as well as kindred ties ! " 

Again, Feb. 12 : ... "I think I mentioned in my 
last letter that Marshall Spring was almost gone 
with fever. He was not living at that moment. 
Your uncle suffered much through his protracted 
illness, which was nearly six weeks ; he is dread- 
fully disappointed and afflicted in his death. But 
I feel that Marshall is now safe from the storms 
that await our earthly abode ; that he has gone 
where there is much mercy and care for childhood 
and youth, and where there is every provision for 
the improvement of the young, far better than any 
we can enjoy here ; and at the same time they are 
removed from all temptation. . . . 

" Flattery is an incense to which all are vulnerable, 
of whatever sex or age ; and where there is an 
excess of it, it operates like a slow poison, drying 
up the fountain of all disinterested affections." 

In the last letter, my mother speaks with praise 
of Mr. Clay's powerful speech against abolition. 



ATTITUDE TOWARD SLAVE-HOLDING 339 

She was not an abolitionist. In all matters of re- 
form, and that especially, my Aunt Howe was far 
ahead of her. But she had never any other thought 
than that slavery was wrong ; her only question was 
about the method of getting rid of it. Her associa- 
tion with Southerners had been with that higher 
class, whose characters and manners were after her 
own heart, — gentle and humane people, who were 
really beloved by their servants. She had wept 
with Hannah Drayton and Mary Wayne over the 
execution of a noble man, one of their favorite ser- 
vants, who had led an insurrection in North Caro- 
lina ; but, had she lived in the full vigor of her fine 
powers a few years later, she must have seen that 
the good slaveholder whom she so much admired 
was the worst enemy to the extinction of the ac- 
cursed system. Her heart was large enough to feel 
for both oppressor and oppressed ; and, could she 
have known that the sorrows of both were ended, 
how deeply would she have rejoiced ! She never 
seemed to know any thing about prejudice towards 
color. In her childhood, Betsey Wallace, the last 
descendant of a slave family in Massachusetts, had 
been a faithful and attached domestic on Milton 
Hill, and she always spoke with warm emotion of 
the delight she had in creeping into Betsey's bed, 
and being hugged to her faithful bosom. Later, 
when Betsey married John Drew, another character 
in Milton, she delighted to visit them, and talk over 
the annals oi Milton Hill, and hear their old stories. 
I recall a time in Northampton, when, after a 
long, hot summer had come and gone, with many 



34° RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

visitors and abundant cares, — the stage-coach 
stopped, and an ancient colored woman, very large 
and of no comely appearance, alighted at our door. 
" Perhaps," she said, as she advanced to the door, 
"you've heerd tell of Billah ? If not, Judge Lyman 
will know who I am." My father was absent ; but 
my mother had "heerd tell" of Billah, and made 
her heartily welcome. In the old slave-days in 
Massachusetts, Billah, as a little girl, had been given 
to my Grandmother Lyman. But the days of eman- 
cipation for all had come before she grew up ; and 
she, being well fitted for a nurse, had lived a long 
and useful life, greatly esteemed and respected in 
her profession. She was now past seventy years ; 
had thought she should like to see what sort of man 
the Joseph of her childhood had become, and so she 
came. My father came home next day, and great 
was their pleasure in talking over their early days. 
She remained three days, having one of the best 
chambers for her resting-place, and the seat of honor, 
next my mother, at the table. When she had gone, 
some one remarked, that, though they thought 
Billah was excellent company, they should think it 
would have done very well to put her in the kitchen 
at meal-time. My mother's answer was, as usual, 
simple and conclusive, " If you were a very old 
woman, and had taken a long journey to see the 
friends of your childhood in whom you felt an 
interest, how would you like it, when meal-time 
came, to be put into another room to eat, with peo- 
ple whom you did not come to see, and in whom you 
felt no interest ? " 



EDWARD'S ARRIVAL IN ENGLAND 341 

To her S071, Feb. 27, 1839, 

We have just received your third letter, addressed 
to your father, and truly happy does it make us to 
hear from you. There is something in a perfect 
state of satisfaction, if it once takes possession of us 
(and it must be transient), that excludes every thing 
else, every other feeling and every other interest; 
indeed, it is as exclusive and as engrossing as the 
most profound grief. And, for the first few days 
after I heard from you, I was given up to this most 
joyous sentiment, this gladness of the heart ; and 
I asked for no diversion from it ; I felt liberated 
from a hard master, like one who had been in bond- 
age and is released. My oppressors were Fear and 
Anxiety ; for there had been much said of the dis- 
asters on the English coast, those which had 
occurred before your arrival. And when I think 
of those which have occurred since, I tremble to 
think what a narrow escape you have had. Your 
first letter was received by the "Great Western," 
instead of the unfortunate " Pennsylvania," three 
days subsequent to the second. This is the fifth 
letter I have written you, and I feel sorry that they 
had not come to hand before the " Liverpool " left. 
But such poor letters never get lost. 'Tis only such 
letters as Charles Sumner writes which get lost. 
By the way, he writes that lie has had an interview 
with you. This \ was pleased to hear. It must 
make you proud of your countrymen to encounter 
such men, and feel yourself identified with them in 
some measure. You might have told us who the 
two Bostonians were. Your letters were all directed 



342 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

as you desired, and sent to William C. Langley. In 
future, I shall number my letters so that you will 
know if you lose any. 

I believe my second letter told you of the death 
of Mrs. S. L. Hinckley, and my fourth of the death 
of Marshall Spring, and the birth of Mrs. Cleve- 
land's daughter, and Mr. Barnard's marriage. The 
latter seems to have been the means of a great 
increase of happiness in Mr. Barnard's house ; and 
I hear in various ways that there is great cheerful- 
ness and hilarity throughout the household since 
the coming of the Lady Eleanor. 

I had a letter from Joseph yesterday, in which 
he says he has given up having any thing to do with 
the railroad, and has arranged his affairs so that 
he can come here and pass next summer, which I 
shall enjoy very much ; for I have felt very much cut 
off from enjoying the presence of my children ever 
since I parted with my constant companion, my dear 
Anne Jean. But when I am entirely solitary, she is 
the constant companion of my imagination ; and it 
daily moistens my eyes with tears when I think 
what she would say to the various things happening 
around us. . . . Susan has written to you before now, 
I presume, and told you of all the dissipation she has 
been engaged in during the winter. 

To Mrs. Greene she wrote July 15, 1839: "Since 
you left, Susan has read aloud to me the first vol- 
ume of Sparks's ' Life of Washington,' ' Undine,' 
• — what nonsense ! — and stories connected with the 
times of Charles II., which are nearly as absurd as 



THE REV/ARDS OF VIRTUE 343 

'Undine.' In the intervals, Mr. Lyman pegs away 
upon Dwight's ' Life of Thomas Jefferson,' which, 
however, I am quite interested in, as it shows the 
history and origin of the Democratic party." 

To her Son, Feb. 10, 1S40. 

How can I help sitting down to converse with you 
upon the recurrence of a day so eventful to my hap- 
piness as that of your birth ! We can look but 
a very little way into the destiny of man ; and yet 
there are some immutable truths connected with it 
which never fail, and which I have perfect faith in. 
I am sure that rectitude always gives power, and 
that that power consolidates and helps to maintain 
virtue, and that the uniform reward of active virtue 
is happiness, contentment, self-approbation. These 
are results from causes which I do feel sure of; 
they are within our own control. They may not 
protect us from sickness, misfortune, or death, but 
will leave us exempted from self-reproach, and pre- 
serve within us that peace of mind which outward 
circumstances cannot impair. 

We have had an extremely cold winter, but it is 
now mild and comfortable. We have had two feet 
of snow on a level for the last eight weeks. But 
our house (that part which we use) lias been warm, 
and we have had nothing to complain of. Your 
father remains undisturbed and perfectly tranquil 
by the fire-side for the most part of the time. Susan 
divides the time between "books and work and 
healthful play." Miss Bangs is now making her a 
visit, — a young lady whom she went to school with 



344 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

at Mr. Emerson's. She lives in Springfield ; and, 
though not at all handsome, is agreeable and intelli- 
gent, and we all like her much. Catherine is doing 
very well with Miss Stearns, and we have reason to 
think, from what Miss S. writes, that she is rapidly 
improving. I intend that she shall remain with 
Miss Stearns as long as she goes to any school ; 
for she is fond of Miss S. and her sister, and seems 
very happy with them. 

Before this time, you have received newspapers 
giving the dreadful account of the loss of the 
steamer " Lexington," with many valuable lives ; 
amongst others Dr. Follen. This has affected the 
universal sympathies of the community. 

Your affectionate Mother. 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, March 10, 1840. 

My dear Abby, — We have this day had a letter 
from Edward, written the day following that in 
which he says his minority is at an end, and here- 
after he is the only responsible person for his own 
debts, as well as actions. He says his birthday was 
distinguished as the wedding-day of Queen Victoria, 
and the pageantry attending the occasion was very 
amusing and agreeable to all in the neighborhood 
of it. I do not know what the poor youth is to 
do with himself, now that he is become his own 
master, for there never could be a worse time to 
commence business. But he does not take despond- 
ing views of life, and we ought not to. . . . 

Perhaps you have seen in the Boston papers that 



SUSPECTED OF TRANSCENDENTALISM 345 

we have given Mr. J. S. Dwight, of Boston, a call 
to settle over our religious society. He is quite 
a good preacher, but under the censure of Tran- 
scendentalism, which, as I cannot find out exactly 
what it means, does not disturb me very much ; and 
Mr. Stearns said I was a good deal transcendental 
myself. That may account for my adaptation to 
him, or rather his to me. If people make the Script- 
ures their standard, as I understand it, and explain 
it accordingly, I shall not quarrel about the shades 
of difference that are only perceptible to critics. 

I believe is as much in the suds with his 

people as ever. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

What is so excellent as strict relations of amity, when they spring 
from this deep root ? The sufficient reply to the sceptic, who doubts 
the power and the furniture of man, is in the possibility of that joyful 
intercourse with persons, which makes the faith and practice of all 
reasonable men. I know nothing which life has to offer so satisfying 
as the profound good understanding which can subsist, after much 
exchange of good offices, between two virtuous persons, each of 
whom is sure of himself and sure of his friend. — Emerson's Essay 
on Character. 

NOTHING could be more marked in my mother's 
character than the heartiness of her relations 
to all around her. As she moved about her house 
engaged in domestic avocations, or sat near the 
window or front door with her work-basket, she 
made many sudden rushes to catch the eye or ear 
of some friend passing. The day did not have 
its fill for her, if she had not had her crack with 
Judge Huntington, her croon with Mrs. Whitmarsh, 
her hailing of Dr. Flint to inquire after some pa- 
tient, or David Lee Child, to get some light on his- 
tory or politics. Then she would subside into an 
absent day-dream, like her dear father before her; 
smiles flitted over her fine face ; half-formed words 
rose to her lips ; nods of welcome or recognition, in 
imagination, as she plied her needle busily, uncon- 
scious of any but invisible presences. I had never 



HABIT OF DA Y-DREAMING 347 

known till I received the letter from my cousin, 
Estes Howe, at the beginning of this volume, that 
our grandfather had this same trick of absent- 
mindedness, and always wondered where my mother 
and Aunt Howe got it. It was a very marked trait 
in both of them, but as different in its manifesta- 
tions as their characters were different. 

My mother had a special delight in the society of 
Martha Cochran, one of those rare souls who im- 
press a whole village with a sense of something 
heroic and unusual, both in the mind and character, 
— and yet 

" A creature not too bright or good, 
For human nature's daily food." 

One morning Martha passed the parlor window, 
and paused as usual for her neighborly chat. Great 
was her surprise and amusement to find that it was 
impossible to attract Mrs. Lyman's attention ; as, 
though she was sweeping as usual at that hour in 
the morning, her mind was far distant, and the 
illumination of her features and movement of her 
lips proved that she was in animated conversation 
with somebody. " It seems to me," said Martha, 
coming close to the window, "that we are having 
very tine times with some one." "Oh, Martha, is 
that you?" said my mother, waking with a start 
from her day-dream. " Well, my dear, I went to 
Springfield yesterday, and passed the day with 
Betsey Howard; and I do assure you, it is worth 
a guinea a minute to see Betsey." Judging from 
the recollections of Mrs. Howard's daughters, the 
conversation of the friends was full of the heartiest 



348 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

pleasure ; although, as Sophia writes me, to try and 
report it, is like uncorking a second time the bottle 
of champagne, the day after the festival. 

At Deerfield lived old Dr. Willard, the blind 
clergyman, and his wife ; life-time friends of my 
mother, who had known them in Hingham in her 
youth. The fact that Dr. Willard was one of the 
few clergymen of the liberal faith who lived within 
twenty miles of Northampton, for many years before 
our Unitarian society was formed, often attracted 
my father and mother to Deerfield in the early 
days of their married life. Dr. Willard was a 
saintly man, who bore his life of privation and 
blindness with angelic patience, and he was always 
an honored guest at our house as long as he lived. 
At one time when he came to pass a week, my 
mother thought to add to the circle of his enjoy- 
ments by going with him to Springfield to attend 
a Unitarian convention, and pass two days with 
their common friend, Mrs. Howard. The visit was 
a charming one ; all combined to fill the heart of 
the blind man with pleasure. Especially the fresh 
voices of the little Howards charmed his ear, and 
brought visions of happy, affectionate childhood to 
his mental vision. Dr. Willard was slow in his 
movements, and when, the evening before his de- 
parture, he announced that he must start at an 
early hour next morning, in order to officiate at 
a christening in Deerfield, where he had promised 
to be present, the whole family felt that they must 
aid in speeding the parting guest. When the early 
breakfast was over, and his companion and the 



ON SECOND MARRIAGES 349 

stage waiting, Dr. Willard, moving very slowly, 
expressed in quaint and measured terms his grati- 
tude for the hospitality that had been shown to him ; 
and then said to Mrs. Howard, "The tenure of life 
is short ; before I go, I should like to kiss every 
one of your sweet girls." The girls all hung back, 
and looked about as if to take flight. Mrs. Howard 
was in despair, not wishing to check the old man's 
wishes in any way. But my mother was equal to 
the occasion ; seizing a hand of each reluctant child, 
she placed it in Dr. Willard's, then inserted her own 
cheek between him and the child, bobbing back and 
forth, and saying each time, " This is Lucinda, Dr. 
Willard; this is Sophia; this is Elizabeth; this is 
Mary ; this is Sarah ; and this is little Emily. Now 
you've kissed all the sweet girls, Dr. Willard ; 
good-by." And she hustled him off, and returned 
to the house to find the whole family exploding 
with laughter. 

My mother and Mrs. Howard were both second 
wives ; and Sophia recalls a conversation between 
them, that amused her very much on this account. 
Mrs. Howard was relating to my mother the fact 
that some friend was about to marry his third wife, 
which she considered a great enormity. "Why, 
Betsey," said my mother soothingly, "if a man's 
house burns down, should he not build it up again ? 
It isn't in the nature of things for a man to live 
without a home." "Well, Mrs. Lyman," said Mrs. 
Howard, "when a man's house has burned down 
twice, I should say it was an indication of Provi- 
dence that he had better give up, and go to board." 



35° RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Sophia Howard writes: "It would be impossible 
for any one to report the brilliant sparkling of the 
conversation of those two women. Young as we 
were, we enjoyed listening to it beyond everything, 
and could appreciate the wit and humor of it. Few 
ever felt your mother's tenderness and sympathy, 
as my mother and her children did. I well remem- 
ber when I was but a little child, only nine years 
old, the interest she took in my having my eye 
operated on for strabismus. She told me in confi- 
dence, that, if I would have it done, I should make 
a visit to her, in Northampton. I think that first 
led me to be a thorn in my mother's side, till the 
operation was performed. I shall never forget that 
visit. I never enjoyed anything so much in my 
life. C. was six or seven years older than I, which 
at that time seemed an immense difference, so that 
I was almost crazy with delight to be treated as 
a companion to her. I went to a sewing society, 
and I could not possibly have as much pleasure or 
pride now in being presented at the Court of St. 
James, as I had then. One Sunday, just as we 
were getting ready for church, the fire-bells rang, 
and C. hinted to me privately that we would slip off 
to the fire, which we did instead of attending the 
sanctuary. Mr. Child was at your house to dinner, 
and I remember how crushed I was, when your 
mother satirically introduced us to him as the ' fire 
worshippers.' I had no idea that the stigma would 
not cling to me for life. That was the only reproof 
we received for what was then considered a most 
improper thing. Even in those days a good deal 



MA R THA COCHRAN'S " CARD" 351 

of the puritanical observance of Sunday was pre- 
served ; and, at that time, Mr. Rufus Ellis was preach- 
ing as a candidate at N., and it was thought even the 
youngest ought to rejoice in such preaching." 

I remember, one fine, clear, winter day, when I 
had been out with my mother to make some visits. 
Many of our neighbors had flitted to Boston for a few 
weeks to enjoy lectures and concerts and other city 
diversions. Among these, Martha Cochran had 
been absent some weeks, and was not expected 
home for another month, we had been told. Re- 
turning from our outing, on opening the parlor-door 
a singular sight met our astonished eyes. Every 
article of furniture had been transformed by some 
new and grotesque combination, and the hearth 
brush, arrayed in Mrs. Lyman's best cap and shawl, 
was seated in a rocking-chair on top of the piano, 
assiduously darning a stocking. One glance round 
the room was enough for my mother, and then she 
fell all in a heap into a chair, unable to speak for 
some moments for laughing. " Martha Cochran," 
she gasped at last, swaying to and fro ; "don't tell 
me she has not got home from Boston, for I know 
better. This is her card." And, sure enough, this 
was the case. 

She was a great believer in the Sewing Circle, 
which met from house to house, to sew for the poor, 
and which accomplished a great deal in the winter 
time. Our sewing circle had been gathered and in- 
spired by our dear Airs. Hall, our first minister's 
wife, whose name and memory were especially dear 
to our church, long after she had left us. Twenty 



352 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

years after she had gone, during a period of dis- 
couagement there was talk of disbanding the sew- 
ing society, when my mother rose in the meeting, 
and with a voice full of tenderness, and eyes that 
shone through tears, she said only, " My friends, 
this sewing society was formed by Mrs. Hall ! " It 
was enough ; nobody thought of giving it up after 
that. 

"Don't tell me any thing about gossip," she 
would say, when people complained of sewing circles, 
as the places for it. " Scandal is a dreadful thing, 
but gossip is as necessary as the air we breathe ; the 
world could not get on without it a minute. I went 
to the sewing society the other day. There sat in 
the corner Mrs. S. and Mrs. C. It did not seem to 
me they said a great deal ; it all amounted to noth- 
ing. But Mrs. S. told Mrs. C. what a dreadful 
smoky chimney she had, and how her eyes were 
almost out of her head in consequence, and she 
could not work any buttonholes. Mrs. W., over- 
hearing the conversation, here came in with a recipe 
for the smoking chimney, and also took home the 
buttonholes to finish. Mrs. B. told Mrs. A., that 
she expected friends from Boston next week, and 
Sally Ann, her maid-of-all-works, too feeble for any 
thing, and she all tired out herself. Mrs. A. crosses 
the room and repeats it all to Mrs. L. Mrs. L. at 
once proposes that her Betsey should go to Mrs. B.'s 
for the month she will be absent at Saratoga ; and 
so that difficulty was cleared up. And," said my 
mother, " that is what half the gossip at the sewing 
circle amounts to, and I think it amounts -to bringing 



GOSSIP NOT SCANDAL 353 

about as many good results as some other things." 
When she herself appeared, a bevy of young girls 
were excited to mirthfulness. There was one old 
lady, of very quaint manners and speech, whom the 
young people liked to have drawn out, and nobody 
could do it but Mrs. Lyman. "Oh, there she comes," 
they would say ; "do let us get her into that corner, 
where Mrs. A. sits, and then won't there be fun?" 
And fun there was ! No one who heard, will ever 
forget those talks. 

The amount of plain speaking that people will 
bear from one whose good will is perfect is always 
an amazement to those accustomed to circumlocu- 
tion. I recall the things I have heard my mother 
say to others, which at the time astonished me from 
their directness, and yet I know they rarely gave 
offence ; for the persons thus addressed refer to 
them now with an amount of pleasure and gratitude, 
that is unmistakable. " I came to her one day," said 
a friend, "with a list of troubles and grievances, for 
which I wanted her sympathy. She heard me very 
patiently, but when I was all through, she only said, 
with intensity, ' Oh, Mrs. P., gild your lot with con- 
tentment ! ' I saw that was all she had to say, so I 
went home ; but you may depend, I did not forget 
it." "M., can you tell me what is the reason," she 
said one day to a young girl, "that when your family 
are in a peck of trouble, that always appears to be 
the signal for you to abdicate? Oh, don't do it, 
child, pray don't ! The next time the family coach 
gets into a rut, you take right hold, and see if you 
can't move it if it's only an inch." 



354 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I must relate here, as an illustration of her good- 
natured plain speaking, a little scene of which it is 
hard to convey the intense humor, and which I could 
not now print, if both the dear friends to whom it 
refers had not gone to join my mother, whom they 
both loved, in the eternal home. 

My mother had the greatest affection for both 
David Lee Child, and his wife, the gifted Lydia 
Maria. But she was often much tried with the 
amount of time, hard labor, and money, which Mr. 
Child expended on schemes that never succeeded, 
and with his going from one failure to another with 
undaunted enthusiasm. At one time, it was the 
Morns multicaiilis ; at another, it was Beet Sugar. 
For years he toiled upon a farm that was a worthless 
swamp when he bought it, and, as my mother truly 
said, he made a hundred blades of grass grow where 
one grew before. But at an awful expense of bone 
and sinew, of life and health and money — and much 
anxiety to his dear, devoted wife, whom he loved sin- 
cerely and fully believed he should make rich. 

One day, Mrs. Child came in to spend a quiet 
afternoon with my mother. They sat with their 
sewing and knitting at the west window. It was a 
hot afternoon. No sounds disturbed the still atmos- 
phere. My friend Mrs. Griffiths Morgan and I sat in 
the hall near the open door. There had been a long 
silence, when we heard my mother say, " Mrs. Child, 
can you tell me what is the last thing that your hus- 
band is engaged in ? " An amused smile played 
over Mrs. Child's face. "Yes! Mrs. Lyman, he is 
carting stone for the new railroad." " O-o-h ! " said 



EXAMPLES OF PLAIN SPEAKING 355 

my mother. Another pause : then, " Mrs. Child, 
how much do you suppose your husband loses on 
every load of stone he carts to the railroad ? " An- 
other amused look on the dear Lydia Maria's face, 
and she answered cheerily, " Well, Mrs. Lyman, as 
nearly as I can compute it, he must lose about ten 
cents on every load." "Oh — well — now — Mrs. 
Child," said my mother, in the bravest and most 
cheerful tones, "//"your husband has got hold of any 
innocent occupation, by which he only loses ten cents 
on a load, for Jicaveris sake, encourage him in it/" 

I turned to look at my friend Mrs. Morgan, but 
she had fled up stairs to hide her ringing laughter. 

"Abdication " had a peculiar meaning on her lips, 
and was one of her seven deadly sins, as "nerves" 
were another. She had little patience with people 
who backed clown in emergencies, and considered 
it her bounden duty to bear her testimony, and 
stiffen them up a little. She never had to go far 
to find an illustration "to point her moral and adorn 
her tale." Some good neighbor's example would 
instantly come to mind. " Look over the way at 
my neighbor Hunt's front yard," she would say ; 
"see that splendid hydrangea, that elegant smoke- 
bush, that buckthorn hedge, all in the most perfect 
order, and all kept so by her own hands. Always 
she lias sickness, sorrow, death ; at every turn, 
something sad and unexpected. i>ut who ever 
dreamed of Mrs. Hunt's abdicating? She couldn't 
do it." 

She went to see a young and worrying mother 



356 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

one day, whose health was delicate. " Oh, A., now 
you really think, my dear, that you've got to the 
'swellings of Jordan ; ' but you are greatly mistaken. 
Mrs. Cephas Clapp got there years ago, but she 
wouldn't stay. Never' s had a well day these twenty 
years and more ; but has just kept round and done 
what she could, and kept her family a-going. Never 
once thought of abdicating, though I can't see why 
she didn't. Now tell me is there really any way 
you can spend your youth and middle life, that pays 
half so well as bearing and rearing children ? " 

And yet, though she would sometimes give 
strength, where sympathy was wanted, — it was only 
where her clear moral insight told her that this was 
best, and not from any lack of sympathy. Xo need 
for her to sing as she did every Sunday night, 

Oh, give me tears for other's woes," 

for her eyes were always rivers of tears, when the 
real sorrow of any one was called to her notice ; and 
at the same time that she could exhort a young 
mother not to believe that she had reached "the 
swellings of Jordan," she would send her carriage 
to take her out for an afternoon's drive, and bring 
home the children to entertain while she had gone. 
A case of seduction occurred in our village, and 
though the parties were afterwards married, and led 
an irreproachable life together, yet the wife always 
seemed under a cloud, a patient, but very sad 
woman. My mother visited her frequently, and 
often took me, with a basket of flowers or fruit, 
when she went. I used to wonder how any one 



ENERGETIC COUNSELING 357 

who had such a pretty baby could be so sad. I 
recall my mother's taking the child on her lap, and 
saying, " Why, Z., what a splendid head this child 
has ! " and then she enumerated his phrenological 
developments, and prophesied his future. No smile 
on the face of baby's mother ! " See here, Z.," said 
she, "this child may grow up to be an honor and 
a blessing to the community ; but not unless you 
do your whole duty by him ; and you can't do your 
whole duty, if you keep in this low-spirited frame 
of mind." The beautiful boy died at four years; 
and by the coffin, with the poor mother's hand in 
hers, no one wept more bitterly than she did. 

She was called in by a young friend one day, to 
look at her elegant wedding trousseau. When all 
had been shown, she turned to B. and said, " Well, 
B., whatever else you do don't turn into a clothes- 
horse, my dear. Don't you know, if it was to pur- 
chase your salvation, you could not wear more than 
one of those gowns at a time ? " 

To another, she said, " Oh, I see what you are 
after. Creature comforts ! those are what engage 
your attention. Oh, how you do hate to eat 'humble 
pie;' but it's good for you, — you'll tell me so some 
day.'' 

"('., you think it does not comport with your 
dignity, to take such a step ! Well, your dignity 
isn't worth two pins, if you have got to spend your 
life taking care of it, and nursing it up. If it can't 
take care of itself, it might as well die a natural 
death." 

She was a woman of convictions, and this made 



353 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

her act with a decision and certainty that could not 
be expected always to fall in with the equally cher- 
ished views of others. One day she had had a little 
breeze with Judge Huntington. She had been 
warm and unreasonable, and that had perhaps made 
him cold and hard. Next day she was sitting, by 
the door sewing, while I read aloud to her, — when 
Judge H.'s little boy came up the step and handed 
her a small basket covered with green leaves. On 
opening it, we found it contained several small 
green melons with rough rinds ; and underneath 
was an envelope containing a beautiful little poem. 
I have looked in vain among her papers for the 
verses, which she kept long and carefully ; but they 
have disappeared. If I remember rightly, in the 
first verse he described the little melon, so hard 
and green and rough outside, so luscious within. 
Then he begged his old friend to take the trouble 
to pierce that hard outside, and find the imprisoned 
sweetness. And, in his last verse, he asked her to 
take the same pains to get at a heart that had noth- 
ing in it but grateful affection for her, however 
appearances might seem to the contrary. Her eyes 
filled with tears as she read the verses, but she said 
nothing. She slowly took out the little melons and 
laid them in a dish, then went to the closet and 
brought fruit-knives and plates for me and for her- 
self. " The melons are good," she said reflectively, 
as she finished eating them; "but the man's heart 
who sent these melons is good as gold! " 

She had a whole world of pathos and tenderness 
\n her composition, which the casual visitor knew 



JUDGING BY EX TERN A LS 359 

nothing of. Usually strong, brave, cheerful, and 
full of life, one could hardly imagine, who did not 
know her well, how gentle and tender became the 
tones of her voice when deeply moved. And, oh, 
the warmth of those enfolding arms, the cordiality 
of her welcome to any friend from whom she had 
been parted ! And, if in conversation with others 
she heard any discussion of character that dwelt on 
externals, and did not enter into the heights and 
depths of the being, she became either indignant or 
pathetic in her defence of the absent one, and some- 
times both. I recall a time when a knot of young 
girls were talking of an unfashionable bonnet, worn 
by a woman of genius. My mother had a great love 
and admiration for the friend in question ; she knew 
also that a rigid economy, growing out of the high- 
est philanthropy, and no want of taste, was the 
cause of the objectionable bonnet ; and she was 
sorely tried by the playful, but not ill-natured, 
raillery. Coming near to the group of young peo- 
ple, with a book in her hand and with tears filling 
her eyes, she read, with much emotion, a fine pas- 
sage from "Philothea." Every face was turned to 
hers with sympathetic emotion. "Girls," she said, 
when she had finished, " never again speak of what 
that woman wears on the outside of her head ; think 
only of what she carries in the inside." 

I think nothing was quite unbearable to her in 
character but the spirit of a cynic. To that she 
gave no quarter. It seemed to her to cover the 
earth with a pall, and shut out heaven ; it was a 
real pestilence, and must be avoided as such ; and, 



360 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

in selecting homes and resting-places and influences 
for her children, or the young people under her 
charge, she was more careful to avoid that evil than 
she was to guard them against any other mischance. 
She was a genuine optimist in regard to all chil- 
dren. A firm believer in the effects of race, blood, 
and family inheritance, no modern reader of Darwin 
or Wallace had a stronger faith in reproduction of 
types and alternate generation than she had ; and a 
large charity, growing out of her generous philoso- 
phy of life, surrounded all the young she came in 
contact with, with hopes rather than fears. " I am 
sure those children will grow up good," she said one 
day to some very troublesome little folks, " because 
their father and mother are the very salt of the 
earth, their grandparents are excellent, and all 
their uncles and aunts were superior." "Well, but, 
Mrs. Lyman," said her hearer, "you were just as 

sure the children would turn out well, and they 

did not have good parents or good grandparents." 
" Oh, well, my dear, when you've lived as long as I 
have, you will see that bad parents and grandparents 
are very apt to serve as a learning to children ! 
And, then, who knows but they take after some 
good ancestor farther back ? For it is simply 
impossible that any family should be without good 
ancestors as well as bad ones, if they can only go 
back far enough." And when it was reported to her 
that one of these families, of whom she had expected 
the best things, had actually grown up very dull 
people, she said : " Now, if you had known the folks 
they came from, you would never be discouraged. 



SACRIFICING HOUSEHOLD DETAILS 361 

Those are people of very late development. None 
of them ever comes to any thing till they are past 
thirty ; and then they loom up splendidly, and carry 
all before them." 

And was there no offset to her life of hospitality, 
her generous giving, her devotion to large and uni- 
versal interests ? Yes, there was ; and we shall all 
judge of it according to each one's natural temper- 
ament and proclivity. It is scarcely possible to be 
both large and small at the same time ; to give one's 
mind to details at the same time that one compasses 
principles. In a few well-ordered and harmonious 
lives, nothing seems too great, nothing seems too 
small, for doing earnestly and well. And in all 
family life, a certain attention to detail is important, 
to insure that perfect working of the whole machin- 
ery that makes it move with ease and grace. My 
mother's life seemed made up of emergency and 
opportunity, and her immense physical strength 
enabled her to meet both, and to be equal to them ; 
to carry by main force what would have been better 
accomplished by system and order. But she never 
considered herself a fine housekeeper, and for the 
most exquisite housekeeping she had no respect, 
considering that too much was sacrificed to it. She 
had, however, a thorough appreciation for a style 
of housekeeping greatly superior to her own ; but 
not being able to accomplish it, along with the other 
purposes of her existence, she did not allow herself 
to be made unhappy by it. It would not be well for 
all families to live the life of free and unrestricted 
hospitality that ours did ; but, if there were one 



362 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

such family life in every village, any dereliction in 
the details of that life might well be forgiven, for the 
large-hearted influence it must necessarily exert. 

My mother was frequently behind-hand in her 
household arrangements ; and it recalls to me now 
the simplicity of forty years ago, that her mistakes 
were so frequently rectified by kind neighbors and 
friends. Now, when guests arrive suddenly and un- 
expectedly, — if they ever do such things nowadays, 
— the family larder can easily be replenished from 
provision-stores and restaurants ; but in her day 
that was not possible. If a person had neglected 
to take a large amount of provision from the 
butcher's cart in his morning rounds, or to make 
up a large oven full of various breads and cakes and 
pies, there was no way later in the day to supply 
the deficiency, — money could not do it, but love 
could and did very often. That state of society 
brought about a very frequent interchange of kindly 
offices in a neighborhood, such as are no longer 
needed, when a family have only to telegraph to 
Boston to have their evening's material entertain- 
ment sent up in four hours. 

One day, my father brought home Judge Shaw 
at twelve o'clock, with some ladies, to dine ; our 
dinner hour being one o'clock. My mother hastened 
out of the parlor after cordially receiving her guests, 
to see what addition could be made to her every-day 
dinner. A half hour later, my brother Sam's little 
boy came bearing a large, covered kettle of mock- 
turtle soup, which his mother had sent, having heard 
accidentally of the unexpected company. Now, our 



PROVIDING FOR COMPANY 363 

sister Almira was one of the most beautiful of house- 
keepers ; one of those persons who bring about 
wonderful results without the least fuss or noise, 
who was always ready for any occasion, whose rec- 
ipes always came out well, and who, to use my 
mother's expression, " knew every rope in the ship." 
So that the sight of a kettle of sister A.'s soup 
roused her enthusiasm to the highest pitch on this 
occasion, when she felt her own delinquencies 
severely. " Don't tell me," said she, as she ladled 
up the thick and steaming liquid, with the golden 
balls floating in it, into a large tureen, " don't tell me 
that the Chief Justice ever ate any such soup as this 
in Boston. Because I know better. There's nobody 
but your sister Almira that can make it!" In the 
same manner, she was one day relieved of another 
dilemma. There were, certainly, the kindest people 
in Northampton, then, that ever lived. It had been 
one of the hottest of summer days, and a tea-party 
of distinguished strangers were expected in the even- 
ing, but there was such a succession of transient 
calls of various importance on every member of the 
family, that the evening drew on, and our prepara- 
tions for the supper were most incomplete. The 
dear woman encouraged us all, that we should see 
that everything would come out right, if we had 
only faith as a grain of mustard seed; - and she had 
hardly said the word, when, looking from the win- 
dow, one friend after another walked in. " Didn't 
I tell you, girls," called out my mother triumphantly. 
"Now, see here ; here is Mrs. Whitmarsh has sent 
me an elegant basket of fruit and flowers ; and Mrs. 



364 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Dikeman such rusk as nobody can make but she ; 
and, as true as you live, if there isn't Mrs. Hunt 
bringing over a great basket of Seckel pears ! Now, 
don't tell me that they ever have any better things 
at the Boston parties!" She frequently informed 
us that she did not think the Chief Justice or Judge 
Wilde ever tasted any such dinners or had such 
suppers at Mr. David Sears's house, or Harrison 
Gray Otis's ; and we were not to tell her they had. 
This we considered a pleasing fiction, — only another 
way of expressing her pleasure at our efforts, and 
the kindness of neighbors. It was a part of that 
healthy delight she took in every thing. On the 
occasion in question, she called out jovially, "And 
now, girls, let us all go to i?£Y/-ford shire [that meant 
we were all to lie down and rest], for we shall sail 
before the wind." And, suiting the action to the 
word, she disappeared within the library door with 
the motion of a ship with all sails set. 

One day, a friend came in, who had just come 
from a visit to Mrs. , who was one of the "ex- 
quisite housekeepers." She began to tell my mother 
about the perfect condition of that house from gar- 
ret to cellar, and rang the changes on the bright- 
ness of the brasses, the admirable shine of the 
glass and silver, the entire absence of dust on every 
carpet. My mother stood it just as long as she 
could, though fidgeting uneasily in her chair. Then 
she exclaimed, U I think Mrs. is the dirtiest per- 
son I ever saw in my life!" "Oh, Mrs. Lyman, 
what can you mean?" said the friend. "What 
I say is true," said my mother, bringing down her 



ON " EXQUISITE HOUSEKEEPERS" 365 

hand with much force on the table. "From the 
rising of the sun to the going down of the same, 
that woman's mind is on dirt. She thinks dirt, sees 
dirt, is fighting dirt, the livelong day. Now I would 
much rather see more of it on her carpet, and less 
of it on her mind." 

I recall as one of the special social enjoyments 
of my father and mother, the coming of Baron 
Roenne (the Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs) 
to Northampton, who passed the greater part of 
two years there, from 1838 to 1840. He was a 
person of most genial temper and charming conver- 
sational powers, and was warmly attached to my 
father. In a letter t)f his that lies beside me, writ- 
ten three years later to my father, he says : " My 
dear Judge, there will be no more war." His hope 
must have given him that certainty, and added to 
my father's hopes. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Mrs Lyma,7i to Miss C. Rabbins, Northampton, Jul) 20, 1840. 

1WTY dear Catherine, — . . . Only think how 
* *■ dreadful it is ? We attended the funeral of 
Mrs. James Fowler last Saturday ; a more touching 
grief I never witnessed than her husband and chil- 
dren manifested. She had had two attacks before 
the last, and seemed to be expecting that a third 
would take her off. Her husband had just got for 
her a beautiful easy carriage and fine pair of horses ; 
and the day before the attack rode forty miles with 
her ; and she said she felt so well that day, that she 
was encouraged to believe she would recover. She 
was holding a most animated discussion with 
Samuel in the evening, just after tea, on a meta- 
physical subject, which had interested his mind 
deeply ; and her part in it he is able to write down, 
together with many excellent opinions she enter- 
tained on various subjects which he was in the 
habit of conversing with her upon. She was speech- 
less from the time of the attack ; but when asked 
if she heard them, and realized what was going on, 
she moved her head in assent, to signify that she 
did ; and lived in that state five days. The two 
young children are beautiful specimens of a tine 
education. They are unlike S. in being graceful 



MRS. FOWLER'S CHARACTER 3^7 

and handsome. A poor little dwarf of Dr. At- 
water's, whom she had taken great interest in al- 
ways, and supported entirely, she had taken home 
the last year of her life ; and, whenever she was 
more unwell than common, she commended him to 
the watchful care and tenderness of the different 
members of the family, though at those times she 
never mentioned her own children. She had never 
seemed to reflect that he was no decoration to their 
beautiful establishment, but was always saying how 
good he was, and how useful his example was to 
her children. There certainly is something in this 
character which transcends all written accounts of 
human nature. An entire subjugation of self, and 
of all pride and ambition, to the interests of the 
unfortunate. What a triumph over the world, its 
allurements and temptations, was here exhibited ! 
Hers was a piety acted out, and talked but little 
about. Her husband seemed to consider her as his 
privy counsellor, whose judgment he could not live 
without, as well as the best object of his affections. 
There certainly is none other on earth to fill her 
place to him. Mr. Lyman says I said the same 
about Mrs. Hall. My life consists of contrasts, you 
know. Yesterday morning, Mr. Lyman informed 
me that he had invited Judge Betts and wife and 
daughters to pass the evening, together with Judge 
Dewey and Family and the necessary appendages, 
and the Henry Rice family, and the Redwood Fisher 
family ; they made a part}' of over fifty, that were 
entertained here last evening. All but me ap- 
peared to have a very entertaining and agreeable 



368 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

time ; and I was tired to death before they came. 
Mrs. Watson and her cousins, Judge Mellen's 
daughters, were of the party. Mrs. Watson is very 
much liked here, and likes living here better than 
in Cambridge, as do her children. 

I was sorry I could not write to Mrs. Revere by 

Mr. Lincoln and D ; but Mrs. E. Williams was 

making me a visit with Mrs. Brinley's niece, — Miss 
E. Sumner, — and in the morning I had a great deal 
to do to get away and get all my company off. 
Catherine L. is decidedly in a train of improvement, 
and her father is realizing that he has got his money's 
worth. . . . 

Northampton, Dec. 12, 1840. 

My dear Son, — As it is now nearly time for 
another packet to sail, I shall put myself in readiness 
to answer your requisitions. You cannot conceive 
with what pleasure we received your letter, in five 
weeks from the time you sailed. I shall never cease 
to think it the occasion of the greatest gratitude 
whenever a dear friend has achieved sailing across 
the Atlantic in safety ; but my last letter told you 
all about that. 

We got through Thanksgiving as usual, — after a 
great struggle on my part, — with fifteen at table, 
who seemed to enjoy themselves highly, — if I did 
not. I am sure, however, that I have much to re- 
joice in. My children are all good and doing well, 
and I have an unusual portion of health, as well as 
your father, and an unusual exemption from imme- 
diate sorrow. But the reflections connected with 
the past must always make these annual festivals, to 



ON FAMILY GA THE RINGS 369 

people who are as far advanced as I am, to be days 
of sad retrospection. They are way-marks in the 
journey of life, and are calculated to make deep im- 
pressions, as well as to renew old ones. Though the 
seat of the much-loved be vacant, and this world 
contain them no longer, — when the family-circle are 
gathered, is not the place in our hearts filled? — is 
not the image there, distinct, clear, undimmed by 
time? — do we not recall the spirit in all its purity, 
with the excellence of their characters, the beauty 
of their example, with all the gladness we had in 
their presence ? If it serve no other end than this, 
we ought to rejoice; it connects us more closely to 
the good who are endued with Christian faith and 
Christian hope. And we must not repine that it 
calls up the shadows of the past, if at the same time 
it speaks to us of other and brighter days. If the 
heart yearns for its departed treasures, let it re- 
joice that it was rich in offerings to a Heavenly 
Father. . . . 

In this year Mr. John S. Dvvight came to North- 
ampton to preach, and he remained there eighteen 
months. A short ministry, but one that sowed 
good seed that has sprung up in many hearts, and 
borne fruit, even to this day. My mother thought 
the church was not his place, and she was right. 
She would not have had him settled, but she was 
much distressed at the unsettling of one for whom 
she had a profound regard. We cannot expect the 
old or the middle-aged to enjoy seeing their portrait 
of Christ in any other frame than the one they have 



370 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

always seen it in. The power of association is 
strong, and cannot but hold sway over us. To the 
young^ Mr. Dwight's ministry was of incalculable 
benefit. He unsealed our eyes to behold and 
realize the beauties of Nature all around them, — 
a vast possession for every soul, of which they now 
felt they had before been strangely ignorant. He 
opened to them the whole world of music, a name- 
less treasure. He brought us books of a new type, 
and revealed to us, that not Sunday only, but every 
day, was "a day of the Lord;" no duty so mean, 
no lot so poor and tame and commonplace, that it 
might not be glorified by obedience and love. 

How my mother enjoyed the books he brought, 
and what a treat it was to read aloud to her, De 
Wette's "Ethics," "Theodore," Jouffroy and Benja- 
min Constant ! I can see her now as she would 
lean forward and say, " Oh, read that again ; " and 
her delight at certain passages in Fichte's " Nature 
of the Scholar" has impressed them on my mind 
forever. 

Northampton, Dec. 29, 1S40. 

My dear Son, — I am afraid you will be tired 
of hearing from us, and that I shall have a letter, 
saying, " Do not write, except by every alternate 
packet." I was truly glad to get your letter by the 
"Acadia." If I had known that Mr. Nevins was 
going, I should have sent some pictures of American 
scenery to you by him, as well as letters ; but it was 
kept a profound secret from me. It is very grateful 
to me to hear that you are zee//, and particularly to 
know that you are out of mischief, which, of course, 



ON WORK AND IDLENESS 371 

I am very much afraid of. I do not feel so badly to 
hear of you crowded with business as some might ; 
for you know it is my doctrine that occupation is 
the true secret of human happiness. The grand 
problem of life with every one is "how to be recon- 
ciled to the restlessness of our nature, or how to get 
rid of it." We must not divest ourselves of it, but 
employ it. " In the sweat of thy brow thou shalt 
eat bread" was the decree which went forth from 
our Heavenly Father at the commencement of the 
existence of man. It is a common idea, I know, 
that leisure and repose bring pleasure. A very little 
experience shows how untrue is the fact. We all 
require an object, a motive, something to exercise 
continually the restless activity within us ; and I 
believe those the happiest on earth who are under 
a pressure of business, who have a definite duty 
to perform. He who has nothing to do is under 
a leaden load of idleness. When was a man of 
leisure ever happy, until he had coined all his 
leisure into good works ? " Rest ! there is no such 
thing as rest. One may throw away care, and fold 
his arms. But time will not rest ; the earth will 
not rest ; the Almighty will not rest. If all things 
around us are in motion, what boots it for us to keep 
still ? It were truer rest for us to move in harmony 
with all that surrounds us." The last seven lines 
was what I can remember from a sermon preached 
by Mr. Dwight this morning. I am afraid you are 
not so privileged with preaching in England, and 
that those golden intervals of time, the Sabbath, so 
precious and so profitable, both for rest and holy 
meditation, are not so well appropriated as with us. 



372 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Your letter said not a word about an heiress to 
the throne. The newspapers, however, are prolific 
on that subject. 

I suppose my last told you of various parties we 
have had. Last night we had a small one here, 
for a runaway couple from New Haven, and Presi- 
dent Allen's family, and a new family of Robinsons 
from New Haven, who are related to your father, — 
and they appear to be good and interesting people, 
from the little I have seen of them. President 
Allen's eldest daughter — a very uncommonly inter- 
esting and accomplished and well-looking girl — has 
her lover, Mr. Smith, visiting her from Maine. He 
was the distinguishing ornament of our party. He 
has just returned from a two years' sojourn in Ger- 
many, and is now professor at Bowdoin College, 
Maine, and the acting-president of the institution. 
He reminded me so much of Charles Emerson that I 
wanted to hear him talk all the time, and thought 
I would have given anything to have had Joseph by 
to enjoy him as I did. This evening we are to have 
a party at Mr. Charles P. Huntington's ; after that 
at Mr. Clark's and Mrs. Cochran's. Last week we 
were at Miss Pomeroy's. So you see we continue 
our social habits. 

To Miss C. Robbins, Northampton, Feb. 27, 1S41. 

My dear Catherine, — . . . I have hardly had 
sight of Mr. Dwight since his return. Last Sunday 
afternoon he requested the Sunday-school teachers 
to remain after meeting ; and I, being one, stopped 
with the others, when he took occasion to speak of 



NATURE-WORSHIP AND THEOLOGY 373 

the importance of having a class of teachers taught 
by some one, and I proposed that he should teach 
that class himself. He said that he would try to ; 
but that "he had never paid much attention to the 
study of theology." Now, what do you think of 
such a declaration as that from your minister ? He 
never preached better (I mean more practically) in 
his life than he had done all day, from the text, 
" If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be 
full of light ; " and no one could better set forth the 
beauty of perfect simplicity than he did, or the 
deformity of the reverse. But when he said this, I 
wanted to shake him. Now, I believe the shepherd 
is a religious man, but I want the acknowledged 
sanction of revelation of all religious opinions. I 
can never substitute intuition for the Word of God 
or the teachings of our Saviour ; neither can I sub- 
stitute feeling for doctrine, nor sentiment for wor- 
ship. Nature-worship is as far below my idea of 
the adoration due to God as man-worship or child- 
worship, or that of any of God's works instead of 
Himself personally. In me it would be idolatry, as 
much as worshipping the golden calf was, or any of 
the idols of the heathen nations. Their idols repre- 
sented things in their view sacred. Now, I consider 
all the works of the Almighty as manifestations of 
His love to man, and that they should be reflected 
upon with pleasure and gratitude, as our children 
and other privileges are, but they should never be 
considered as objects of worship. Now, you per- 
ceive the utter impossibility of making a transcen- 
dental ist of me. Nevertheless, I can enjoy all that 



374 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

is good and practical in their faith, and have not a 
particle of ill-will towards them or their writings. 

All that I could understand in the last " Dial," I 
took great pleasure in, particularly the piece on 
" Woman," by Mrs. Ripley. I don't know how we 
are to have an immutable law of right and wrong, 
except by the revealed will of God. We are told 
that the Gentiles, not having the law, were a law 
unto themselves ; and from this we argue that all 
have a guardian angel within, in the form of con- 
science. But the proof is wanting to the perfection 
of our decisions, "except the Holy Spirit beareth 
witness to our spirit," by means of revelation. 

Now, I like Mr. Dwight's morality and spiritual- 
ity ; but to me his faith is a problem not yet solved, 
and I am tired of trying to discover what it is. At 
the same time, if I knew, it would probably have 
but little weight on mine ; for, if he does not know 
any thing about theology, why, then we are on a 
level. . . . 

To Mrs. Greene she writes again Jan. 4, 1842: 
" You asked me concerning Mr. John S. Dwight's 
separation from our society. There never was any 
good reason for our settling him ; it was done by a 
few arbitrary members assuming all the influence, — 
and done in great haste. In one year those very 
people took it upon themselves, without the shadow 
of a reason, to drive him out ; which they did by 
making the people who were neutral about the settle- 
ment positive in unsettling him. And and 

were the leaders in this unholy work ; I always feel 



MR. DWIGHT' S TRANSCENDENTALISM 375 

ashamed when I am called on to tell the truth on 
this subject. Mr. Dwight announced his views, 
which were transcendental, before he was settled. 
Now, there were really none amongst us entertaining 
those views. But his preaching was always fine, 
because he always selected those topics on which all 
Christians agree, and never brought up disputed 
points. I could have listened to him forever, with- 
out doing violence to my faith ; for his sense of right 
and wrong, and his Christian morals, and mine were 
the same. But his views of Christ were essentially 
unlike mine. His views of man's responsibility were 
as elevated as Dr. Channing's were. But it was very 
wrong in us to settle him under the circumstances, 
and wicked in us to thrust him out as we did. And 
S.'s and my name are on the records of our church, 
to prove that we opposed it, among others. And 
now I have told you all that is to be told. Nobody 
could allege anything against Mr. Dwight, with 
truth, except that he was a transcendentalism And 
that they knew when they ordained him." 

In the month of August, 1842, occurred one of 
those sudden trials, for which we were all utterly 
unprepared, and which alfected no one more deeply 
than my mother, outside the little circle of nearest 
relatives. Our brother, Stephen Brewer, in the full 
vigor of manhood, in perfect health, with every 
prospect of long life and usefulness, was drowned 
in the Connecticut River, on the first afternoon he 
had taken for pleasure, for many years. 



376 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

To Miss H. Steams, Northampton, Aug. 25, 1842. 

My dear Hannah, — Before I met with an over- 
whelming affliction, I had determined to write to 
you the first time I took my pen. I was, one week 
since, arrested in every design I had contemplated, 
by the sudden and awful death of our dear Stephen 
Brewer, an account of which you must have seen 
in the papers. O Hannah, I can never tell you the 
anguish of our hearts ! It seemed more, in our 
weakened hold upon earth, than we could possibly 
bear; but Heaven has permitted it, and we must 
submit. I can truly say, I feel prostrated in the 
presence of my Heavenly Father, and humbled in 
the sense of my dependence on earthly props. But 
it is so ; and, instead of repining, we ought cheer- 
fully to say, "Thy will be done." Instead of having 
his strong arm and strong judgment to repose on 
in seasons of weakness and trouble, we must soon 
learn to do without earthly support from friends, and 
think only of Heavenly aid. And this is probably 
the discipline we require, or it would not be sent. 

Catherine has been intending to write to your 
sister, from whom she was much gratified to receive 
a letter ; but she is broken-hearted and sick. 

The day before this dreadful event, Susan went 
with Dr. Robbins to Nahant. The warm weather 
had the effect to debilitate her extremely, and we 
could see no other way of restoration. 

This, my dear Hannah, is the era of a revolution 
in my destiny. My husband may live some time, — 
perhaps years, — but we can no longer depend on 
him to make efforts for us. And I have always 



DBA TH OF STEPHEN BRE WER 377 

known that Mr. Brewer, who has always aided me 
in small difficulties, would also do the same in great 
ones. I never connected him with the idea of death. 
His whole life has been a tissue of good deeds. 
I ought not to think of myself or family, when 
I remember what a helpless wife and three young 
children he has left. But he has left the means 
of a support for them, and for that we should be 
grateful. Still, they are unhomed, and bowed down 
with sorrow. He was followed to the grave by hun- 
dreds who depended on him and wept for him. 
Ever your affectionate friend, 

A. J. Lyman. 

Northampton, Aug. 30, 1S42. 
My dear Son, — We all have a yearning for sym- 
pathy, or we should not be so eager to communicate 
sorrow. How I wish I could withhold from you the 
deep, the heartfelt grief that harrows my soul ! But 
before this reaches you, I presume you will have 
seen in the New York papers the sudden and dread- 
ful death of our dear and good Brother Brewer. 
I need not tell you how heart-rending and over- 
whelming this event was ; of that you are certain. 
No family ever felt stronger love and confidence for 
another than we have felt for this excellent man. 
1 fe was one of the most whole-souled, true-hearted, 
practically wise men I ever knew, — the best hus- 
band, lather, son, and friend ; and when we see one 
of our best friends, one so loved and so trusted, 
in the lull vigor of manhood, destroyed by one 
sudden blow, Nature revolts ; and, before reflection 



373 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

or discretion can take her place in our minds, we 
feel crushed and overwhelmed. This has literally 
been our case. 

Mr. Brewer I looked upon as my tower of 
strength, my city of refuge, my shield of defence for 
worldly purposes, knowing as I did that I must live 
separated from my sons ; and I had to feel, that, in 
the probable event of a separation from your father 
by death, that I should need this dear friend to lean 
upon in time of trouble. He loved my children, and 
they reciprocated that love with all their heart. 
But I need not say that he loved and was kind to us. 
His heart was an inexhaustible fountain of love and 
mercy. To diffuse it seemed to be his errand on 
earth, and most faithfully was it performed. It is, 
indeed, a new era in my destiny, marked by trouble. 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, March 7, 1S43. 

Catherine returned to us about Christmas, in fine 
health and a large fund of happy spirits. She and 
Susan devote the whole of the afternoon to reading 
and walking. The mornings are occupied by some 
music and a great deal of domestic employment, sew- 
ing, &c. They have enjoyed reading Bancroft's 
" History," Prescott's " Ferdinand and Isabella," 
Degerando on "Self-education," and some poetry; 
together with Madame de Stael's " Germany," in 
French ; with a good deal of casual reading, such as 
Mr. W. Ware's "Julian," Jouffroy's "Philosophi- 
cal Essays," "The History of the Pilgrim Fathers," 
&c. You must know I have wound up the winter 
with being sick the last fortnight with a sort of 



REGARDING CHARLES DICKENS 379 

lung-fever, which confined me to my room, and 
much of the time to my bed. I am now recovering, 
and went to meeting yesterday, for the first time in 
three weeks. We have a very amiable, good young 
man preaching for us, and a man of respectable 
talents : though there is not much poetry in him. I 
think, however, he will wear well. His time with us 
is almost at an end. This young man — Mr. Rufus 
Ellis — is thinking of making a tour to the western 
country ; and if he goes to Cincinnati, I shall write 
to you by him. 

I don't know but Mrs. S. thought it strange I did 
not take more pains to see her while I was in 
Boston ; but the fact was, the last week of my 
being there — which was the only one of my know- 
ing of her being in the city — it rained every day 
but one ; and the week had commenced with the 
most dreadful gale that was ever experienced on 
our coast ; and it commenced the very day my 
Edward sailed, so that there was scarcely a hope 
that the steamer he was in could ride out the gale. 
And the anxiety of my mind was such that I could 
do nothing about making calls, though I made an 
effort to go out two evenings on purpose to meet 
herself and Mrs. . . . . 

J. was prevented from going to the Dickens din- 
ner by S.'s indisposition, together, perhaps, with 
some indifference to him ; for he was invited to 
several private parties to meet him, and did not 
go. Dickens says lie likes Susan Millard better 
than any American lady he has met with. I think 
as you do ; there was great want of proper dignity 



380 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

in those ladies smuggling themselves into situations 
which did not legitimately belong to them, for the 
sake of seeing Dickens. I have no particular feel- 
ing for the man, though I think there is a small 
portion of his works which may have a good moral 
influence on society ; and that they contain a well- 
directed satire on many abuses in England, which 
in no respect touch this country. But I would not 
again wade through such quantities of mud and 
mire for such small grains of gold-dust as are inter- 
spersed through them, with the exception of " Oliver 
Twist" and "Humphrey's Clock" and parts of 
"Nicholas Nickleby." 

I think the enthusiasm for Dickens here was 
altogether disproportionate to the occasion. But 
our people are given to hero-worship, and there is 
no help for it. 

I am sure I cannot tell you how much comfort 
I have had, in having my two daughters at home 
this winter ; and so has your uncle. . . . 

June ii, 1843. 

We have read the Bremer books as they came 
out, and have been greatly interested in them. I 
think "Home" is as good as the "Neighbors." If 
they are not great, they are calculated to do much 
more good than that class of Tales usually are, for 
they are attractive without the exaggeration and 
discrepancies which do so much to create false 
tastes and false views of life in the inexperienced, — 
the effect of which is discontent and disappoint- 
ment in the ordinary occurrences people must meet 



MISS BREMER'S NOVELS 381 

with in this world. These books, too, are addressed 
to the sympathies of a large class of readers in differ- 
ent stations in life, for there is nothing in them 
which we may not connect either with the highest 
or the most moderate class of the community in 
which we live ; and one would not be led by them 
to false inferences or unjust conclusions in respect 
to things which really exist, and come under our 
own observation. 

I often esteem myself fortunate that my destiny 
fell in that walk of life which prevented isolation 
and exclusion. Indeed, it has thrown me in con- 
tinual contact with all the sorts and kinds of beings 
which constitute humanity ; and what most people 
deprecate I feel that I may rejoice in, for I never 
feel out of place either with the highest, more 
moderate, or the lowest society. In neither case 
is my dignity raised or impaired. 

Milton Hill, Aug. 15, [1S43]. 

My dear Son, — I will not allow the steamer of 
the 10th to leave without taking some faint record of 
my existence, as well as of my love. 

Your Aunt Howe and Sarah have been making 
me a visit ; and, last Saturday, August 12, we all 
came down to Boston together, joined by your 
sister Catherine, who had a singular errand down, 
which was no less than to bid a temporary adieu to 
a lover, who is to sail in the steamer for England. 

[After describing Catherine's engagement with 
Mr. Warren Delano and their satisfaction with it, she 
goes on to say : — ] 



382 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Without distinguished greatness, Catherine is 
very lovely in her character and disposition, never 
out of temper, and always ready to oblige to any 
extent that her friends can claim ; always sympa- 
thizing in the joys and sorrows of those around; 
divested of every thing like jealousy, or the shadow 
of malignity, in any of its forms ; possessed of 
a large humanity in its truest sense ; and having 
that mercy which is twice blessed, — to him who 
gives and him who takes. 

I suppose you have not much time to read. I 
hope I shall be able to send you another of the Bre- 
mer books, " Strife and Peace." 

Northampton, Oct. 13, 1843. 

My dear Son, — It caused us the deepest disap- 
pointment that, through accident, we could not get 
a letter down to Boston in season to go by the 
steamer of the first of this month. 

I can hardly express to you my joy that you have 
found in Mr. Delano a friend that pleases you so 
much. We have from the first been delighted with 
him. He has such a composed and dignified air 
for a man of business, and such a quiet, sensible 
mode of expressing his rational opinions, that his 
external man has always been extremely attractive 
to me ; and then his warm-hearted promptings of 
every sort of kindness to every one he comes in 
contact with, where friendship is admissible, so 
necessarily prompts one to a reciprocation of the 
feeling he has expressed, that there can be nothing 
but pleasure in his society. And, though he is 



THE OLD ORDER CHANGETH 383 

unlike our dear Stephen Brewer, I feel that I can 
most readily appropriate to him that place in my 
heart which was so warmly devoted to our lost 
son-in-law, whose affectionate attentions and many 
kindnesses will never be forgotten by me. I believe 
all our friends are as much pleased with Mr. Delano 
as we are, and in addition to liking him, it is most 
pleasant to be able to like all his brothers and 
sisters. . . . 

In October of 1843, m y mother parted with her 
youngest child, Catherine Robbins, who accom- 
panied her husband to China, within a month after 
her marriage. 

I cannot help recalling here that, within a few 
weeks after our return to Northampton, after part- 
ing with "the lamb of our flock," the first sounds 
reached us of the coming of the railroad to North- 
ampton. Every morning we were wakened at five 
o'clock with the sound of the tramping of horses 
through the Main Street, that carried the parties 
of workmen on the road. Vaguely we prophesied 
the changes that would come to our village, and 
talked together when we met, of the possibilities 
of the future. I remember a beautiful, moonlight 
evening, when we walked in the rural street that is 
now so changed, and talked neither wisely nor too 
well of the future of our town. Mr. Ellis and 
Gertrude and Caroline Clapp were of the number. 
I forget the others. It never seemed to occur to 
any of us that we, our homes, our old trees, our 
society, — were not eternal fixtures there; and we 



384 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

spoke of the probable new-comers as forming a 
society of their own, while we remained as we were, 
happy and undisturbed in our old customs and rural 
habits. 

The homes and trees have disappeared ; and of 
all that little group none are dwellers by those 
mountains ; but, though most of them are plying 
"their daily task with busier feet" in the dusty 
streets of far-off cities, is not the bond of good- 
fellowship between them the stronger, and do they 
not "a holier strain repeat," for having passed 
their youth in sight of these mountains, and in the 
society of the nobler types of character that lived, 
in those simple times ? Let us not look back and 
say that those days were better than these. Let 
us rather rejoice that, where hundreds once enjoyed 
that beautiful valley, it is now a blessing to thou- 
sands ; and that, though Nature has often been 
defaced by Art since that happy time, the moun- 
tains still stand firm, and also the memories of 
those high-toned men and women who fixed an early 
impress on all around them. 

To Miss Haniiah Stearns, Northampton, April 28, 1844. 

My dear Hannah, — I cannot, by any effort I am 
capable of, express to you adequately how much I 
have felt for you since I have heard of your great 

affliction. I had, when M 's marriage occurred, 

thought much of the promise you had before you of 
increased enjoyment. I never dreamed that the 
interposition of death could oppose an obstacle to 
your anticipations. I have heard nothing but the 



TRIBUTE TO MISS STEARNS 385 

fact, and feel very desirous to know all that relates 
to it. The death of your sister is among the deepest 
mysteries of Divine Providence ; and were it not for 
the faith which instructs us that infinite love and in- 
finite wisdom overrules the events of our destinies 
here, we might, in our short-sightedness, distrust 
the idea altogether. Let us then rejoice that all 
that is not placed within our control is under 
Heavenly direction. I am continually asking my- 
self, " How is Mrs. S supported under this 

great trial ? " And then, " How can my dear Han- 
nah be reconciled ? for it must have been unex- 
pected." 

When you can, do let me hear from you ; and like- 
wise how Mr. sustains himself. He is the 

greatest sufferer, with all his newly-formed and fer- 
vent hopes cut off. And I have heard much of his 
enthusiastic attachment ; and so wisely as it was 
bestowed, we must all approve and admire his judg- 
ment as well as his well-directed sympathies. Let 
us be grateful that we are not wholly of dust, but 
that there is a spirit within us which can never taste 
of death ; and that, after such a devotedly useful, 
intellectual, and pure life as was your sister's, we 
have the assurance that she will reap an inheritance 
of glory, honor, and immortality. Her friends can 
have none but the kindest remembrance of her. And 
her good example is a fountain of treasures that will 
be stored in the memory of those who have known 
and loved her, and felt the infusion of her spirit to 
be a blessing to them. 

Spring has again returned to us, and spread in her 



386 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

way a freshness and a glory which I feel to be a 
perpetual ministration of love to my heart, — a whis- 
pering of joys that never decay, which comes in the 
song of birds, in the sweet perfume of flowers, com- 
bined with the most perfect verdure I ever saw at 
this season. So that the beauty which surrounds us 
would be all that we could desire, and all at we 
could enjoy, were it not contrasted with the sadness 
of this life's experience ; the multiplied sorrows and 
disappointments Heaven has found necessary for 
our discipline. When a mother loses an infant from 
her arms, we are all anxious to know how she will 
bestow the faculties and the time so tenderly en- 
grossed. But I am, from my own experience of 
sorrow, most anxiously engaged in finding a way to 
appropriate those thoughts and affections which, in 
their exercise, did not require our immediate care, 
but were combined with all our plans and anticipa- 
tion. This void made in my heart by the death of 
my much-valued child is still unfilled, and though I 
am from habit accustomed to it, I am never insen- 
sible to it ; and I am sure she is more constantly in 
my thoughts than my living children are who are 
absent. This is a great source of pleasure which 
you will enjoy, and one which proves the value of an 
intellectual life such as was your sister's. 

Give my love to your mother ; tell her my heart 
is furnished largely with sympathy for those who 
have lost a good daughter. 

Your very affectionate and sympathizing friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 



ON THE GIFT OF A PURSE 387 

To Mrs. Greene, Northampton, Aug, 30, 1844. 

My dear Abby, — We were very glad, some ten 
days ago, to see Mary Howe, and with her to get 
good intelligence of yourself and all your house- 
hold, together with all our other friends in Cincin- 
nati. I have likewise to thank you for your kind 
remembrance of me in a purse, which will be of the 
highest value to me as a proof of love. You may 
remember Cowper's lines on a similar occasion, and 
I will give them here in case you do not: — 

" Gold pays the worth of all things here, 
But not of love, — that gem's too dear 
For richest rogues to win it. 
I therefore, as a proof of love, 
Esteem your present far above 
The best things kept within it." 

It is pleasant to know that some of the best things 
in this life cannot be purchased with money, and 
are not diminished by the lack of it. My thoughts 
are often turned to your little circle ; which I have 
the more pleasure in, now that I know Catherine as 
grown to maturity. You have heard of the death 
of Charlotte's son, who was nine months old. They 
have had a great deal of suffering during the last 
two months of its life. Little Anne is a very lovely 
child ; and, as might be expected, is doted upon 
by her parents. Her father will take great pains 
and have great pleasure in her education, she is so 
very susceptible. Since they went to Cabotville 
the)' have not been here. I have been there once, 
and mean to go again soon, if something imperious 
docs not prevent. 



388 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

A fortnight since, Mr. Lyman, Susan, and myself 
went up to Lebanon Springs for a few days. When 
we got there we found a large circle of our Boston 
acquaintance. Such places are tiresome to your 
Uncle, and we stayed but a few days, leaving Susan 
for a longer time with her acquaintance. When I 
got home, I thought your Uncle was remarkably 
well ; but a few days since he was affected as if he 
had had a slight stroke of palsy. The whole of one 
side seemed infirm, as if he could not move without 
difficulty either his arm or leg. He does not seem 
sick, but is low-spirited ; and, I think, views it as a 
premonition of more trouble. I know not what to 
look forward to, or what to wish for. But we are 
in God's hands, and whatever He sends will be right. 

S. is very much benefited by her tour to the Leba- 
non Mountains. The air is very bracing, and that 
is what she requires in the course of one of our hot 
summers. On our return from Lebanon we passed a 
day at Stockbridge, and part of one in Westfield. I 
have told you before, I believe, that Mr. Fowler 
has a charming wife and a magnificent new house, 
with every thing elegant in it. When at Stock- 
bridge, we saw Fanny Fowler (that was) and Miss 
Sedgwick, — who is a lovely old lady, with her red 
curly hair, and looking, notwithstanding, as aged as 
your antiquated Aunt (for we are just of an age). 
Give a great deal of love to Katie ; and tell her we 
have heard twice from my Catherine since her 
arrival in Macao. She speaks of herself as the hap- 
piest person living, and thinks she has the best of 
husbands. They were on their voyage one hundred 



AMATEUR PERFORMANCE OF "RIVALS" 389 

and four days ; had no bad storms, or threatened 
disasters, and she likes Macao very much. It is a 
beautiful city, situated like Nahant ; but in the 
winter, to avoid a separation from her husband, she 
will have to go to Canton. And there she can 
neither ride nor walk out, and consequently is a 
prisoner. But they will contrive to get rid of a 
couple of years, I hope, comfortably. . . . Mr. Delano 
is a person who takes most watchful care of all 
domestic interests, is exceedingly kind and affec- 
tionate to his father, brothers, and sisters, and all 
connections ; and, I have no doubt, will be a good 
husband. . . . 

To Miss C. Robbins, Northampton, Jan. 12, 1S45. 

My dear Sister, — I have been intending to 
write to you ever since I received your last letter, 
but have had a good deal to do, and a good many 
interruptions, as usual. 

Last week the young people were engaged in 
theatricals, and on Thursday the "Rivals" by Sheri- 
dan, came off with great dclat. Susan took no part 
in the play, but helped Mary A. Cochran as mana- 
ger and director, which took up considerable time. 
Mrs. Tom Whitmarsh lent them her parlors for the 
pertormance, which was the best place, as the 
house can be heated all over with a furnace. The 
two Miss Adams and their brother, Julia Clarke and 
Robert and Harrison Apthorp, George Dickinson 
and Luther Washburn, James Lyman and Caroline 
Whitmarsh were the performers. Mr. Ellis gave 
out or assigned the parts before he left, and saw 



390 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

one rehearsal, which he pronounced very good. 
There were seventy spectators, and it was pro- 
nounced a very fine performance. I think I never 
saw any so good at the theatre, taking out the 
leading actor. 

The following evening, which was Friday, Presi- 
dent Hopkins, from Williamstown, delivered a very 
fine lyceum lecture to a very crowded andience. 
His subject was, "The Voluntary and the Involun- 
tary Powers of Man," teaching the practical appli- 
cation or improvement of those powers to the best 
advantage. He exemplified his subject by a great 
many appropriate figures, and the introduction of 
a great deal of fine poetry. In short, the hearers 
were overflowing with admiration and delight for an 
hour and a half. 

Saturday S. gave to repose, being very much 
fatigued with the week's work and its accompany- 
ing excitement. And to-day, which is Catherine's 
birthday, we have listened to excellent preaching 
all day from Mr. Lippett, who is to supply Mr. 
Ellis's place during his absence. He dined with 
us, and Jane took tea and passed the evening here, 
— and Mr. Charles Huntington. Jane is much 
interested in the marriage of Mr. North to a sister 
of Dr. Thompson. And now you have had a gen- 
eral sketch of Northampton life, I believe. 

Marriages, births, sickness, and death are every- 
where mingled in human experience ; and, if we can 
find an interval occasionally long enough for a little 
recreation and exhilaration of our spirits, we should 
be frrateful for it in this vale of tears. 



THE GOODNESS OF HUMAN NA TURE 391 

I am much pleased with the last number of the 
"Christian Examiner," particularly Mr. Hedge's re- 
view of Mr. Emerson's " Essays," and Mr. Thomp- 
son's of Mr. Putnam. I am glad to hear of John 
Parker's bequest to Mr. Putnam. It is very rare 
that ministers have any thing left them, and I am 
glad of such an example. 

To Mrs. Howe, Northampton, Aug. 31, 1845. 

My dear Sister, — . . . The beginning of last week 
we had a vague account of Mr. Delano's fire at 
M«icao, which furnished me with some anxiety; but 
that gave place to hearing of a real sorrow a few days 
since, which has absorbed my mind almost entirely, 
and I have been putting off writing on that account. 
You have heard of the sudden death of Mrs. Hard- 
ing ? There has always been something about her 
that I have felt a great respect for ; a quiet consis- 
tency in goodness, a common-sense purpose that at- 
tained its end, a cultivated perception of moral senti- 
ment as well as the beautiful in nature. And every 
thing about her so unpretending and sincere, that 
one could not know her well and withhold their re- 
spect. Contemplating her character, strengthens my 
confidence in the goodness of human nature. It 
gives me faith in virtue, and makes me feel that it is 
a reality ; and that its infusion into real life opens 
to us the best sources of happiness. When such 
a savor is taken from the eircle which it affected, 
there is much to deplore ; and I cannot say as many 
do in such cases, " How soon such things are over- 
looked and forgotten ! " for I have faith to believe 



392 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

that all the good seed sown in this world will be 
guarded and made fruitful by heavenly wisdom ; that 
none of it will be lost, but bring forth, some fifty, 
and some an hundred fold. 

Mrs. Harding left six sons, over whom she had 
a great influence. The four youngest can never 
have that influence made up to them ; though 
Margaret will be, as she always has been, all that 
a sister can be, for she is one of the wisest and the 
best young persons I ever knew ; of C. I know but 
little, therefore cannot speak. I have not informed 
Susan of this calamity, hoping she would not hear 
of it until she got to Springfield ; and then I thought 
she would stop for a day or two with Margaret, for 
their mutual satisfaction. 

We have got to hear preach all day in the 

absence of our beloved Rufus Ellis ; it is a severe 
dispensation, but he was here and applied for the 
chance. Mr. Ellis is published, and will be married 
this month, — I mean September. 

P. S. I am reading the " Wandering Jew," taking 
it homceopathically, in small doses. I don't know 
as you are well enough to bear it, for it is very 
exciting ; but works of imagination never take such 
a violent hold of me as they do of some people. It 
takes reality to distress me ; I am such a matter-of- 
fact person, that I cannot invest my fancy as many 
can. 

Northampton, Sunday, Sept. 28, 1845. 

My dear Son, — ..." All's well, that ends well ; " 
and there is much good mingled with the sorrows 



BIR THDA Y REFLE CTIONS 393 

and trials of this life. And our lot is always better 
than we deserve, while we remain in this mutable 
world, — 

" Where nothing can satisfy, nothing's secure 

From change and decay, and disorder and strife ; 
No beauty is perfect, no virtue is pure, 
And evil and good are companions for life. 

" Where finding no rest, like the patriarch's dove 

Which flew to the ark when the flood was abroad, 
O'erwearied we seek, in the mansions above, 
The rest that remains for the people of God." 

And if we are of that number, we shall finally 
inherit the rest. And we that are some way ad- 
vanced on the journey of life, so that the end seems 
near at hand, can fully realize the consolations and 
encouragements accompanying that hope. . . . 

Feb. 10, 1846. 
There is but little, my dear son, to be gathered, 
either from my experience or from my contempla- 
tions, that will profit you or give you pleasure ; but 
it is your birthday, and, if I do not consecrate it 
for a holy day, I can mark it for a day of increased 
and uninterrupted satisfaction for the twenty-seventh 
time. Now you will not let this make you vain, but 
refer what I have said rather to your mother's 
vanity. It is not uncommon for parents, when they 
have nothing else to take pride in, to inflate it with 
something they are connected with ; imagining that 
there is a reflected lustre reaching themselves from 
these surrounding causes. . . . Your father is very 
well, and very contented with having me to read 



394 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

to him nearly all the time. I have this week "been 
reading Mrs. Sedgwick's stories to him. They are 
of a kind to move the heart gently, and to superin- 
duce a kindly feeling for every thing that is good ; 
they awaken a holy interest that makes the heart 
better without producing any injurious shock, or 
too great excitement of the tender sensibilities. 
Love to my friends. 

Your very affectionate Mother. 

In March, 1846, while recovering from the fearful 
and dangerous disease whose consequences darkened 
the whole remainder of her life, she wrote to her 
son Edward, after hearing of his engagement. After 
passing lightly over the six weeks of intense suffer- 
ing, she goes on : — 

" And now let me tell you that I am rejoiced that 
you have reached that point in your destiny which 
is to insure you a pleasant and valuable companion 
for life ; and I trust she is all you think she is, — 
a rational and high-principled woman, with warm 
affections towards yourself, and such domestic habits 
as make life smooth ; one who has been more accus- 
tomed to minister than to be ministered unto ; one 
who feels that household cares are woman's duty, 
no less than her privilege ; one who is literally a 
sharer with her husband in his cares, instead of lead- 
ing that useless, empty life that leaves no record but 
vanity to mark its path. I have often troubled my- 
self with the fear lest my sons should marry idle, 
fashionable women. If Heaven has spared me this 
sorrow, I have much to be grateful for. As a child 



APPEARANCE OF "JANE EYRE" 395 

needs an instructor, so do grown people need a 
higher guidance than mere self-will. They need the 
light of that polar star, an enlightened conscience, 
with that holy standard which forever separates right 
and wrong. May you both be guided by it, and 
amidst your greatest trials you will find consolation." 
After a delightful visit from Mrs. Greene, she 
writes to her after her own return from New York, 
describing the enjoyment of the trip to her son's 
wedding at Brooklyn, and of pleasant excursions 
she made in her short absence from home. She 
says of Greenwood, then newly laid out : " We 
visited the Greenwood Cemetery at Brooklyn, which 
is truly beautiful. It is Mount Auburn magnified 
and multiplied. Do get some of your friends to ride 
over with you and see it. I can only think, while 
looking at it, of Beattie's description of the beauties 
of nature ; and realize it all there : — 

" ' The pomp of groves and garniture of fields, 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even ; 
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields, 
And all the dread magnificence of Heaven.'" 

It was during this winter of 1847, that I went 
to New York, to pass some weeks with my sister, 
whose long absence of three years in China had 
made her return to this country a circumstance full 
of pleasure to the whole family circle. While I was 
there, the novel of "Jane Eyre" first appeared; 
its author unknown, no fame to herald it. The 
effect it produced upon the whole reading world was 



396 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

electrical. If all the stories and anecdotes of the 
effects of reading " Jane Eyre " could be collected, 
they would fill a volume, and would give added evi- 
dence, were any needed, of the rare genius that pro- 
duced this wonderful book. I had just finished 
it, and was still living in the glow it had caused, 
when a letter from my mother announced, " I have 
read 'Jane Eyre;' and, though it is intensely inter- 
esting, I advise you not to read it, for I think it has 
a most immoral tendency." I believe the character 
of Rochester, and what she always designated as 
"his lie at the altar," was what had impressed her. 
Certainly, he bore no resemblance either in his char- 
acter or circumstances to any oi her living or dead 
standards. But I was much amazed to receive by 
the very next post a letter from my friend, Martha 
Swan, who was staying with her in my absence, 
in which she said, "Your mother has been com- 
pletely carried away with ' Jane Eyre.' She went 
out yesterday and bought herself a pair of new 
shoes. After she came home she took up 'Jane,' 
and read till tea-time ; then she read till bed-time. 
Then I retired, and she read till nearly morning, 
finding, when she went to bed at last, that the toes 
of her new shoes were fairly burnt through, over 
the dying embers." Whether the loss of her shoes, 
by means of "a trumpery novel," had any influence 
on her opinion of Rochester, I would not pretend 
to say. She became very indignant when she came 
to that part of the story where Jane, after leaving 
Rochester, forgot her little bundle of clothes. " So 
shiftless of her," she exclaimed, impetuously, "to 



DEA TH OF JUDGE L YMAN 397 

go off without a change of linen ; I've no patience 
with her." 

In a letter to Abby, dated August 12, 1847, she 
speaks of her overflowing thankfulness in the return 
of her daughter Catherine from China, and of her 
little grand-daughter Louise, as a most engaging and 
interesting child. She adds, " Your Uncle has 
shown more pleasure in Katie's return, and in 
having her with us again, than I had dared to 
expect in his present feeble state. He seems to 
have a vivid sense of all Mr. Delano's kindness, 
and has been taking an interest in having new fences 
all over our place, on both sides of the road. Ed- 
ward came home six weeks ago, and he with his wife 
stayed with us a fortnight. And Joseph and his 
wife were here with their adopted child at the same 
time. So I have seen all my children together, 
which is the first time since my dear Anne's death ; 
and I enjoyed it highly." . . . 

In December, 1847, my dear father had his last 
and severest attack of paralysis, and closed his 
peaceful, useful life in unconsciousness. I can dis- 
cover but one letter of my mother's written at this 
time, though there must have been many others. 
It was to Mr. Richard L. Allen, and ran as fol- 
lows : — 

My dear Friend, — I cannot express to you how 
much I was gratified by your kind remembrance of 
me in my trouble. Sympathy is an offering to the 
heart which gains ready access when sorrow has 
taken possession of it. My husband's death was at 



398 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

least unexpected by me, though he had been more 
unwell than common for several weeks, and was 
supposed to have had another stroke of paralysis, 
when no one saw him, though he never gave any 
account of himself which should lead to such a con- 
clusion. It is not however improbable. I was 
absent in Boston and did not get home until the 
day after it occurred. From that time he appeared 
like a stationary invalid, who might, with great care, 
live a number of months. His mind was in a wan- 
dering state, though not wholly absent. Pie sat up 
most of the day in a large easy-chair and slept a 
good part of the day, ate but little and had a reluc- 
tance to seeing any one but Susan and myself. I 
took care of him during the nights. On Thursday 
night, December 9th, he had a restless and bad time, 
but was better early in the morning. But after 
being dressed and taking his usual breakfast, he 
was seized with spasms, after which he lost all 
power to swallow, and all consciousness, and re- 
mained in that state until Saturday evening, the 
1 1 th, when he quietly ceased to breathe. 

For the last six years life has been a heavy bur- 
den to him, and he often said that he was left to 
be a " cumberer of the ground," and he was ready 
to depart, and he hoped that his life would not be 
protracted. Under these circumstances, we could 
not ask to have him remain. The body had out- 
lived the soul, and life was too joyless to be desir- 
able. It was a remarkable fact in his history, that 
he never suffered from acute pain in his life. He 
never had toothache, or headache, or rheumatic 



JUDGE LYMAN'S CHARACTER 399 

pain of any kind. His life has been an uncommonly 
happy one, owing to a more calm and equable tem- 
perament than is usual — added to a well balanced 
mind. He was not disturbed by the little inequali- 
ties and mutations which must occur in the course 
of a long life. " Society, Friendship and Love," 
the means of which are so abundantly scattered 
throughout this universe, furnished his greatest 
sources of enjoyment through life. He always 
spoke of you with great confidence and affection, 
and seemed much disappointed that he did not see 
more of you when you were last here. He always 
enjoyed seeing your wife, and often said, "Few of 
our girls have got so good a husband as Sally has." 
His sympathies were so warm that his friend's hap- 
piness increased his own. 

My husband has left something to all his children, 
and myself out of the reach of want, and that is as 
much as is good for people to have in this world of 
temptation. I shall make up for my lack of abun- 
dance by a large supply of contentment, and en- 
deavor to draw on other sources than money for my 
happiness. I would not exchange some of my pos- 
sessions, for all there is in the Banks — that is if 
I may count children for possessions — S. is a 
treasure of inestimable value, and my sons are 
better to me, as well as my daughters, than many 
millions would be without them. So you see we all 
have some "flattering unction," to fall back upon, 
to console us fur the want of means. At any rate 
Gratitude and Contentment, add to which Faith in 
the justice of God, and our measure will be full. 



400 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Your wife and children seem to be very happy 
and remarkably well. Sarah is very kind in coming 
in to see me frequently, though not as often as I 
should like. I ought to congratulate you on the 
delightful climate you are enjoying, while we are 
perished with cold. We have had no snow to speak 
of yet, though a good many rain storms, and the real 
severity of our weather is yet to come. 

Your very affectionate friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

To her son she wrote, January 22 : — " Yesterday 
was a sacred day in my calendar, for a reason which 
you will remember, for it separated us for ever, in 
this world, from our beloved Anne Jean ; but no 
one lives a half century and more without many 
such anniversaries, perhaps more than I have. But 
I mean my heart shall dwell on the blessings which 
have been showered on my path, and not on the 
sorrows. The best wish I can entertain for you is, 
that you may be blessed in your sons as I have been 
in mine. 

" Tell Catherine, with my love, if we did not drink 
a glass of wine to her health, we did not forget her 
birthday, and shall not forget our son's. 

" Susan has been invited, this fine day, to go 
down to Springfield, and stay till four o'clock; and 
I am glad to have her go, — it does her so much 
good to take a little excursion, — and she has never 
left home the last six weeks, or been anywhere, of 
course." . . . 



IMPROBABILITY OF UNDINE 401 

To Miss C. Robbins. 

It is but a poor consolation to you to know that 
my conscience is perfectly seared as with a hot iron. 
I have been intending to write this last fortnight ; 
but pride, in endeavoring to keep up appearances 
with those I am under the least obligation to, has 
induced me to write to many more distant corre- 
spondents first, so that you are last served. 

We have had two, indeed three, very interesting 
lectures since you left, from Mr. Greeley, Dr. 
Hopkins, and President Wheeler; which is about all 
the variety we have had. But I have got enough to 
think of and enough to do without any additional 
exciting causes ; and am very contented with the 
repose accompanying our warm and comfortable 
winter. 

Susan is enjoying her old resource, — society, 
friendship, and love, — in Springfield, with Margaret 
and Lucretia ; and I am calculating that it will 
promote a degree of self-forgetfulness favorable to 
her neuralgic affection. She writes that she has 
been well since she left, and I expect her home 
to-morrow. During her absence, Martha Swan and 
I have read a very agreeable book, by the author of 
" Undine." Of course there is no probability in the 
story, for that is no part of the design of a German 
novelist ; still there is much information and enter- 
tainment. Perhaps you have read it ; " Theodolf, or 
the Icelander," is the title. 

Mr. George Ellis came to see me yesterday, and 
will preach for us to-day. We were much pleased to 
hear Mr. Simmons last Sunday ; and, as he was here 



402 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

during his leisure that day, we got a good deal ac- 
quainted with him, and found him a very genial, 
pleasant man. He told me what I did not know, 
that he had been living in Milton. I think he has 
but a faint idea of what Springfield is ; but he seems 
to like it very much, so imperfectly as it is known to 
him. 

January 30. I went this morning to hear one of 
Mr. George Ellis's best discourses. His text was 
from the sixth chapter of Hebrews and fifth verse : 
"The powers of the world to come." His subject 
was, the influence those powers exert on human 
character, according to their different states of mind 
and education. I think the house will be crowded 
this afternoon ; it was very full this morning. Many 
people went expecting to hear a sermon appropriate 
to the occasion of Mrs. H. S.'s death, that I think 
will come again and bring more. 

It is a great blessing to me to have Martha Swan 
with me, she being fond of the kind of reading I 
like. 

Northampton, March 8, 1848. 

My dear Son, — . . . My hands and my mind are 
employed, though there is considerable monotony in 
my existence. 

Since I read "Jane Eyre," I have read the " Life 
of John Jay," which interested me very much, 
though I have read it before, some twelve years ago ; 
but I always have thought of him as one of the 
saints of the earth, and, like Washington, that we 
should never see his like as-ain. 



ON BRINGING UP CHILDREN 4°3 

Now, with your leave, I shall use the remainder 
of the paper for the benefit of your wife. 

My dear Sarah, — I have had it in my heart 
a long time to write to you, not that I thought I 
could give you much pleasure, but for my own 
satisfaction. 

Now, of course you don't know how deeply I 
sympathized with you in this last momentous event 
in your history. Married people have a great many 
mountains to go over, and each one safely passed 
is a subject of congratulation, where the gain has 
been greater than the cost and trouble. Now, I 
hold my only grandson to be a mighty treasure. 
I feel much richer for him myself, and if I am so 
much benefited, what must be your case ? Why, he 
is a mine of wealth ! an income of daily comfort! — 
just what his father has always been to me ; and 
now I feel that the treasure is doubled in his having 
a good wife, and, I trust, an excellent child. You 
are sure now of having something to do that will 
add greatly to the importance and value of life ; 
and I don't know of any thing more satisfactory 
than bringing up children. They are nearly all 
that gives any interest to old age, if we are per- 
mitted to attain to it. I often wish I was going to 
live my life over again, for my children's sake ; for, 
with my present experience and discipline, I should 
be much better fitted to bring up a family of chil- 
dren than I was in time past. But the same is the 
case with others ; and, in observing upon mankind, 
we see that every thing done is an experiment made 



404 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

without any knowledge of the result. Some of the 
experiments turn out well, and some ill. But having 
the destiny of our children in our hands is such a 
fearful, anxious task, that it inspires some profound 
reflections in those who never had any before; and 
there are many strengthening influences accompany- 
ing all our domestic duties, which have a very salu- 
tary bearing on the character, and, together with 
love, help us along, and prevent many with but little 
instruction from making shipwreck of their children 
and their domestic happiness. I am calculating 
that Edward and yourself will have a pattern family, 
which, if I live to see, will add much to the pleasures 
of my advanced life. 

Northampton, March 16, 1848. 

My dear Son, — I was glad to learn from your 
own pen that your wife and my grandson are doing 
well. I know that Sarah will take time for recovery. 
As Mrs. Butler is going to-morrow, and I can send 
a package as well as not, I will send you the porrin- 
ger to my little grandson, which his father was 
always fed from when a youngster ; and I hope and 
pray he may be as easy to get along with as was his 
father. 

Mr. Delano must be thanked for John Quincy 
Adams's picture. The last time I ever saw him, 
to converse with him, he looked like that picture ; 
but when I saw him in the street, last autumn, he 
was much thinner. I am pleased to have it. The 
time I speak of conversing with him, he kissed my 
hand when we parted. That ceremony was a part 



ON BEING "NOT AT HOME " 405 

of his European manners. Your father thought it 
was prophetic that we should never meet again. . . . 
With regard to Theodore Parker's eulogy of Mr. 
Adams, if a man acts through life from a high prin- 
ciple of honor, justice, truth, and humanity, but 
sometimes commits errors of judgment and opinion, 
those blemishes should not be made the most prom- 
inent when pretending to write his " eulogy." Eben 
Hunt could lend you this production, I dare say. I 
wish you would give Eben one of Mr. Ellis's dis- 
courses on your father's death, and ask him to take 
an early opportunity to send Baron Rcenne ; unless 
you would rather do it yourself. 

Northampton, April 25, 1848. 
My dear Abby, — In the course of each day a 
good many people call, and you know our practice 
is always to be disengaged. This I could not do 
in a city ; but having begun so, the time never came 
for discontinuing the practice. And I am now 
very well satisfied that a great many valuable friend- 
ships and strong attachments, and even the ties of 
kindred, have been broken by the self-indulgence 
by which people turn their friends and acquaint- 
ances from the door, from unwillingness to make 
a reasonable sacrifice to the intercourse of friend- 
ship. It is so heart-chilling, that it does much to 
free7X" the affections that would readily expand into 
a kind regard or a generous friendship, to be told 
at the door for a succession of years, "not at home," 
or "engaged." In my own case it tends directly 
to a non-intercourse, and makes city-life and habits 



406 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

intolerable to me ; combining, as it too generally 
does, heartlessness and senselessness. 

I suppose you would like to know how we have 
lived this winter. In the first place, after your 
uncle's death, I dismissed my oldest domestic, wish- 
ing to teach the youngest habits of responsibility 
and care, such as she could not attain while there 
was a responsible person over her ; besides wishing 
to diminish the expense of two hundred dollars a 
year, which was the least I could estimate her board 
and wages at. 

My real estate is rated so high that it, with a min- 
isterial tax of seventy dollars, will not be less than 
a hundred annually. This, with an income not over 
eight hundred dollars, makes the nicest calculations 
necessary in regard to economy. And I do not 
think it tends any more to narrow the mind to study 
a rigid economy, than it does to keep one's self friv- 
olously used up in contrivances for spending money 
lavishly, and studying trifling points of etiquette ; 
instead of studying the higher philosophy of good 
principle, and seeking in religion and moral recti- 
tude how to lead a good life in the sphere God 
has appointed us here. Therefore, I shall not waste 
feeling and thought on the uneasiness of not being 
rich, but think how, under existing circumstances, 
I can widen the sphere of my usefulness without 
money. This will be harder for S. than for her 
mother ; but she has good principles, and too much 
strength of character, not to do as well as she can 
in whatever position she is placed, and that without 
discontent or murmuring. We must all remember 



ON SIMPLICITY OF LIVING 407 

that our lot is better than we deserve, and that the 
cultivation of contentment and gratitude are the 
great antidotes to the evils of this life. 

In the beginning of the winter, I had Miss Swan 
come to pass the winter with me, for I knew my Susan 
must be much of it with Catherine in New York. 

P. S. I shall enjoy you and yours in your home, 
were it in the greatest possible simplicity, more than 
I can possibly enjoy visiting where there is a great 
effort at style and fashion ; for in one I can find 
warmth of the heart, and in the other much of the 
ice which clings to gold, the touch of which freezes 
the soul. 

I am much pleased with Mr. T. Walker's discourse 
on Mr. Adams. Please to say to him that I am 
greatly obliged to him for sending it to me. 

To IVm. S. Thayer, at Harvard College, Nov. 26, 184s. 

My dear William,— I have been intending to 
give you a few lines ever since I answered your 
Brother James's letter. I was very glad to hear 
that you had been so fortunate as to get a school 
at Canton. I hope it may prove all that you desire ; 
and I dare say your anticipations do not exaggerate 
the pleasures of such an employment ; on the con- 
trary, you are probably expecting a great deal of 
trouble, much that is distasteful and difficult to 
endure. Put you must learn to consider that all 
these things are necessary to exercise, as well as 
test, your judgment ; and I have no doubt that it 
will prove a valuable discipline of all your faculties, 



408 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and end in that best of satisfactions, — the sense 
of doing good, not only to yourself, but to your 
fellow creatures. 

It is the saying of a good man, that, "for every 
good deed of ours, the world will be the better 
always." There is a great lesson of wisdom to be 
gained from teaching others ; and that is, the value 
of reverence. I mean reverence in its highest signi- 
fication, — first for the Author of our being, and then 
for his works ; but to come down to your own partic- 
ular case, — a just respect for those whose superiority 
has placed them over us as instructors and rulers. 
No youth employed as a teacher for the first time, I 
believe, ever had so true a sense as this occupation 
gives him of the necessity of that most valuable 
quality, so rare in these days of "democracy," "lib- 
erty," and "equality," and, I may add, "fraternity." 
But a teacher has constantly before him the practical 
illustration of its necessity and its value ; and the 
want of it is the greatest obstacle to improvement 
in the young, for it brings in its train of evils the 
lack of humility. 

Now, when you contemplate all the difficulties of 
college government, as well as the lower institutions, 
• — common schools, &c, — you at once perceive that 
they are all owing to a want of respect for authority ; 
in other words, reverence. When the young people 
in college get together, they do not discuss the vari- 
ous trials and virtues of the president and professors, 
but always their faults and imagined defects, with 
the most unmitigated severity. 

I have no doubt that, at the end of your time of 



THE STIMULUS OF WANT 409 

school-teaching, you will find you take a very dif- 
ferent view of the relation between the teacher and 
the taught from what you did before you commenced, 
and that you have gained much of wisdom by your 
experience. " Revere the wise, and yours will be the 
state of mind into which wisdom flows most freely," 
is a sentiment which we cannot apply too often to 
ourselves, or to those we are teaching. 

I am glad to hear that James Lyman and Chaun- 
cey Wright are coming home to Thanksgiving, and 
wish you could all do the same. Give my love to 
James, and tell him I should like to hear from him 
whenever he can find it in his heart to write ; and 
I hope, when you get fixed in your new position, you 
will give me some account of yourself and your 
hopes. And believe me your very interested friend, 

Anne Jean Lyman. 

To Mrs. Greene, she wrote, Aug. 2, 1849: "S. 
has two sons. They have talents to be agreeable, 
but their faculties are somewhat paralyzed by know- 
ing that they have a fortune to fall back upon, and 
that there is nothing for them to do but enjoy it. 
'The healthful stimulus of prospective want ' is highly 
desirable to the young people of our country ; and 
it is astonishing how many amongst us are ruined 
by the want of it. You may have seen the death of 
Mr. Theodore Lyman announced in the Boston news- 
papers. He was a rare exception to the rule I have 
adverted to. He left no widow, but left a son and 
a daughter. He provided amply for them, and dis- 



41 o RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

posed of one hundred thousand dollars to different 
charities. This I consider an exemplary act." 

And again Nov. 4, 1849: "I have just returned 
from church, where I have all day heard our good 
Mr. Ellis. I think he is about the best minister any 
people ever had ; for his good life furnishes a valu- 
able sermon every day. He is all the time at work 
for the good of society, and I think his loss would be 
felt almost as much among the other societies as in 
ours. He examines one school and its teachers once 
a week, taking the different ones in the order ; so 
that he stimulates both the teachers and the taught 
to do their best. And it has superinduced a degree 
of vigilance that we have never experienced before, 
with a corresponding degree of excellence." 

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 1852. 

My dear Son, — It filled my heart with joy and 
gratitude to get the intelligence I received yesterday 
at three o'clock, through Joseph. What I had heard 
the day before was the cause of a good deal of solici- 
tude, and I was looking with great anxiety for farther 
intelligence, when Joseph came over. I hope there 
will be no obstacles to prevent Sarah from a speedy 
recovery. You must begin to feel very rich, as well 
as proud of your possessions, with two boys to look 
after ; and I hope you will be as lucky as I have 
been. I see you laughing in your sleeve at the poor 
old lady's vain-glory, and I wish you may have as 
much cause for glorification at my age. I must tell 
you one thing : I did something to earn all the satis- 
faction I shall have ; but it will take a number of 



PRIDE IN HER GRANDSONS 411 

years to get to the " swellings of Jordan." There will 
be care for the hands a good while before you get to 
the cares of the heart. But parents have every en- 
couragement, and great promise of reward in all they 
do for their children. It yields a great interest for 
the capital. . . . 

Your very affectionate Mother. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

With gradual gleam the day was dawning, 
Some lingering stars were seen, 

When swung the garden gate behind us, — 
He fifty, I fifteen. 

The high-topped chaise and old gray pony 

Stood waiting in the lane : 
Idly my father swayed the whip-lash, 

Lightly he held the rein. 

The stars went softly back to heaven, 

The night-fogs rolled away, 
And rims of gold and crowns of crimson 

Along the hill-tops lay. 

That morn, the fields, they surely never 

So fair an aspect wore; 
And never from the purple clover 

Such perfume rose before. 

O'er hills and low romantic valleys, 
And flowery by-roads through, 

I sang my simplest songs, familiar, 
That he might sing them too. 

Our souls lay open to all pleasure, 

No shadow came between ; 
Two children, busy with their leisure, — 

He fifty, I fifteen. 



As on my couch in languor, lonely, 

T weave beguiling rhyme, 
Comes back with strangely sweet remembrance 

That far-removed time. 



JUDGE LYMAN'S MORNING WALKS 413 

The slow-paced years have brought sad changes 

That morn and this between ; 
And now, on earth, my years are fifty, 

And his, in heaven, fifteen. 

"Atlantic Monthly." 



MEMORY takes me back with grateful thoughts 
to a period behind the letters in the last 
chapter, — to the years 1839 and 1840, when I re- 
turned from Mr. Emerson's school in Boston, to 
find my dear father still vigorous and unimpaired, 
though seventy-three years of age. The exquisite 
little poem that heads this chapter has always 
brought this time so vividly before me, so much 
more vividly than any words of mine can do, that 
I could not help inserting them ; although in our 
case it would have come nearer the truth to say, 
" He seventy, I seventeen," — at least, for all but 
the last two verses. 

He rose very early in the summer time, — seldom 
later than four o'clock, — and it was his custom to 
take a long walk, rarely returning home before six. 
I often rose and took these walks with him ; and 
they have left a sweet remembrance that is like 
a treasure laid up in heaven, lie delighted in the 
natural beauties of our village ; liked to take me to 
Round Hill, and, if possible, to reach there before 
the sunrise. The mists in the valleys below, the 
mountain-tops above, were a pure delight to him. 
His memory was stored with old-fashioned poetry, 
which he often repeated as we walked through the 
quiet streets, where the closed houses still held their 
sleeping inmates. Sometimes he told me old tales 



414 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

of the dwellers in those homes, or of their fore- 
fathers, whom he had known as a child ; sometimes 
he repeated to me long passages of Pope's " Essay- 
on Man," or Gray's " Elegy in a Country Church- 
yard." 

In the long summer afternoons, he took me in 
the chaise all round the outskirts of the village. 
He had a quaint, old-fashioned set of terms with 
which he addressed his horse, which I have never 
heard any one else use. But the horse seemed to 
understand and like them. Sometimes we drove 
through Hadley and Hatfield ; crossed the river by 
the beautiful wire ferry ; came home under the 
mountain in the ravishing light of those valley sun- 
sets. Sometimes we drove to the Factory, to see 
sister Jane, and took tea there, returning home in 
the full moonlight. How glad was every one to see 
him, wherever he might go ! Truly, " when the 
eye saw him it blessed him, and when the ear heard 
him it took knowledge of him." At home, his 
presence made every room he entered " the cham- 
ber called Peace." 

And here, my dear girls, let me endeavor to call up 
from memory a picture of one day of my mother's 
life at this period. One impression pervades all 
my thoughts of her at that time ; it is one of 
breeziness, overflowing life and good-cheer for all 
who came within the circle of her influence; an 
immense healthfulness of soul and body, that some- 
how made others feel well and cheerful also, as if 
upborne by her own strong spirit. 

It is the gray dawn of a summer's day, and she 



A MATIN SONG 415 

is already up and doing, though the rest of her 
large family — all but my father — are in their 
deepest sleep. Not for worlds would she rouse 
them; this is her hour, — her opportunity. After 
the clear, cold bath in which she revels (it was 
always fine to hear her discourse eloquently on the 
magnetic effect of fresh water), she dresses in a 
short skirt and white sacque ; and, with broom and 
duster, goes to her parlors and dining-room, which 
are in plentiful disorder from last evening's gather- 
ings. She opens the windows wide in all the rooms, 
to let in the sweet morning air. Listening, as 
usual, to the song of the robins that frequent the 
elm trees all around, her fine ear catches a new 
note, long-drawn, sweet and various. Instantly, 
broom and duster are dropped, and she hastens out 
into the side-yard, and looks up into the acacia 
trees to discover her new favorite. " I have found 
him," she cries; "the most beautiful creature in 
the whole world, and the most exquisite singer. 
I shall write to Mr. Peabody this very day, and find 
out who he is." She returns to her work. The 
two parlors, dining-room, entry and staircase are 
all carefully and thoroughly swept before six o'clock. 
She then calls up her two domestics, if they are not 
already up. " How light and airy are all her move- 
ments ! how strange that so large a woman should 
have so elastic a tread ! " we used to say. She now 
returns to her room, and puts on the clean calico 
morning-dress and white cap and collar, which is 
her usual garb until late in the day. There are 
still some moments before the large family assemble 



4i 6 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

for breakfast, and no one ever saw her waste that 
time. Her large basket of darning always stood' in 
a corner of the room, ready to be attacked when 
other work failed ; and she darned the stockings of 
the whole family, — the servants' and the hired 
man's, as well as those of her husband, children, 
and nieces. ' For," she said, " it is the one way to 
save them time, trouble, and expense. I like to do 
it, and they never do it well." We had one girl 
named Maria, who had lived with us some years, and 
was about to leave us to accompany her family to 
another town. On the morning of her departure, 
she appeared at the parlor door, holding up the 
foot of an old black-silk stocking, so darned that 
the original fabric was hardly discoverable. " Mrs. 
Lyman, may I take this with me?" she said; "I 
found it in the rag-bag." "Why, certainly, Maria; 
but what can you want that old stocking for ? " 
" Why, I want to show the folks where I go Mrs. 
Judge Lyman's embroidery" said Maria ; and, chok- 
ing down a tender emotion, she added, " and I'll 
tell 'em she mended ours just as good as all the 
ladies'." 

Perhaps she darned stockings till the breakfast- 
bell rang, or else she took the book that always 
lay in the basket, underneath her stockings, — some 
good history, or book of ethics, or the last " North 
American." Or, if there were time, she wrote to 
Mr. Peabody and described her bird ; and got for 
answer, by next day's mail, that it was "the rose- 
breasted grossbeak." How its long name delighted 
her heart ! it was worthy the beauty of her singer. 



THE CHEER OE HER PRESENCE 4*7 

Breakfast comes. How often in summer-time it 
assembled fifteen or twenty happy souls around that 
hospitable board ! When my dear father came, his 
presence brought benediction, peace, and love, as 
much as hers gave warmth and cheer. The break- 
fast was always simple, but abundant, — tea and 
coffee, broiled fish or steak, bread, and some kind 
of pudding for the children, to be eaten with milk 
or cream. After breakfast, a chapter in the Bible 
and prayers were read. Then my mother had water 
brought, and with many aids among children, grand- 
children, and nieces the dishes were washed, silver 
cleaned, and table cleared in an incredibly short 
space of time. After this, she was very apt to take 
her seat near the front door, partly because of her 
social spirit, which made her love to greet the 
passers-by, or send messages to her neighbors ; and 
partly because father liked to sit there, and for the 
same reasons. She had always the basket of darn- 
ing beside her, and the book, and my father had the 
newspapers which he read aloud to her, or she to 
him ; and they discussed in a truly amusing way the 
events or the politics of the day, — for he had a rare 
and sweet humor, and she had keen wit, and peals 
of merry laughter were often heard from the stairs, 
or the two parlors, whose doors into the entry always 
stood open, and where groups of children and vis- 
itors collected. At this time, my mother always 
had the peas brought her to shell for dinner, or the 
beans to string. And I have seen her go on with 
these occupations unmoved and without apology, 
while distinguished visitors came and went, — Baron 



4 1 S RECOLLE CTIONS OE M Y MO THER 

Rcenne, perhaps, or Judges of the Supreme Court, — 
she conversing all the time with each and all, in 
the most brilliant way. A touch of the bell scarce 
interrupting the flow of her ideas, she would hand 
her pails and pans of vegetables, nicely prepared, 
to the little maid who came at her call, and go on 
with her inevitable darning. — It was seldom that 
the large family sat down to meals without addi- 
tional guests. Any one that dropped in was invited 
to remain ; any one passing the front door who 
looked weary was asked to stop. "Another plate 

for Mr. or Mrs. ," called my mother cheerily 

to her little maid, without a thought of trouble ; as, 
indeed, there was none. 

Although she darned beautifully, she was not 
an exquisite seamstress, and sometimes tried the 
patience of her children and young friends by want 
of nicety. So in derision we called her sewing 
"the Goblin Tapestry." But in truth she had too 
many garments to make and mend, to give much 
thought to any thing but the strength and durabil- 
ity of her work ; and in some particulars she was 
wanting in taste. I recall a young girl sitting near 
her one day with some exquisite embroidery in her 
hand. " Now, Mrs. Lyman, is not this lovely ? " she 
said. " Well, I dare say it is, my dear," was the 
quick reply, "but life has never been long enough 
for me to embroider a flannel petticoat." 

And yet with seeming inconsistency she took 
great pains to have one temporary inmate of the 
family taught to embroider; and, when a friend 
remarked upon it, and said, " Why, Mrs. Lyman, I 



PLAIN LIVING AND HIGH THINKING 419 

always thought you believed in having young people 
cultivate their minds before all things ?" she lowered 
her voice, but said in an emphatic whisper, " My 
dear, tliat girl wouldn't read, — not if you were to set 
her down in the Bodleian Library for the rest of her 
life. You can't put a quart into a pint cup." 

At one o'clock came dinner ; always a large joint, 
roast or boiled, with plenty of vegetables and few 
condiments, — for she thought them unwholesome, 
— good bread and butter, and a plain pudding or pie. 
I think her idea about food as well as clothing was, 
that there was but one object in it, — to support 
and sustain the body in the one case, to cover and 
keep it warm in the other. And so she never dis- 
cussed or encouraged discussion of anything belong- 
ing to them. To have interrupted the fine conver- 
sation at that dinner-table, by any dwelling upon 
the flavor or quality of the viands set before any of 
us, would have appeared to both my father and 
mother as the height of vulgarity; and I have never 
been able to get used to it at other tables. The 
same feeling led them always to avoid any conversa- 
tion about their domestic concerns or troubles, and 
this from the highest motives. One whose name 
is a household word in many lands once said, after a 
two weeks' visit at their house, " Oh, I liked to stay 
with Mrs. Lyman, for she had no kitchen!" I 
remember well her sitting in apparent abstraction 
and silence for a good hall -hour, while two neighbors 
discussed the enormities oi their servants. At last, 
anxious for her sympathy, they appealed to her. 



420 ' RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

She rose from her seat, sighed wearily as she gath- 
ered up her work to depart, and said emphatically, 
"I see no perfection in the parlor, I don't know why 
I should expect it in the kitchen." 

In the afternoon, my dear mother allowed herself 
a long siesta, and came from her room about four, 
or a half-hour later, with renewed brightness and 
cheerfulness. Then the windows of the west parlor 
attracted her, and there the young members of the 
family delighted to join her. Her pleasure in the 
society of the young was unbounded, and her entire 
sympathy with them led her to draw out the best 
in them at all times. Especially, if she found any 
young person with a strong desire for acquiring 
knowledge, she never lost sight of the intellectual 
stimulus to be applied, and never rested till she had 
found means to supply the want. How many admi- 
rable books we read aloud to her in those long sum- 
mer afternoons, she often stopping us to impress 
some deeper application of the author's thought 
upon our minds, or taking the book from our hands 
to read over again, in her own impressive way, some- 
thing that we had made poor and tame by our ren- 
dering ! And with that large hospitality that often 
made it impossible for her to enjoy any great 
thought alone, or with her own family alone, she 
would note the passers-by as we read ; and many a 
good neighbor, or young, intellectual starveling has 
been beckoned in, "just to hear this rich passage we 
are reading, it won't take long." 

Ah ! can we ever restore the flavor of her evening 



IDEAL EVENING PARTIES 421 

parties, where young and old, high and low, met on 
the fine footing that her perfect disinterestedness 
and full animal spirits alone made possible ? No ! 
not alone ; for the saintly spirit that moved beside 
her, invited this large hospitality even more than 
she; and what her greater impetuosity sometimes 
failed to do, his unfailing gentleness and dignity 
combined made possible, and the result of all the 
household entertainments was as perfect as heart 
could desire. We had parties two or three evenings 
in the week in summer-time ; indeed, the neighbors 
thought we had parties all the time. But, for the 
most part, they were informal gatherings. In the 
old stage-coach days, my father always saw every 
friend or stranger of distinction that arrived at the 
taverns ; and, if he reported directly to my mother, 
she scarcely waited till morning to call in her friends 
and neighbors for the next evening, and to make 
ready her parlors for guests the next forenoon. If 
it was to be a tea-party, she had only to order an 
abundant supply of tea and coffee, with thin slices 
of bread and butter doubled, sponge-cake made by 
the daughters before breakfast, and thin slices of 
cold tongue or ham ; if an evening party, the lemon- 
ade and cake and wine in summer, and the nuts 
and raisins and fine apples in winter, furnished the 
simple but sufficient entertainment. I recall the 
zest and avidity with which she planned these 
evenings in which one thought rose above all others, 
— to give pleasure, not to get it for herself. How 
she remembered every one, especially the young and 
the shy and the restricted, whose opportunities for 



422 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

society were small, and who would, therefore, be 
most benefited ! 

" Go tell M. and C. and A.," she would say to one 

of us, " that Mr. and Mrs. and Judge , from 

Boston, will be here this evening, and I want them 
all to come ; they will hear good talking." And, 
though she impressed on us all the duty of doing 
our part towards the entertainment of guests, she 
also taught us that a part of the value of society to 
the young consisted in being good listeners. In 
short, her one idea was to bring together the good 
and wise, who would be sure to enjoy conversation, 
and then collect a troop of young people about them, 
who must be benefited by contact with superior 
minds. 

"No one ever declines going to Mrs. Lyman's 
parties," was the common remark; "indeed, she has 
always more than she asks, for everybody knows 
they can take their friends there!' 

Occasionally, we had a party a little more stately 
than the rest. Such was the annual court-week 
party, when all the judges of the Supreme Court, 
and their wives and daughters, with the younger law- 
yers, and friends from all parts, filled the house. At 
such times, all the daughters of the house were en- 
gaged for two or three days in the preparations, and 
the result seemed to us magnificent. 

My mother so often alludes to "court-week" in 
her letters, that I cannot but recall what a delight- 
ful time it was to my sister and myself. As little 
children, we had been allowed to sit up to the seven- 
o'clock tea, which was handed round, and we did not 



FESTIVITIES OF " CO UR T- WEEK " 423 

go to bed till eight. What a week was that ! How, 
in the morning, we all ran to the window, when the 
rapid ringing of the court-bell announced the coming 
of the Judges ! My father always went to the hotel 
to escort them into court, and the procession had 
to pass our house. Father and the chief justice 
came first, my father bearing his high-sheriff's staff 
of office ; then Judge Wilde and Judge Putnam, 
Judge Metcalf and Judge Williams, Mr. Octavius 
Pickering and a troop of lawyers, two and two, with 
green bags. They always dined with us once or 
twice during the week, and some or all of them took 
tea every evening ; besides our having one large 
party for them, taking in half the town. I always, 
as a child, had a feeling about Chief-Justice Shaw, 
as if he were the Great Mogul, or the Grand Panjan- 
drum, or something of that sort ; and the tone of 
absolute reverence with which my father spoke of 
him increased the effect. He was often very silent, 
and was subject to "hay fever" when he went on 
the circuit, and was probably tired also in the even- 
ing, for he sat with his head lowered, which gave 
him the appearance of having his eyes closed. Once 
I crept up behind my father's chair, and whis- 
pered : — 

" Father, is the chief justice asleep ?" 
"Oh, no, my little pigeon," was the reply; "far 
from it ! Why, he is thinking the profoundest 
thoughts that ever pass through the mind of man." 

This made a deep impression on my mind, and I 
crept back into my corner, longing to know what 
those "profoundest thoughts" might be. 



424 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

And when we had grown to womanhood, and left 
the dream-land of childhood far behind, court-week 
still remained invested with the early halo ; and the 
coming of the judges, with their excellent and intelli- 
gent families and friends, while it brought us abun- 
dant work, gave us the constant reward of delight- 
ful society. 

I recall those days now, when my mother had 
worked from early morning till late of a hot sum- 
mer's day, till even her strong frame showed signs 
of exhaustion ; then, retiring to her room for one 
hour of rest, and appearing in the evening, dressed 
in the "good gown," with heart-warmth and smiles 
and brilliant talk for every one. Was any young 
girl shy or ill at ease at her parties ? — she did not 
then push her forward, or insist on her doing a task 
for which she was not fitted, and so make the 
evening a penance to her. No ! she kindly placed 
her near some group of elder people, where the 
conversation was earnest and the themes high ; and 
she knew the dear and unobtrusive soul would feel 
herself in Paradise. Perhaps she would not talk 
that night ; but her mind and heart would be 
warmed and fed, and that would surely make her 
talk better at some future day. 

A friend, who once passed a few weeks at the 
house, gives me this instance of her entire friendli- 
ness and sympathy with the young. She was pre- 
paring for one of her evening parties, and had got 
as far as arranging her flower-pots, which were fear- 
ful to behold, for she had never any taste in floral 
decorations. Chancing to pass the window, she 



HER DELICATE SYMPATHY 425 

espied a young girl whom she loved much, for she 
had many talents and a warm heart ; but, through 
restricted circumstances and somewhat careless hab- 
its, was not always ready for enjoyment. 

" Oh, S.," she cried, " I am going to have a party 
this evening; and all the judges are to be here, and 
all the court-ladies, and I want you to come. Do 
come, my dear ! " 

"Oh, Mrs. Lyman!" said the poor girl, looking 
tearfully down at her feet, " how I wish I could 
come ! But I can't, for my shoes are all out at the 
toes, and this is my only pair." 

A pause of a few minutes, when the good lady's 
face brightened; — '"Well, S.," she said, "at least, 
you'll help me get ready for my party ? " 

" Oh, yes ! " said the young girl, with alacrity ; and 
she came in, and in a few hours had effected a won- 
derful transformation in the rooms, with her tasteful 
hands and willing feet. Mrs. Lyman accompanied 
her home when the work was done, beguiling the 
way with cheerful talk. Somehow, she hardly knew 
how, they were in the best shoe-store of the village ; 
a pair of beautiful bronze shoes were purchased, and 
she had parted from her friend, and ran gayly home 
to dress for the party. 

The early restrictions of her comparatively iso- 
lated life at Brush Hill, during her youth, always 
gave her a peculiar sympathy for all young people 
she knew, who lived in a similar isolation. And 
so when winter came on, her thoughts would turn 
naturally to the two families of Huntington and 
Phelps, whose beautiful homes near Iladley were 



426 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

her delight in her summer drives, but whose young 
inmates she felt were sadly cut off from social privi- 
leges in the long winters. " You can never know," 
said Mrs. Bulfinch to me once, "the thrill of pleas- 
ure that would come to us when we saw the double 
sleigh, with Mrs. Lyman in it, drive into our yard, — 
when snow-drifts were deep, and we had scarcely 
seen any one for weeks. Which of us would she 
ask to go home with her in the sleigh for a long 
visit, for we were sure she would take some of us ? 
And when we went, what a welcome we had, and 
what a new life ! Your dear father, and the guests 
he always collected ; the newest books, of which we 
had not heard, all lying on the table ; the bright 
homeish parlor ! — it seemed like being transferred 
to an enchanted land ! " 

Born to be leaders in society, the presence of both 
my father and mother in that lovely village was felt 
to be a peculiar blessing, because their counsels 
always prevailed to bring about the best sort of 
democratic feeling. They were prominent and ac- 
tive in the support of lyceum lectures, in the get- 
ting up of Shakspeare clubs, and the formation of 
literary societies. If the lecturers were to be poorly 
paid, they invited them to stay at their house, and 
made up to them in kindness and hospitality what 
they lacked in fees. I recall one of our Shakspeare 
clubs, where there were four or five admirable 
readers, but a few resident students from neighbor- 
ing towns whose reading was incredibly bad. When 
my mother took the part of Portia, and Mr. Frederic 
D. Huntington (then a youth, but now Bishop of 



SHAKESPEARE CLUB READINGS 427 

the Central Diocese of New York) that of Bassanio, 
in the " Merchant of Venice," every one that could 
came to listen. But it must be confessed that our 
club was sometimes enlivened by bad reading ; and 
on one occasion, during the play of "Hamlet," a 
young man taking the part of player to the king 
uttered himself in this remarkable way, " What's he 
to Hce-Xv/z-by [Hecuba], or Hee-/£«/-by to him?" 
Of course, except for the kind and considerate man- 
ners of that little community, the whole group of 
listeners would have been convulsed with laughter. 
My mother was as grave and solemn as possible, 
till all had left the house, and then she laughed till 
she hurt herself. Next day came a discussion in 
her presence as to whether such readers should not 
be excluded from the club. " By no means," she 
exclaimed, emphatically ; " we can all read Shak- 
speare when and as we please ; zvc can now and then 
go to Boston or New York, and hear Fanny Kemble 
or Charles Kean read, but to these young people it 
is their only opportunity. Let them come and read 
badly one winter; it won't hurt us. Then, next 
winter, give them new parts, and let them hear how 
the best readers render those they have read. That 
will benefit them without hurting their feelings." 
And she carried the day. 

Indeed, it seemed a curious fact to all who knew 
her warm temper and passionate nature, that she 
rarely hurt the feelings of any one; and, when she 
did, her wounds left no sting behind. With a vast 
power of indignation against wrong doers, a positive 
hatred of any thing mean or small or insincere, and 



428 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

a somewhat undisciplined and impetuous mode of 
expression on occasions where her temper was 
roused, — she was surely as free from every taint of 
resentment or jealousy or suspicion, as any human 
being I have ever seen. I remember reading aloud 
in one of Mrs. Stowe's stories, where she describes 
her heroine as not being " economical of her wrath, 
but using it so unsparingly, that it was all gone 
before the time for action came." " That's your 
mother," said my dear father, with a sly smile ; and 
though she pretended not to hear, we knew she 
did. She never apologized, that I remember ; she 
was too busy ; life was too full for her, to keep 
taking the back track and wiping out old scores. 
But the rare tenderness of her manner to those she 
knew she had wounded, the warm-hearted sympathy, 
so ready to begin a new day in a new way, if they 
were as willing to forget as she was, was better far 
than a host of excuses. In short, she never enjoyed 
the discussion of inevitable things. She could give 
a person a good " setting down " when excited, in 
a few strong, terse, inimitable words. But then it 
was done and over, and she never wanted it revived. 
And if others were hesitating about any course 
of action, or quarrelling over a decision, she was 
sure to settle the question in a very positive and 
often sudden way, though with no disregard to the 
best rights of others. In Miss Bremer's novel of 
the " Neighbors," there was much in the character 
of "Ma Chere Mere" that reminded me of my 
mother. Especially that little scene where, calling 
in the heaven-chariot to take one of her daughters- 



HER WIT AXD READINESS 429 

in-law to drive, she found them both dressed and 
ready, and bickering about which should have pre- 
cedence ; and so she whipped up her horse, and 
went without either. 

I do not think that you, dear girls, who cannot 
remember her tones of voice, her impressive manner, 
and expressive gestures, will ever be able to form 
an adequate idea of her wit, from my poor showing. 
A lady, now in middle life, tells me this tale of her 
youth ; she was a bright and talented girl, and a 
great favorite with my mother, who was always 
deeply interested in all that concerned her, both 
her education and her pleasures. She frequently 
spent whole days with my mother ; read aloud to 
her, and joined in all the family occupations and di- 
versions. But she belonged to an Orthodox family ; 
and once, when a revival of religion went through 
the village, S. " came under conviction," as it is 
called ; and, being much interested and occupied 
with it, she naturally discontinued her visits to her 
friend for a time. "One day," she said, "when 
I had not seen Mrs. Lyman for three months, I 
was walking up Shop Row, and saw her coming 
down on the other side of the street. I thought 
I would not look that way, and perhaps she would 
not see me. Hut she darted across the street, and 
taking me by both hands said, 'S.,my child, you 
need not be afraid to come and see me, because 
you've "got religion ;" don't you know you can't be 
too religious? Get all the religion yon can!'' I 
thought she had gone, but in another moment she 
had turned back, looked me lull in the face, and 



430 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

said, impressively, ' Be a good child, S., and go Jiome 
and brush your teeth! " 

Walking by the Edwards Church one evening, 
as the bells rang for a third service, she remarked 
solemnly to her companion, — a stranger in the place, 
"Those are the people who are a shade better than 
we are ! " Coming from our own church one day, 
after the clergyman, a stranger, had been preaching 
a sermon upon a personal devil, our neighbor, Mrs. 
Whitmarsh, met her and said, "Why, Mrs. Lyman, 
yon don't believe in a personal devil, do you ? " " Of 
course I do ! I couldn't keep house a day without 
him ! " was the emphatic answer. 

It was not always what she said, that caused the 
laugh that so often followed her lightest remarks. 
It was the tone of voice, the inimitable gesture, the 
lifting of her eyebrows, the waving of her hand, the 
mock solemnity, — that carried away her hearers with 
an irresistible flood of merriment. And these tones 
and gestures were so wholly her own, such a simple 
and unconscious possession, that it is impossible 
to describe them. At a sewing circle one night, 
before the days of gas, the hostess was worrying 
over the poor light from her astral lamp. She tried 
various expedients, but all to no purpose, and she 
grew more and more worried. A hand was laid on 
her arm, and the audible whisper sent a smile all 
round the room: "The law of the lamp has been 
violated," said Mrs. Lyman; "that's all the matter." 

One morning a gentleman, a stranger, walked 
into Warner's tavern, and accosted " mine host," — • 
at the same time laughing heartily. " 1 was walking 



HER DELIGHT IN CHILDREN 431 

past a house just above here," he said, "when an 
elderly lady without any bonnet, and carrying a 
large feather fan, with which she fanned herself 
vigorously, passed me. I saw that some portions 
of the fence had been broken, and I stooped down 
and laid the pieces carefully together. I felt a hand 
laid on my shoulder, and a voice said, ' Sir, you're a 
Christian feller cretur!* I looked up, and it was 
the same pleasant-looking lady I had seen walking 
up and down." "Oh," said Mr. Warner, "it's easy 
to tell you who that was ! Nobody in our village 
talks that way but Mrs. Judge Lyman." 

Her views on the education of children were 
strong and characteristic. She loved young chil- 
dren with enthusiastic devotion, enjoyed in the 
heartiest way every beauty or attraction they pos- 
sessed, and fairly revelled in the presence of a baby. 
I never saw but two persons who delighted in a 
baby as she did. One was our minister's wife, Mrs. 
Hall; and the other, our cousin, Emma Forbes. 
Whenever a new baby appeared at the Halls', my 
mother would come home in a state of rapture. 
Mrs. Hall would say to her, "Now, you see, Mrs. 
Lyman, this is really the best and sweetest baby I 
have had yet ; he is so pretty, I really feel as if I 
ought to give him away ; he is too good for me to 
keep." And this hearty gratitude for the new gift 
met with the fullest response in her good neighbor's 
heart. 

She noted the peculiar traits of her children, re- 
joiced in their individualities, delighted in their 
original remarks; but she "kept all these things in 



432 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

her heart, and pondered them." No one ever heard 
her call attention to them, or repeat any thing they 
had said, in their presence. In fact, she was so 
fearful that others might be less careful than her- 
self, that she did not often speak of them to her 
friends, and it has been an amazement to us to find 
so many references to us in her letters. A child's 
simplicity and unconsciousness were more sacred to 
her than to any one I have ever known, and she 
guarded them with a jealous care I have never seen 
surpassed. Always ready to sympathize with and 
approve them, she yet never allowed herself or 
others to express admiration of children in their 
presence, — either of their beauty or their attractive 
ways, or their efforts to please. I can remember 
the indignation she once expressed when some 
neighbors stopped at the front door, and showed 
undisguised admiration for the unconscious little 
beauty who sat there eating her bread and milk. 
Afterwards, in reading what our Lord said, in 
Matthew xviii., 6, "Whoso shall offend one of these 
little ones," &c, she exclaimed forcibly, "They do 
it all the time, — the people that flatter simple and 
innocent children, and destroy their natural uncon- 
sciousness and humility." She had always great 
faith in keeping children in a rather humble and 
subordinate position ; but entirely on their own 
account, and from strong conviction that it would 
be a help to them all through the journey of life. 
So she dressed them in the plainest clothes, taught 
them always to be ready to give up personal ease or 
pleasure for the sake of older people, and wished 



SIX YARDS OF MORTIFICATION 433 

them to show deference at all times to superiors. 
I think in the matter of dress she sometimes erred, 
— partly from her own lack of taste. But the prin- 
ciple with her was a fine one. It arose from her 
great dislike to give prominence to the external in 
any thing. It may be questioned, however, if a fair 
amount of time and thought bestowed on dress does 
not confer pleasure of a high order on others ; and 
almost all children have such delight in pretty 
clothes, that it is possible to produce more thought 
about them in a child's mind who is denied the exer- 
cise of taste, than would exist where a certain 
amount of care was bestowed on it. But her view 
was on the whole a noble one, — in her who valued 
the soul so much more highly than the body, and 
who wanted to make a purse, that would have 
sufficed to dress her own children handsomely, help 
to supply the necessities of life to many others. 

I well remember a certain indigo-blue print, 
covered with white stars, very much worn by chil- 
dren in orphan asylums, and by working people. 
It was our detestation, and so my mother dubbed 
the material "mortification." I had never heard 
any other name for it, and did not suppose it had 
any other. We had our fresh white dresses and 
blue ribbons for Sundays or for company, but on 
working days, "let all children eat humble pie," 
was my mother's maxim ; and in many respects it 
was a good one. And so, one day when I was 
eight years old, I was sent to the store to buy six 
yards of the hated fabric to make an every-day 
dress. " Please, sir," said I, sadly, to the clerk who 



434 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

made his appearance, "have you any blue mortifica- 
tion?" "No! I never heard of it," was the quick 
reply. My spirits rose, and I was about to leave 
the store, when I almost stumbled over a pile of 
the very goods. Conscience was too strong for me. 
"This is it," I said timidly. I heard a suppressed 
giggle behind the counter ; and as the clerk meas- 
ured off six yards of "mortification," one of the 
partners said in an audible whisper, " Of course it 
ain't the name, but Mrs. Lyman always gives her 
own names to every thing, and the child don't know 
any better." 

I do not think that my mother ever had more 
than three dresses at any one time ; she called 
them " gowns." Her best dress was always a very 
handsome black silk, worn with simple, but fine, 
cap and laces. A mousseline-de-laine — black or 
gray — she called her "every-day gown;" and a dark 
calico for mornings and work-days, she wore in sum- 
mer, and exchanged for a heavier material in winter. 
The best dress she always called her " good gown ; " 
and a shabbier dress, which she kept to save the 
best, she called her "vessel of dishonor." It took 
one day then to cut, fit, and finish off one of her 
gowns ; she sitting with the dressmaker, and sewing 
the whole day. So that three days in the early 
summer, and three days in winter sufficed to con- 
struct her modest wardrobe. And, oh ! how hand- 
some she was in every dress, — even when she had 
not on the " good gown," that belonged to state 
occasions. 

I thought her manners then, and I think them 



HER STA TEL Y MANNERS 435 

now, after a long review, the finest I have ever 
seen, except my father's, which were even finer, 
having in them the trace of a life filled with the 
beatitudes. My mother had a noble presence, and 
what would have been called stately manners, had 
they not been so gracious, so full of friendliness 
and sympathy, and sincere cordiality. And I cannot 
remember that either she or my father ever enjoined 
fine manners on the many young people they edu- 
cated ; or ever talked about them. With them it 
was always the principle to work from within out- 
ward, and not the reverse. They believed that if one 
could make a child perfectly truthful, disinterested, 
and considerate towards all God's creatures, fine 
manners would be the inevitable and unconscious 
result. Both of them despised conventionalities, 
and often taught us, both by precept and example, 
that appearances were naught, except as types of an 
interior reality. 

To my mother's large view, the fine perspective 
of life was always kept ; she could not sacrifice the 
greater to the less at any time. I remember once, 
when a sleighing party of young people, hurrying 
to be in time for the railroad-train — which then 
did not come nearer to Northampton than Palmer, 
— drove up to the friendly door for aid, because they 
had broken some part of their harness. Sitting 
near the window, she saw the dilemma, and has- 
tened out. Being told that they had not a moment 
to lose, and that there were reasons of special 
importance why they should make the train, she 
despatched one child in haste to the barn for the 



436 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

man, and another to the house for strong cords. 
But no sooner had they gone to obey her orders, 
than a quicker expedient suggested itself to her 
fertile fancy. She raised her dress quietly, and 
rapidly whisked off her strong, knit, cotton garters, 
united the broken harness with a firm weaver's knot, 
and waved off the little party with the air of a 
queen. I recall now their three cheers for " the 
good lady and her garters," as they drove down the 
hill ; and she, standing in the snow, with noble 
presence and outline, and grave unconsciousness of 
any thing save satisfaction that she could help them. 
My friend, Caroline Clapp, came in on the instant. 
"Don't tell me, Caroline, any thing about elastics" 
she said ; " a good, strong, generous cotton garter 
is worth the whole of them in an emergency." 

" Oh, Mrs. Lyman can say or do any thing she 
pleases," was the common remark. And so she 
could, because the motives were always simple, and 
single and transparent to view. The worst as well as 
the best was all to be seen ; nothing hidden, or com- 
plicated, or incomprehensible. I have said that her 
temper was quick and warm, and her passions violent. 
A friend has told me this characteristic story, one of 
many that could be told, to prove how wholly with- 
out resentment her nature was. When my mother 
first came to Northampton, a handsome and attrac- 
tive person, full of animation, she had been received 
with the utmost warmth, both for the sake of her 
good husband, so well beloved, and because her own 
cordiality spoke volumes in her favor. " I thought 
Northampton a little paradise," she said afterwards 



INABILITY TO BEAR MALICE 437 

to this same young friend, "and that everybody 
loved me as I loved them." And in the long run 
this was true, but it was impossible for so ardent 
and impulsive a nature not to offend sometimes the 
prepossessions or prejudices of a community where 
she was always the central figure. "And after a 
time," she said, "one person whom I had always 
loved, would come and repeat to mc the ill remarks 
of neighbors and friends. Then I said, ' Get thee 
behind me, for I cannot afford to have my mind and 
heart poisoned towards those I live among.' " One 
day, when a young girl she loved was reading aloud to 
her, this treacherous friend came in. "Go, my clear," 
said Mrs. Lyman, "and sit with your book, by 
the window, in the next room." "I went," said the 
young girl, "but I could not help overhearing the 

conversation, in which Miss repeated an opinion 

of her held by a family she had loved very much, 
and who, she thought, loved her, which was so deroga- 
tory and untrue, it could not but have been deeply 
trying to her warm and sensitive heart. I could not 
help hearing the whole," said S., " and I thought 
how angry Mrs. Lyman must be. But, no ! She 
was just as calm, and quiet, and dignified as possible, 
though she looked grieved. She heard Miss B. all 
through, then she said slowly and with subdued 
emotion, ' I am sorry my neighbors think so ill of 
me, but I can't help it. I shall never feel any differ- 
ently towards them.' Then her voice rising, but 
still calm, she added, 'but you, B., can't be my friend, 
to want to tell me such things, and I don't care if 
you never enter my doors again.' Miss B. took her 



438 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

leave hastily ; Mrs. Lyman called to me, ' Come, 

S , read right on, and let us forget all about this 

rubbish, just as fast as we can.' Her eyes were 
tearful, but in five minutes she was making cheerful 
comments on the book, and I never heard her allude 
to the incident again. But an event occurred soon 
after, which fixed the whole scene more forcibly 
still in my memory. Only a week later, a malignant 
epidemic seized the family in question, and two of 
the children were sick unto death. I was sent by 
my mother to inquire how they were, but by no 
means to enter the house, as the disease was so con- 
tagious. But as I hovered near the open doors and 
windows, to my surprise I saw Mrs. Lyman entirely 
absorbed in the care of the sick children, though she 
did not see me. Then I thought of the talk in her 
parlor, so short a time before, and I said in my 
heart, ' Whatever her religion is, she is a good and 
noble woman ! ' " 

Late in her life, she wrote a most tender and lov- 
ing letter to her daughter Catherine, in China, on 
the subject of her little grandchildren and their 
education, and I cannot but copy from it this strik- 
ing sentence : — 

" I can well remember the first time my Aunt 
Forbes (who was also my godmother) made me re- 
peat after her the sentence, 'I must bear no malice 
or hatred in my heart,' — together with a number of 
similar sentences which are familiar to you ; I say 
I can well remember thinking that it would be im- 
possible for me to entertain either of those senti- 
ments; but I am now sure that the impression she 



HER DEALINGS WITH SERVANTS 439 

then made has been the means of preventing the 
excess of them, for she led me to feel that they were 
as unworthy of one of God's creatures as either lying 
or theft. And I cannot doubt from practical experi- 
ence that it is more natural for un perverted children 
to receive good impressions than bad ones, and feel 
no doubt in my own mind that they often imbibe 
when very young the truest and most refined moral 
sentiments, which take root and grow with their 
growth, and strengthen with their strength." 

As another illustration of her inability to hold on 
to wrath, my friend, Lucretia Hale, recalls to me an 
instance to which we were both witness once, when 
she w r as on a visit at our house. My mother always 
had a small servant in the house, who acted in the 
capacity of runner to the whole family. She was 
usually taken at the age of ten years, and kept till 
fifteen or thereabout ; was not only clothed com- 
fortably and treated with much kindness, but was 
trained carefully for higher service, and daily in- 
structed for an hour or two, either by her mistress 
or some of her daughters, in reading, writing, arith- 
metic, and geography. My mother had a rare gift 
for teaching, and enjoyed it thoroughly. What a 
succession of these little girls she taught to read 
beautifully and understandingly ; and in spite of an 
occasional bout with obstinacy and stupidity, in which 
however she always came off conqueror, what an 
excellent relation subsisted between them ! It was 
delightful to overhear some oi these hours of instruc- 
tion, — the timid child slowly picking her way through 
an involved sentence in a perfectly dry, jerky, sing- 



4AO RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

song tone ; my mother correcting' with great pa- 
tience, but after a time seizing the book with impet- 
uosity, and reading so exactly like her young scholar, 
and yet performing the imitation so good-naturedly, 
that the child, diffident and respectful as she always 
was, could not help laughing heartily. " Now con- 
sider," she would say, " if you were relating this 
fact to me you have just been reading, would you 
do it so?" "No!" "Well, read it again to me 
exactly as if you were speaking." In this way, and 
by never allowing one word to be passed over that 
was not perfectly understood, both as to meaning 
and derivation, she made a large number of excellent 
readers. It was an inestimable service to these 
poor children, and in after life they duly appreciated 
it. The last child my mother took in this capacity 
was Letitia, who, bearing a striking resemblance to 
the same character in Dickens, commonly went by 
the name of the Marchioness. Now, the Marchion- 
ess was as good as gold and faithful to all require- 
ments, but like many another child of ten years, 
when work was done, she liked a little mischief. 
One afternoon in the late autumn, my mother saun- 
tered out to see some of her neighbors, wearing 
her large calash and cape that always hung on the 
tree in the front entry, to be in readiness for such 
impromptu expeditions. When she had gone, the 
Marchioness, unwisely calculating that the expedi- 
tion would last some hours, decided on a round of 
visits among her own acquaintance, although it was 
a day on which the cook was absent. Moreover, 
having a taste for elegance, she went to her mis- 



ANECDOTE OF THE "MARCHIONESS" 44* 

tress's closet, took out her best black-silk bonnet 
and nice Cashmere shawl, and arrayed herself in 
them. Nothing could be more absurd than the 
grotesque little figure, dressed in the elderly lady's 
best, that my friend and I saw hurrying off through 
the side-yard at twilight, too late to stop her pro- 
ceedings. So we resolved together to say nothing. 
The fates decreed that my mother should find most 
of her neighbors absent that afternoon, so she re- 
turned home very soon after the Marchioness had 
disappeared, and soon became absorbed in a book 
she was reading. Presently my father came in, and 
desired her to go with him to call on some strangers 
of distinction at the Mansion House. She went to 
her closet to get her best bonnet and shawl ; they 
were gone. Of course, her discomfiture and annoy- 
ance were extreme. We could no longer conceal 
from her the facts of the case, and evidently she 
must give up paying her visit. She was in a tower- 
ing passion, and who could wonder ? " She would 
punish that child within an inch of her life, the min- 
ute she could get hold of her ! The Marchioness 
would come home cold, and there would be no 
kitchen fire for her," — and she vigorously adminis- 
tered three or four pitchers of water, and put out the 
fire. "She would be hungry, she should go supper- 
less to bed, and shame and disgrace should follow 
her downsitting and uprising ! " So, having removed 
certain goodies that she habitually kept for any 
member of her own family into the parlor closet, 
she proceeded to lock up the kitchen and the store 
closets. 



442 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Late in the evening, the stealthy tread of the cul- 
prit, hoping to creep in and restore the borrowed 
lustre to its proper place without detection, was 
heard. My mother pounced upon her vehemently. 

"How did you dare!" she began, — but one 
glance at the shivering, trembling child was too 
much for that warm heart. Possibly, too, the whole 
absurdity of the situation struck her, although she 
never once smiled. " Letitia," she said, gravely, 
but in a tone whose depth and gentleness I hear 
even now through the distant years, " Letitia," — no 
longer "Marchioness," — "I suppose you are very 
cold ? " 

"Yes, marm." 

"Well, Letitia, the kitchen fire is all out, and it 
won't do for you to go to bed shaking in that way ; 
so you'd better sit down here by my fire, and get 
perfectly warm." 

"Yes, marm! " in most abject tones from the poor 
" Marchioness." 

A pause, — my mother working away as if her 
life depended on it ; then, " Letitia, I suppose you 
have not had any supper, and must be very hungry ? 
Well, you won't find any thing in the kitchen ; but 
when you have got your feet warm, you can go 
there," — pointing to the parlor-closet, — "and take 
what you want." 

When my friend Lucretia and I were fairly in our 
own room, and had closed the door, we could not 
tell whether to laugh or cry, the whole scene had 
been such a mixture of humor and pathos. Really, 
we had not expected to see such a fizzle as this, 
after such great preparations for protracted warfare. 



IMP A TIENCE WITH PRE TENSIONS 443 

It is needless to say that the " Marchioness " 
never wore her mistress's best things again, or per- 
formed any similar prank, although her mischief did 
not end there. "A great deal of the white horse 
in that child," my mother would say, — it was a 
favorite expression of hers, — "but she's a treasure 
in the long run." 

My dear friend, Martha Swan, who often stayed 
with her during my frequent absences from home, 
says that one day, when she was preparing to 
receive some friends in the evening, a young lady 
came in, whose purpose evidently was to receive an 
invitation to meet these guests. As soon as she 
was gone, my mother remarked: — 

" Now, mark my words, Martha ! I will not have 
that piece of pretension and affectation here to-night, 
to spoil all our pleasure." 

Martha thought she was perfectly right, and sup- 
posed the matter dropped. About dark, what was 
her amazement to see my mother creeping stealthily 
out the side-door, and, after a time, returning, tow- 
ing along " that piece of pretension and affectation," 
to take tea and pass the evening. She really could 
not have enjoyed a moment, thinking that any young 
girl was sitting at home, wanting to come ; although 
there was no reason why she should have asked her, 
as it was not a general party, but only a gathering 
of three or four persons. But she had certainly 
great impatience with all affectation ; and no wonder, 
for nothing could be more foreign to her own nature. 
I find in one of her letters this sentence : — 

" 1 went yesterday to see , and, to my great 



4H RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

sorrow, found her translated into an affected piece 
of city trumpery. But such people as she is, should 
not engross much space, even in a letter. They are 
like the short-lived, gaudy butterfly, — entertain us 
with their fine colors, but never soar to any thing 
higher than this poor earth. 'Tis about as foolish to 
talk about them as it would be to envy them. I 
could tolerate affectation, if it were not that I see 
those who fall into it have first to part with all their 
integrity of character, and give themselves up to 
the exhibition of false colors ; in other words, they 
live upon untruth. Their whole conduct is a prac- 
tical lie. But they only have the condemnation of 
such as themselves ; for others will do themselves 
the justice to bear their testimony against this lie, 
lest they should be considered as involved in the 
same folly, not to say vice." 

I cannot help here recalling how possible it was 
for her to appear like quite a poor, depressed, 
commonplace woman, when some accident would 
place her in the society of persons whose life was 
in externals. The neighbors in our village, who 
appreciated her so fully, would never have known 
her for the same person. Silent, abstracted, she 
was either absorbed in some homely work, or her 
mind had travelled to some distant space. I remem- 
ber a young lady of fashion waking her suddenly 
from one of these dreams by saying : — 

" Mrs. Lyman, you were at 's yesterday. 

Did you hear B. express any enthusiasm about 
Z.'s carpets and curtains?" 



HER DISRESPECT FOR " THINGS" 445 

She looked half-dazed ; but, when the question 
was fairly understood, said, slowly : — 

" Carpets ! curtains ! enthusiasm ! Well, well ! 
I've heard of enthusiasm for fine natural scenery ; 
for grand music ; for a noble poem ; but I never 
in all my life heard of it for those things!" And 
she relapsed into her solemn silence. 

Never was there any one, who, both by precept 
and example, placed a lower value on things. I find, 
in a letter to my sister Catherine, written to her 
during her residence in China, the following descrip- 
tion of a young friend: — 

" From the tone of her letters, I think L. is 
becoming more reconciled to her new home than 
when she first went there. I should think it was 
a place where she might make herself contented, 
and where her accomplishments would be appre- 
ciated. But I suspect discontent is a very promi- 
nent element in her character, though there is a 
great deal that is interesting mingled with it. But 
she has been too much indulged to be happy, and 
has too exaggerated notions of the requisites to 
happiness ; in short, she has not discovered that 
the real sources of happiness are only to be found 
in one's own breast. She has affixed too deep a 
significance to chairs and tables, and all external 
things of that kind, and has failed to throw around 
common things and common duties that drapery 
of fitness, simplicity, and grace, which nothing but 
a well-directed imagination and mental insight into 
the great ends of existence supplies. It is the 
common and familiar things belonging to our exist- 



446 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ence, which must furnish the materials of our happi- 
ness. We must invest them with the beauty and 
the radiance and the loveliness of gifts from our 
Heavenly Father, who knows what is best for us. 
.If our lot is not what we prefer, and what we 
cannot overrule, we must remember it has been 
assigned to us by our Heavenly Wisdom, in love and 
mercy. Will not such reflections secure content- 
ment ? " 

How can I pass by the period of my youth with- 
out recording the high value she placed on the 
friendships of the young, and the efforts she was 
always making to foster and enlarge them ? To 
her mind friendship was a great educator, one of 
the noblest of stimulants to virtue ; and in our house 
was never a barrier or limit placed on the inter- 
course of young people of botli sexes, by perpetual 
harping on proprieties. How the names of all our 
friends seemed to have an added lustre as she pro- 
nounced them, and how her ever fresh sympathy 
was constantly increasing our own enthusiasm ! 

And in the social life of our village, how steadily 
she ignored any differences among her neighbors ! 
I recall a most characteristic incident as happening 
during my youth. My mother's neighbors were 
mostly like herself, early risers, and half the work 
and half the errands in their busy life were done 
before breakfast in the summer-time, and in the cool 
of the morning. She so often repeated with glow- 
ing countenance those lines from Gray's " Elegy," 

" The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,"' 



HER PARLORS NEUTRAL GROUND 447 

that I think she had a living experience of the 
beauty in them. One morning, with windows all 
open, she was vigorously sweeping her parlors, when 
an old friend passed, with a basket of eggs, and 
stopped as usual for a morning chat. " Mrs. 
Lyman," she called out, " I hear you have invited 

the s and the s to your party to-night ! 

Didn't you know they don't speak ; and won't it 
be a little awkward ? " " I don't know any thing 
about people that don't speak ! " was the quick 
reply, and she went on with her work. A few 
moments passed, and another friend looked in at 
the window ; " Good morning, Mrs. Lyman," she 
said ; " I heard, yesterday, that you had invited the 

s and the s to your party to-night, and 

I thought, as I was going down town this morning, 
I would try to see you, and let you know that 
those two families don't speak to one another, and 
haven't these six months." "The Lord only knows 
when they will," said my mother, sweeping yet 
more vigorously, " if no one ever gives them a 
chance ! " And the second friend passed on. A 
few moments later, the sweet, cheery voice of a 
young girl was heard, on her way to catch the early 
mail at the post-office : — ■ 

" Airs. Lyman ! Mrs. Lyman ! " she called out, as 
she caught sight of the retreating figure with the 
broom; "are you going to have a party to-night? 

And is it true that you've invited the s and the 

s ? Lid you know they don't speak?" My 

mother was now quite roused. Leaving everything, 
she went to the door, and laid a heavy and impres- 



4 1 3 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

sive hand on the young girl's snoulcler, — -a touch 
that all remember who ever felt it. " See here, C," 
she said, "you are young, very young indeed" (if 
ever youth was made to sound like a crime, it did 
then) ; " did you ever hear that, when two countries 
are at war, a third country or territory is always 
selected, which they call neutral ground ? Now, I 
am perfectly willing to have my parlors stand for 
neutral ground ; but you need not tell any one that I 
said so." The young girl passed on ; but my mother 
called her back. "C," she said, "I want to tell 
you, that when you've lived as long as I have, you'll 
find it's a capital thing to go through life deaf, and 
dumb, and blind /" 

I cannot remember whether the contending fami- 
lies came to our party, but I do know that those dear 
parlors proved neutral ground more than once to 
neighbors long parted, their differences melting away 
in a house where differences were never recognized. 

Indeed, nothing impressed one more than the 
warmth and glow her presence spread wherever she 
came ; and in her own parlors she was surely queen. 
But wherever she moved, light followed her. How 
perfect were her relations to the near neighbors ! 
How she had secrets with the family at Warner's 
tavern, and lived for years on the best of terms with 
those two excellent women, Mrs. Warner and Mrs. 
Vinton, and would often be seen stealing in at their 
back door, through the hole in the fence that parted 
our premises, to borrow a pie, or to give advice as to 
the naming of the children who were born there, or 
something equally important ; then to the apothe- 



HER VIVID PERSONALITY 449 

cary's store between us, to have her evening chat 
with Mr. Isaac Clark, whom she justly regarded as 
"one of the salt of the earth " ! Trifles, light as air 
they all seem to tell of; but the racy words she 
uttered to all these friends have been remembered 
ever since. 

And yet how can any one, who did not hear her, 
take in the infinite satire she conveyed, when she 
spoke of one of her children, as fearing she had gone 
over to " those loose endcrs," meaning the transcen- 
dentalists ; and of another, that she had "got beyond 
ordinances," because she did not wish to go to 
church two or three times on Sunday ? 

We shall have to leave many of her best sayings 
unrecorded, for we cannot transfer the tone and 
manner that made them forcible. 



CHAPTER XX. 

Ye sigh not, when the sun, his course fulfilled, 

His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky, 

In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled, 

Sinks where his islands of refreshment lie ; 
And leaves the smile of his departure spread 
O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain-head. 

Why weep ye, then, for him who, having won 
The bound of man's appointed years, at last, 

Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done, 
Serenely to his final rest has passed; 

While the soft memory of his virtues yet 

Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set ? 

Bryant. 

IT was during the summer of 1841, that my father 
experienced his first shock of paralysis, followed 
at intervals with other attacks, more or less severe, 
until his death, on December 11, 1847. During 
these years, he suffered much from the conscious- 
ness of the change that had passed over him, from 
failing sight and memory, and all the wearisome 
attendants of paralysis. Nor was the care and alle- 
viation of the disease as well understood as now, 
when modern science has taught us the methods of 
staying its progress and lessening its effects. 
Always patient and long-suffering, his Christian 
submission did not forsake him, and he bore the 
long years of his downward progress, rather, I 



HER HUSBAND'S LAST YEARS 451 

should say, his upward progress, with that unrepin- 
ing spirit which in health had been a cheerful and 
peaceful one. But the days were full of heaviness 
to him, though often lighted up by the warmth of 
his affections, and that spirit of courtesy (the last 
attainment of the refined Christian) which never 
forsook him, even when mind and memory were 
gone. 

And now, if I were to pass over in silence my 
dear mother's course during these trying years, that 
integrity which formed so striking a portion of her 
character would rise up to reproach me. 

Disparity of years is no disadvantage in the early 
period of marriage. In fact, to a high-toned young 
woman, the mixture of reverence she cannot but 
feel for her elder companion greatly enhances many 
of her enjoyments. Middle age still retains the 
noblest characteristics of youth ; and if it has lost 
something of aspiration, it has the added grace of 
long habit, and the steadiness of long performance. 
But when years have passed on, and the wife finds 
herself in middle life, overwhelmed with its cares 
and duties, and still vigorous to meet them, — her 
husband now feeble, infirm, tottering on the verge 
of the grave, no longer able to be the guide and sus- 
tainer of her difficult path, — then is felt "that awful 
chasm of twenty-one years in human life," of which 
my mother's sister Sally had written, at the time of 
her betrothal, but which had never been manifest 
till now. She omitted no care that could add to 
his comfort; and the impatient word and sudden 
gesture, which children and friends might regret, 



452 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

did no justice to the devotion of weary days and 
nights, for which she asked no aid and claimed no 
sympathy. Self-control and patient endurance had 
never been her characteristic virtues, although she 
practised them far oftener than we knew ; but at 
this period many trials came to her, which one must 
experience to understand. With the care of a fail- 
ing invalid always on her mind, passing hours of 
every day reading over and over again the same 
newspapers with dimmed eyes, — eyes long dim from 
weeping for the lovely Anne Jean, and for other 
sorrows ; her nights often broken and disturbed, — • 
she had yet the same duties to a large circle that 
she had always had. The habits of the house for 
half a century could not at once be changed, and the 
old hospitalities still went on, with a diminished 
purse, and added self-sacrifice on her part. The 
casual observer is wont to notice the occasions of 
the irritable word, the impatient gesture, and they 
always seem insufficient for the effect. One who 
looks deeper, knows that the cause lies deeper ; that 
the irritability coming inevitably from so many 
sources of fatigue and anxiety must have a vent 
somewhere ; and unfortunately for our poor human 
nature, the safety-valve will often be the one best 
loved, most tenderly cherished, — only alas ! because 
on that perfect love and understanding we can 
always fall back. 

And indeed, although her vigorous health seemed 
the same, yet that "cloud, no bigger than a man's 
hand," left upon her brain by the malignant erysipe- 
las of two years before, had already begun its work 



READJUSTING HER LIFE 453 

of destruction ; although it was not till two years 
after my father's death that she experienced those 
first moments of unconsciousness, which gave evi- 
dence of a disordered brain. 

Later in her life, when her own ill-health and 
failing powers gave her a better understanding of 
weak nerves and exhausted strength, she expressed 
to me a tender regret that she had not been more 
patient with the infirmities of my father's last years. 
But it was a regret free from remorse, for she was 
unconscious of any thing save warm affection and 
pure intention in respect to him. 

After my father's death, my mother passed a 
winter of great quietness, and the physical rest 
she experienced was in some respects a benefit to 
her. She read a great deal, and her reflections were 
wise and thoughtful. It is touching to me to recall 
how in these days of lessened cares, diminished 
means, and a comparatively empty house, she set 
herself diligently to work to acquire those habits of 
system and order, the want of which had been a 
serious drawback to her all her life. Her youngest 
son, whose devotion to her comfort from his youth 
upward was the frequent theme of her loving obser- 
vation, now arranged all her affairs so as to give 
her the least trouble and inconvenience possible; 
and she endeavored to aid him as far as she could, 
by keeping that strict account of expenditure, which 
her narrow income especially demanded. It is hard 
to alter late in life those habits which have been 
both hereditary and indulged ; yet my dear mother 
made that good progress during this period that 



454 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

must have been crowned with partial success, had 
not that mental malady, caused by the illness four 
years previous, been steadily though silently advanc- 
ing. During the summer after my father's death, 
she experienced much pleasure in the coming of a 
daughter-in-law to pass some weeks, bringing a little 
grandson, in whom her affectionate heart lived over 
again the infancy of her own children. In the 
autumn, her last unmarried child became engaged, 
and although this circumstance took from her her 
only companion and cherished daughter, yet her 
sympathy in the event, and her unselfish efforts to 
promote the best happiness of the young couple, 
prevented her from dwelling mournfully on the dep- 
rivation. She was always ready to see the sun- 
light shining through the rifts of clouds, and, when 
nothing was cheerful in her own fate, to make the 
happiness of another her own. 

There is a peaceful pleasure to me in recalling 
this summer of 1848, the last that my dear mother 
and I passed together, when she was in full posses- 
sion of all her powers. I read aloud to her a great 
deal, and, among other things, the "Memoirs of 
Dr. Channing." How she delighted in it, and re- 
called the years of her acquaintance with him, and 
the first effect of his preaching on her youthful 
mind ! 

She had a valued friend and neighbor, Mrs. 
Thayer, with whom she had an uncommon share of 
sympathy. In some strong points of character they 
greatly resembled each other, and shared the same 
views of an enlarged hospitality and kindness to 



LETTER FROM JOHN G. WHITTIER 455 

strangers, because they were strangers. Mrs. Thayer 
had two sons, who were making most self-denying 
efforts for an education. Refined and intellectual 
tastes were hereditary in the family ; and William, 
the eldest son, had, even as a boy, a rare talent for 
writing poetry. From the moment my mother 
knew about these boys, her heart was deeply en- 
gaged in seconding their efforts. That she was not 
in this case without that clear, moral insight into 
the characters of those on whom she fixed her 
deepest interest, which distinguished her beyond 
most persons I have known, may be seen from the 
following note, written to William in 1849, by the 
poet Whittier, who was an old friend of his fam- 
ily:- 

Amesbury, 24th, Sth month [1S49]. 

My dear Friend, — I was very glad to get a 
line from thee, and the poem enclosed pleased me 
exceedingly. The concluding verse is admirable 
and the whole conception good. I have just sent 
it to the "Era." 

Give my best love to thy mother (and father, if he 
is at home), and to Sarah and James, and believe me 
Very cordially thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 

1'. S. Elizabeth and mother send their love to 
thee and thine. We are right glad thou hast so 
good a friend in Mrs. Lyman, and still more so that 
her kindness is so well deserved on thy part. From 
my heart, I cannot but thank that woman for what 
she has done for thee. God bless her! W. 



456 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

When, many years later, I visited, at Alexandria, 
the grave of William Sydney Thayer, our consul- 
general in Egypt; when I heard Lady Duff Gordon, 
and her daughter Mrs. Ross, mourning for his early 
death, and their appreciative recollections of his brief 
career; and when I saw the sincere grief of his 
servants Hassan and Ali, who were with him to the 
end, I rejoiced that my dear mother, who always 
took the death of loved ones so hard, was spared 
this added sorrow. The other brother is now Royall 
Professor of Law in Harvard University, holding the 
same chair that was formerly held by my mother's 
friend, Hooker Ashmun. I insert the following let- 
ter from him here as its most appropriate place: — 

Cambridge, Oct. 5, 1875. 

Dear Mrs. Lesley, — You have been kind enough 
to ask me to send you my recollections of your 
mother. I do so, very gladly. You will, of course, 
use my letter in any way which serves your purpose 
best ; or not use it at all, if that is best. 

My brother William and I were little boys of 
about twelve and ten years old, when my father 
moved to Northampton, in 1841. I cannot defi- 
nitely fix the first time that I ever saw your mother 
or your father ; but among the clear recollections of 
my boyhood are those of her impressive presence 
and manner, and of the benign figure of Judge 
Lyman in his old age. I recall him, especially, as 
he used to sit in the morning sun, on the broad, 
stone step of Mr. Mclntyre's store, next door to your 
house, — a beautiful, white-haired old man, whose 



HER FRIENDLINESS TO YOUNG MEN 457 

presence brought with it a sweet composure, and 
insensibly prompted the passer-by to " tender offices 
and pensive thoughts." 

My relations to your mother were those of a boy 
and a young man to one much older than he, from 
whom he received the most important and unceas- 
ing benefits. When I was a young boy she used to 
send me books, and often asked me to come in and 
read to her in the evening. I can remember read- 
ing in this way, among other things, the "Artist's 
Married Life," Mr. Everett's " Funeral Oration on 
John Ouincy Adams," and certain sermons by 
James Martineau. 

I was at that time studying for college without 
a teacher, — meaning to go to Amherst, where some 
of my friends had gone. One evening Mrs. Lyman 
surprised me by asking why I did not go to Cam- 
bridge. I answered that it was cheaper at Amherst. 
She replied that I should go to Cambridge if I 
wished ; and so, to my great delight, the matter 
was soon arranged. Not only did she undertake 
to see that the necessary means should be furnished 
for me, but when soon after, certain friends, who 
had supplied resources to my brother William, unex- 
pectedly gave out, — with the greatest spirit and 
energy, she took hold of his affairs also, and secured 
his continuance in college. Besides this, her atten- 
tion was drawn to our school-mate, Chauncey 
Wright, — whose sudden death is now so fresh a 
grief to you and me, and all his friends. He had 
left school, and was at work in his father's business ; 
but your mother pressed upon Mr. Wright the mat- 



453 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

ter of sending Chauncey to College, and carried her 
point. And so at last, in 1848, Chauncey and I 
entered the Freshman Class at Cambridge, and my 
brother William returned there again. Not one of 
us would have been there, if it had not been for her. 

She also went to Cambridge that summer, — pre- 
ceding us, — and arranged that I should go directly 
to the house of your most kind Aunt, Mrs. Howe, 
to stay during the examination. She engaged in 
our behalf other most kind and strong allies, whose 
friendship continues to-day, like your own, my dear 
friend, among my best treasures. And so our way 
was made plain through college, and we were started 
in life after we left college. It is impossible to 
tell you all that she did for us ; I will only say 
that nothing could have been more strenuous and 
effective than her efforts in influencing others in 
our behalf, and nothing more constant than the 
kind offices which she personally did us. 

My first letter from her is dated at Cambridge, 
August 10, 1848. I was then at Northampton. 
Commencement and the examination, as you will 
remember, at that time did not come until the 
beginning of the fall term. In this letter she offers 
me from her own house, which was then vacant, 
various articles of furniture for my room, — with the 
profuse generosity of a mother to her son. " Mrs. 
Howe," she says, "has some chairs which she will 
appropriate to your room if you wish them ; and 
if you see any small table which you would like, 
in my house, or desk, you can bring them clown 
when you come. There is, likewise, a single bed- 



HERB-TEA AND GOOD ADVICE 459 

stead in the room over Letitia's in the south wing, 
which you can saw off the high posts of and bring 
down when you come ; and there is probably a straw 
mattress belonging to it which you can put on 
board the cars when you come down, if you like; 
and you may take any pillows you can find, as many 
as you wish for, out of my room where I sit in 
the morning; you will want several, they are so 
small." She adds in a postscript : " I have seen the 
president and said all I could for Chauncey, and 
I have no doubt he will get in." 

She was not the person to allow any young friend 
of hers to lose his head from self-conceit. It was 
in this same "room where she sat in the morning," 
that she once read to me a letter from a wise friend, 
stating at large, in answer to her request, his sober, 
yet not quite discouraging, estimate of my mental 
endowments. And I may mention here that she 
was not merely a friend and physician of the soul. 
I well remember her giving me once a teapot and 
a quantity of some dried herb, — I think it was 
dandelion, — with instructions for the preparation of 
a decoction, which I had better drink. The pre- 
scription met my mother's approval, and these two 
ladies kept me supplied for a considerable time with 
this unpalatable liquor. 

On June 6, 1849, she wrote me from Northamp- 
ton, sending me some money and expressing regret 
at not receiving certain funds which somebody had 
promised her for my benefit ; and she added some 
words of encouragement : " I have enclosed you 
fifty dollars. . . . But do not be disheartened ; you 



*6o RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

are better off than those who have time and money 
to commit sin, and whose mental repose is impaired 
by the want of innocence, which you will be able 
to preserve. I hope you pay attention to your 
health, and that you prompt William occasionally 
respecting his. I have just been reading 'Tyler's 
Views of the Life and Character of Burns,' mani- 
festing the struggles he encountered for want of 
means, and the triumphs of the spirit over mental 
discomforts of every kind. . . . The yearnings of 
Burns's mind for opportunities of mental culture 
were never satisfied, but the field of Nature contrib- 
uted largely of her inspirations to his naturally 
prolific and poetical imagination. This makes his 
life a noble contemplation to all who think they are 
cramped more than they can bear." 

When I left college, in 1852, and went to teach 
school in Milton, your mother had gone there, as 
you remember, to live. My brother was already 
teaching there, and Mrs. Lyman invited us to board 
with her, for some moderate price, as long as she 
stayed there. At that time her memory was failing 
her a good deal ; she was restless, and evidently 
missed the old Northampton life. I remember the 
presence of symptoms which foreshadowed the men- 
tal trouble that came upon her, later on. Notwith- 
standing the kindness of her neighbors and relatives, 
such a change in her dwelling-place and her habits, 
at that time of life, was too great. It was a new 
generation that she looked upon ; they were not 
used to her ways, and she was not used to theirs. 
She soon removed to Cambridge. 



LETTER OF PROF. J. B. THA YER <\6\ 

Thither, after two years, I also returned ; and 
during the seven years which followed, until my 
marriage, I saw her often. During a good part of 
that time Chauncey Wright was an inmate of her 
house ; and it was my custom to take tea there 
on Sunday nights. It was often sad to notice the 
signs of her failing powers. But her old hearty 
welcome never once failed. She was to the last as 
hospitable and warm-hearted as ever. Not seldom 
her mind seemed clouded, and she would be per- 
plexed ; but she did not mean that it should be 
observed, and joined cheerfully in the talk. She 
liked to tell us of the past, and of people whom she 
had formerly known, and made many a sagacious 
and quaint remark in her old, familiar, emphatic way. 
In telling me for instance of the ancestors of a cer- 
tain wealthy family in our neighborhood, she said : 
"They were hatters and clothes-venders at the 
North End. The mother was a religious woman, 
and though not cultivated, she had that kind of cul- 
tivation which gives good sense, and which people 
are apt to get, who have to struggle and contrive 
to get a living." 

After I was married, in 1861, and had moved back 
again to Milton, I saw her seldom, and did not know 
how far her mind had failed until I heard of her 
removal to the asylum. It seemed no cause for 
grief when the news came, in the spring of 1867, 
that this great and generous heart had ceased to 
beat. At last, all that was so pathetic about her 
last years had come to an end, and the thought 
of it gave place to the blessed and thick-coming 
recollections of her earlier life. 



462 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

It is so good to know that you are preparing this 
memorial of your mother. I wish that I could con- 
tribute more to help you, and especially could recall 
more of her most amusing and vigorous conversa- 
tion, the flavor of which I well remember. But 
others can do that, and my story is such as I have 
told you. Your memoir will be of the greatest in- 
terest, not alone to your own family, but to all who 
knew the dear and noble woman of whom you 
write. And I am sure that it must do a great deal 
of good to the younger generation among your kin- 
dred, to read of that cultivated household at North- 
ampton. It will be to them like a liberal education, 
to grow acquainted with a life so sound and health- 
ful as your mother's, — a life not only directed by 
the courageous and frank instincts of a broad, noble, 
and healthy physical constitution, by strong natural 
affections and a powerful understanding, but disci- 
plined also, and devout, and cheered always by beau- 
tiful sentiments and a spiritual faith. 
Your affectionate friend, 

James B. Thayer. 

But to return to the summer of 1848. I recall 
with gratitude how much her deep interest in these 
boys, and in Chauncey Wright, helped to carry her 
through a period when many persons, similarly situ- 
ated, would only have been able to think of their 
privations and trials. Scarcely ever did Chauncey's 
father, the deputy-sheriff, drive past her door that 
she did not hail him, to impress on his mind, with 
all the earnestness and pathos of her nature, that 



A SAMPLE OF "GOBLIN TAPESTRY" 463 

Chauncey must have collegiate education ; and I 
think, if he did not want her to be a thorn in his side 
until this dear wish of her heart was accomplished, 
he must have made a circuit to avoid her. But he 
was a kind-hearted man, and valued her sympathy 
and interest ; and she never forgot the day when he 
came to tell her that Chauncey should go to Harvard, 
nor the sweet smile of the shy youth, who timidly 
thanked her for using her influence in his behalf. 
That day made a high festival for her, and, to use 
her own expressive phrase, "was worth a guinea a 
minute to her." 

She was at this time busily engaged in making 
shirts for the Thayer boys, before they should go to 
college in the autumn. Ah ! I am afraid a great 
deal of " Goblin tapestry " went into those shirts. 
But the good and grateful boys never thought of 
that ; and could they have known what a solace this 
sewing was to her lonely heart, they would have re- 
joiced that she had it. 

How poor she was this summer, and yet how rich ! 
Though giving little thought or time to dress, she 
had always before kept certain nice articles of wear- 
ing-apparel, befitting her station, and had worn them 
with care. But now her wardrobe became " beauti- 
fully less." 

" Oh, my dear and ancient friend," I said to her 
one day, " a new bonnet you must really have ! " 

"By no means," she remarked; "mine is a very 
good bonnet indeed." 

I noticed, that, though she had very little money, 
she always had enough to buy materials for "sofa- 



464 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

coverings." That was her name for garments for 
the poor. So, one day when I was going to Spring- 
field, I borrowed some money of her, and, instead of 
returning it, brought her back a nice bonnet and 
shawl. She professed to be very indignant at the 
ruse ; but, when I told her that, if she would behave 
like "Dominie Sampson," she must be treated like 
him, she concluded to take it all as a joke, and really 
enjoyed wearing her new things heartily. 

Late in August, we went to Cambridge to make 
my Aunt Howe a visit, and what a charming visit 
it was ! The warm-hearted sisters planned together 
how they should adorn and arrange the old room in 
" Massachusetts," that William and James Thayer 
were to occupy ; and busy were their fingers, and 
glowing their faces as they daily set forth for the 
college-yard. My Cousin Mary and I one day 
watched them as they walked up the street, — their 
homely habiliments, their fine faces, their uncon- 
scious and ardent gesticulation, — and we said, 
"There go the Cheeryble sisters." 

Let me mention here one circumstance of this 
visit that comes back to me with the remembrance 
of my dear Aunt Howe, like some sweet strain of 
long-forgotten music. 

At that time, there was an old tenement-house 
still standing next to hers, that has long since been 
removed. A member of the family living there had 
died of ship-fever, and as our windows looked into 
theirs, we were alarmed to see preparations for a 
"wake" going on, and numbers of people collecting 
to pass the long summer night. Each of us had 



MARRIAGE OF SUSAN LYMAN 465 

something to say of the danger and impropriety of 
the occasion ; but only my aunt did any thing. We 
did not understand it at the time ; it all came to us 
afterwards. She dressed herself in her best black 
silk, took her handsomest, deep, cut-glass dish from 
the closet, and filled it with chloride of lime and 
surrounded it with flowers. Like some sympathiz- 
ing friend, she walked in among the group, who were 
making their moan, and quietly set her dish upon 
the coffin, where it remained all night. When she 
silently returned to us, she said, with her sweetest 
smile, " I thought as it was a dress occasion, if I 
could only make my dish handsome enough, it might 
save some lives." 

After remaining a month with my Aunt Howe, 
we went to Brush Hill for a visit, and my mother 
returned home alone a few weeks later. 

The death of her beautiful little grandson during 
this summer was a heavy trial to my mother, who 
saw in him all the possibilities of a man, a worthy 
descendant of a worthy race. And this feeling, with 
her deep sympathy for her children, on whom the 
loss chiefly fell, saddened her for a long time. 

In February of 1849, her daughter, Susan Inches, 
was married, and left her, to live in Milton, passing 
some months under the hospitable roof of her uncle 
and aunt at Brush 1 1 ill, the early home of her 
mother and grandmother. The day after this mar- 
riage, my mother wrote to another daughter : " After 
Susan had left me, I was not slow to conclude ' I 
must finish my journey alone.' " 

She records, in her little diary of this period, 



466 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

that, the week after the marriage, Mr. R. W. Emer- 
son came to Northampton to give a lecture ; and 
she mentions, with peculiar pleasure, the two days 
he spent with her, how he had sympathized with 
her loss of a daughter and acquisition of a son, how 
he had gone with her to visit a poor family in whom 
she was deeply interested, and had left behind him 
the after-glow of kind words and deeds, as well as 
of aspiring thought. 

And now came a loneliness that is hard to remem- 
ber. She often invited some friend to share it ; but 
the old objects of interest were gone, and every 
room in the large house, echoing to her solitary 
tread, must have been full of sadness. She never 
complained ; that was contrary to the habits of a 
lifetime. But those nerves she had despised rose 
up, an armed band, and took their revenge on her. 
The sad fate of the excellent Mrs. Freme, of Brattle- 
boro', who went up in a chariot of flame, haunted 
her imagination, and voices in the wind prevented 
her from sleep. " Old parlor " and " Best parlor," 
"Library" and "Office," "Corridor" and "Turn- 
pike," — where were all the glad voices that had 
once resounded through your walls ? Was it strange 
that the warm heart that had guided successive gen- 
erations through all the manifold experiences of joy 
and grief should now 

" Feci like one who treads alone 
Some banquet hall deserted " ? 

In the autumn of 1849, she decided to leave 
Northampton, and her heart naturally turned towards 



REMOVAL TO MILTON 467 

Milton, the home of her childhood. But first she 
would visit her beloved Abby, whose frequent invi- 
tations, in years gone by, she had necessarily been 
forced to decline. In November she went to Cin- 
cinnati, and was received with all the warmth of a 
child by this dear niece and friend. Another happi- 
ness also awaited her in Cincinnati, in becoming 
acquainted with the family of Sally (Mrs. Dana), her 
other niece, to whom she was also tenderly attached. 
Her letters were full of the enjoyment of this visit, 
and the devoted kindness of her nieces and their 
children ; and, had it not been clouded by hearing 
of the death of her brother, Dr. Edward H. Robbins, 
of Boston, during the month of January, ner happi- 
ness would have been complete. 

To how many hearts did the death of this good 
man bring sorrow ! I have heard that some stranger, 
seeing how many mourned for him, asked, " Did Dr. 
Robbins found a benevolent institution?" "No! 
he was a benevolent institution," was the reply. 

My mother left Cincinnati in the spring of 1850, 
and came to Milton ; but she did not remain there 
many weeks. She made visits to children and 
friends, and lingered about Northampton for some 
months ; but after another year returned to Milton 
and occupied a small house that her Lesley children 
had lived in until their removal to Philadelphia. 

In 1.S52, she made a long visit at her son Sam's 
in Northampton, and wrote to me constantly of the 
pleasure of meeting old friends and neighbors. I 
extract the following sentence from one of them : 

" I am having a delightful time here. Your sister 



468 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Almira and the girls are devoted to my comfort ; 
and your sister has had two parties for me, taking 
in all I most wanted to see. Your brother Sam 
could not have been more kind and attentive, or 
more considerate of my interests, were he my own 
son. E. is one of the most useful and excellent of 
daughters, saving her mother from many cares ; and 
M. is one of the most charming creatures to be 
found anywhere." 

To Sarah Thayer, with whom her relations were 
always most affectionate and confidential, she after- 
wards wrote : " I often feel sorry that I ever left 
Northampton. I was too old for so serious a change 
in my interests and habits." 

In Milton, her kind Forbes cousins contributed 
greatly to her enjoyment; and the occasional so- 
ciety of her brother and his wife, at Brush Hill, and 
of Mr. and Mrs. Morison, who lived near her, and 
of the Ware family, the children of those early 
friends she had valued so much in youth, was an 
unspeakable pleasure to her. But the restlessness 
of disease and of a broken-up life had now asserted 
its sway over her, and it was evident that on earth 
she had no continuing city. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds 
With coldness still returning; 
Alas ! the gratitude of men 
Hath oftener left me mourning. 

Wordsworth. 

IN the spring of 1853, my mother took a house in 
Cambridge, to be near her. sisters. Within a 
few weeks after she went there, the death of her 
sister, Eliza Robbins, excited much emotion in her 
heart. My Aunt Eliza died at my Aunt Howe's in 
the August of that year. In her youth, a certain 
impatience of limitations, and eccentricity of pur- 
pose had separated her much from her family, 
though never from their affections. But though 
this circumstance left much to deplore, there was 
much to remember with deep thankfulness, at the 
end. Thirty years of her life had been devoted to 
the prisoner, the slave, and especially to the higher 
education of the young, and had crowned her mem- 
ory with blessings. She made for herself and re- 
tained through life the friendship of the good and 
wise; and, after her death, Mr. Bryant, Miss Sedg- 
wick, Mr. Henry Tuckerman, and William Ware, 
wrote affectionate tributes to her memory. When 
my mother returned from seeing her for the last 
time, the day before her death, she told me with 



47° RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

much emotion that when her sisters stood around 
her bed, she breathed a prayer in her wonderfully 
expressive language, which for depth of humility 
and. sublimity of aspiration surpassed any thing she 
had ever listened to. 

Some excellent school books for the young, re- 
main as evidence of her patient toil and discriminat- 
ing intellect ; and letters to many friends, as fine 
as any that were ever penned. 

In the autumn of 1856, my mother moved into 
a small house next to the one she had first occupied, 
which her sons had bought for her and fitted up 
with every convenience that could add to the com- 
fort of her declining years. A faithful and devoted 
woman named Mary Walker, watched over her 
personal wants ; another good Mary did the work 
of the house. Her youngest sister spent hours of 
every day with her, reading to her and entertaining 
her. One noble young man, whose character and 
mental attainments would have given him a choice 
of homes at that seat of learning, came daily to the 
little house for many years to take his meals, be- 
cause his presence there gave steadiness and sup- 
port to the three solitary women. 

Her life in Cambridge, though marked by the 
steady but slow progress of disease, was not without 
many alleviations and pleasures. Her son Joseph, 
at Jamaica Plain, was constant in his visits ; the tie 
between them had always been most tender. His 
wife also paid her the tender and considerate atten- 
tions of a daughter. Her sisters' houses, both in 
Cambridge and Boston, were open to her at all 



HER YEARS AT CAMBRIDGE 471 

times. Nieces and nephews came often to see her. 
Young men whom she had formerly befriended 
came, without regarding the sad change in her ; 
children and grandchildren passed long summers 
with her, and her devotion to the little ones was 
touching to see. Of the great kindness of her 
neighbors, Miss Donnison and Mrs. Hopkinson, she 
constantly wrote to me. 

At first she wrote often, but as years went on, 
her letters became mere repetitions ; and, two years 
before she left Cambridge, they ceased altogether. 
From the later ones I select only a few extracts, 
showing, as dear Mrs. Child said of her at this time, 
"how the old light and warmth still sometimes 
shone through the rifted clouds." 

" My son Joseph came to see me to-day, and 
brought Mr. Theodore Parker. I had not seen Mr. 
Parker for many years, not since he passed a night 
at my house in Northampton, and I did not know 
him, because he had become bald. He was very 
kind and cordial, and said, ' It is true, Mrs. Lyman, 
that I "have no hair on the top of my head, in the 
place where the hair ought to grow ; " but my heart 
is the same, and it has kept a warm remembrance 
for you.' This made Mary Walker laugh very much, 
and you know a good laugh does Mary a world of 
good." 

" I walked down town yesterday, and I met Mrs. 
Cary and her good daughters ; they are always kind, 
and don't treat me as if I were a poor old woman, 
'all broke to pieces.'" 



472 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

"Lois is just as good to me as if she had known 
me before ; she sends her carriage to take me out 
driving, and always invites me to all the family 
parties. I am so rejoiced that Estes has such a 
wife ; 'one who seeketh not her own.' " 

" Last Sunday night, my grandson, Ben, came and 
took tea with me, and he and Chauncey entertained 
me for hours with their profound conversation." 

Alas ! she could no longer understand " profound 
conversation ; " but to know that it was going on 
about her, was like an echo of that far-off past, when 
she had contributed her own share, as well as lis- 
tened to it. 

Only a few more sentences are worth recording, 
from the still glowing and grateful and appreciative 
heart. 

" Yesterday was Phi-Beta day ; and who do you 
think called to see me ? Why, Mr. Emerson ! And 
he brought his charming good daughter, too. I am 
so glad he has that daughter. I introduced him 
to Chauncey. Chauncey is so very profound, I 
knew Mr. Emerson would think a great deal of him. 
Perhaps I shall never see Mr. Emerson any more. 
Well ! ' I saw his day, and was glad.' " 

„ "Sally Pierce came to see me to-day, just as full 
of kindness and good sense as ever her mother was, 
and that is saying a great deal." 

" I take it very kind of Chauncey that he some- 
times brings Mr. Gurney home to take tea. He 
knows that I always like to hear profound conversa- 



TRIBUTE TO CHAUNCEY WRIGHT 473 

tion ; and, I assure you, it is quite worth while 
to listen to them. I was used to my father, and 
your father, and your Uncle Howe, all my early 
life, and much of this modern talk I can't abide." 

" I went out into the porch this morning, and Mary 
Walker was training some vines. I asked her what 
she was doing. She said, ' Endeavoring to restore 
the old Hutchinson style.' Perhaps she knows what 
that was. I am sure I don't." 

" My Martha comes every Sunday evening to take 
tea, and sit the evening with me. Just the same 
dear, good child she always was. ' Among the faith- 
less, always faithful found.' " 

" My Sister C. is an angel of mercy to me. What 
should I do without her ? She spends more than 
half her time with me." 

In another letter she laments the fact that James 
Thayer had left Cambridge. "That always good 
young man, who never forgot me at any time, but 
came every Sunday evening to take tea with me, 
when he might have gone to pleasanter places." 

Sept. 14, 1S75. 

I had written thus far, and was restraining my 
grateful pen, as I recorded the last annals of the sad 
little household in Garden Street, when the word 
came to me that my noble friend, who was the chief 
stay and guardian of my dear mother's last home, 
was now no more. 

No need now, dear Chauncey, to refrain from tell- 
ing what you were to us, from fear of causing your 



474 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

gentle and sensitive spirit to shrink from the praise. 
Others will record your worth as a man of science, 
as the profound thinker, the keen observer, the 
patient listener for truth, in every realm of knowl- 
edge. To me comes a hallowed memory of a manly 
soul, who, through the best years of his youth, gave 
steadiness to a broken household ; who poured out 
from the rich storehouse of his intellect the finest 
conversation to a weary, wandering mind who could 
not comprehend him ; who came down from the 
sublimest heights of thought to comfort and cheer 
two humble women, her attendants ; who, during 
the long summer days, when tired with the burden 
of his own patient discoveries, spent many an hour 
in carrying up and down the garden walks the child, 
whose little arms it was always difficult to unclasp 
from " Ity's " neck, and whom he loved with such 
devotion, that we felt as if some of his gentleness 
must pass into her soul. No ties to wife and chil- 
dren ever brightened the destiny of this man of 
brilliant genius and boundless affections. But there 
are laws of spiritual transmission, deep as those of 
inheritance. Through some such invisible influ- 
ence, " Lord, keep his memory green ! " 

There remains little more to tell of my dear 
mother's life. In the spring of i860, my sister Jane 
died ; and though my mother had long been obliv- 
ious to many things, she seemed to wake to tempo- 
rary consciousness of the event, and to the old sym- 
pathy for the orphan grandchildren whose father and 
mother both had been very dear to her. For the 



SELF-FORGETTING TO THE LAST 475 

first time for many months she wrote me a few lines. 
"Your sister Jane has gone. She is a sad loss. 
She had not a trace of selfishness in her composi- 
tion, but was always thinking of others, like her 
father before her. I always loved her." 

Early in 1861, the fall of Sumter, and the open- 
ing of the war, sent a thrill through all hearts, 
North and South. But to her it was only a sound 
of confusion and alarm, which she vaguely under- 
stood. In October of that year, with the best 
advice of physicians and wise friends, we placed 
her in the McLean Asylum at Somerville ; and the 
little household in Garden Street was broken up. 

From this time I never saw my mother again. 
Two incidents in these years of mental darkness 
stand out in my remembrance, and when I think of 
them I can only recall the words of the old prophet, 
" Your heart shall live forever." The summer before 
she left Cambridge, my husband brought an invalid 
friend to pass the day. As evening approached, she 
implored that he would urge his friend to stay all 
night. When he told her she had no room for him, 
she said, " Oh yes ; she should have her own room 
put in nice order for him, and she herself would 
occupy the parlor sofa, which would be entirely com- 
fortable." She was deeply grieved that we would 
not consent to this arrangement, weeping when she 
saw my husband accompany the sick man to the 
cars, and saying she had never allowed so suffering 
a person to leave her house before. 

Two or three years later, at the Asylum, she was 
often seen standing at the door of the beautiful 



476 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Nancy Y , the young friend of former years, 

who, by strange coincidence, had come there to end 
her days, close to her friend, and each unconscious 
of the other's presence. One day the sister of Miss 

Y came to visit her, and she asked an attendant 

who that old lady was, and why she was unhappy. 

" It is Mrs. Judge Lyman, of Northampton," was 
the reply; "and she is unhappy because we will not 
allow her to go in and take care of your sister." 

Mrs. D was much affected, and said to the 

attendant, " Once she was almost the best friend my 
sister had, and now they do not know each other." 

During the following year, after her speech and 
consciousness seemed almost wholly gone, her attend- 
ant told Mary Walker that she held in her hand 
often, for hours together, a daguerreotype of her little 
grandson, Warren Delano ; that she often kissed it, 
and pressed it close to her heart, and did not like 
to have it taken from her, even for a time. 

In those last years, my dear mother had the kind- 
est care from Dr. and Mrs. Tyler, and the excellent 
Miss Relief Barbour. She attached herself warmly 
to her attendants, and her movements and gestures 
showed affection and confidence, even when the 
power of speech failed her. Her sister Catherine 
visited her frequently ; her son Joseph also came 
often to see her, with the tender consideration that 
marked his life-long devotion to her. At last, on a 
beautiful May morning in 1867, her spirit was re- 
leased from its bondage, the faithful Mary Walker 
Ciosing her eyes,- — and her sister and son beside her. 

Her remains were immediately conveyed to the 



THE END OF A BENEFICENT LIFE 477 

house of her son Joseph, at Jamaica Plain ; and, on 
the 29th of May, the funeral service took place there. 
Her two daughters were in Europe at the time ; but 
the eldest daughter of her husband, our brothers Sam 
and Edward, the new daughter she had never seen, 
whom she would have loved so well, and many dear 
friends, came to pay the last respect to one who had 
been dead to the world for many years. The kind 
Forbes cousins, our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Rufus 
Ellis, James Thayer, and others, — all went; and, 
forgetting the sad latter years, their minds reverted 
with sympathetic emotion to the long life of active 
beneficence she had lived among men. Mr. James 
Freeman Clarke performed the funeral services, and, 
though he had not known her, spoke words of com- 
fort that sank deep in the heart of those present. 
He alluded to the words of Scripture, "In the midst 
of life we are in death," and showed that the reverse 
is also true, that in death there is life; and, in this 
connection, he spoke of the life of her affections hav- 
ing outlasted that of her intellect. 

The little company of friends followed her body 
to the Milton Cemetery, where it was laid. When 
all the mourners had left the grave, one warm and 
grateful soul still lingered. He sat down by the 
open grave, and watched the last sods put in. If 
ever man might attribute all his success in life to his 
own personal effort and perseverance, he might ; but, 
in that hour, he thought only of the helping hand 
and warm heart beneath the sod, and followed her 
freed spirit with grateful thoughts into the world of 
spirits. 



473 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

In Switzerland, a letter from my brother Joseph 
came to me : — 

" I went to Milton," he says, " to choose a spot 
for our mother's grave. I had long intended to buy 
a lot, either there or at Forest Hills. I chose this 
place in Milton Cemetery for these reasons. The 
soil is a clean gravel. A noble pine-tree will make 
constant music over her head. It is a tree like the 
one you have seen in Desor's Avenue, at Combe 
Varin, which he had dedicated to Parker's memory. 
From our dear mother's grave, I could look over to 
Milton Hill, where she was born ; to Brush Hill, 
which she loved so well, and where she passed her 
youth, and from which home she was married. 
Everywhere my eye fell was some association dear 
to her. So there I will lay our dear mother's mortal 
part, knowing that it will not be long, — not so 
long as you think, — before I shall be laid be- 
side her." 

Again he wrote : " Perhaps I ought to have 
chosen Mr. Ellis to perform her funeral services, 
she loved him so much. But at the time, I only 
thought that it was very long since she had been 
connected with any church ; and so I naturally 
asked my own minister, Mr. Clarke. It was a great 
satisfaction to me that Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, and 
many other friends who had not seen her for years, 
came to this last service." 

Again he wrote : " The day is a beautiful, bright, 
clear, June day, — ' Oh, what is so rare as a day in 
June ! ' The spring blossoms are at their summit 
of perfection ; cherries, pears, and apples in the 



THE OUTLOOK FROM HER GRA VE 479 

highest abundance of bloom, and the newest leaves 
on all the trees out in their most perfect and various 
verdure. Life seems uppermost everywhere. But, 
after all, what is it ? Only an alternation, a constant 
succession, as we feel this day, first life, then death ; 
and these changes, and this particular change which 
so affects us at this moment, means immortality, 
and nothing else." 

And with these last words of my dear brother 
Joseph about our mother, I may well close this 
imperfect record of a noble life. Not as an example 
have I wished to set that life before you, my dear 
girls ; for the temperament and the circumstances 
and the destiny of each child of earth are his own, 
and not another's. But the retrospect of the good 
lives to whom we owe our own existence exalts our 
aspiration and our gratitude, and excites our sym- 
pathy. Like Mrs. Southey's old family portraits, 
they look down on us from the past, — 

" Daughter, they softly say, 

Peace to thy heart ! 
We too, O daughter, 

Have been as thou art : 
Hope lifted, doubt depressed, 

Seeing in part ; 
Tried, troubled, tempted, 

Sustained as thou art : 
Our God is thy God, 

What He willeth is best; 
Trust Him as we trusted, 

Then rest, as we rest." 

As a child standing on the shore of a river throws 



480 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

in his little pebble, and with delighted wonder sees 
its ever-widening circle reach the opposite shore, so 
might those who have gone before us rejoice to 
know how each good deed of theirs had left a widen- 
ing circle in our lives. 



APPENDIX. 

WHEN I began to write this life of my mother, I 
wrote to many early friends for any letters they 
might have retained of hers, and any recollections they 
might have of her. The letters I received in answer were 
so cordial and kind, that I have added some of them in 
these pages. Within a few hours after my mother's death 
was made known, the short but expressive notice of the 
event by James Thayer appeared in the " Boston Daily 
Advertiser," which is appended below ; and, within a few 
months of her death, Mr. Rufus Ellis, in the article called 
" Random Readings," in the " Monthly Religious Maga- 
zine," embodied some of his reminiscences of her later 
life, which have recalled her vividly and delightfully to 
many hearts. 

To my friend, Mr. William Greene, I wish to express 
my heartfelt thanks for his long and careful preservation 
of my mother's letters to my Cousin Abby, and for his 
great kindness in giving them to me, and for the cordial 
words accompanying this invaluable package. In his 
letter to me, he writes : — 

East Greenwich, June 14, 1S75. 

I beg to say that I heartily sympathize with you in 
your pious undertaking. I hold your mother's memory, 
and your father's too, in the highest veneration, as I held 
them in their lives in the warmest affection. You cannot 
say too much good of either of them. 



482 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

I cannot help also mentioning here that my dear old 
friend, Mr. David Lee Child, who passed from earth last 
winter, was about to write a sketch of my mother that 
must have been most interesting, from his vivid apprecia- 
tion and warm recollections of her. His society was for 
many years a rare pleasure to her, and she quoted his 
wise and witty sayings with delight. One expression of 
his which she used for years after, on various occasions, 
is often recalled to me by her satisfaction in it. She had 
asked him about the political events of the day which had 
disturbed her, and his answer was: "Oh, Mrs. Lyman, 
when things are in a transition state, there's a great deal 
of eccentric action." 

One other dear friend, who had the deepest and truest 
understanding of her character, would gladly have written 
a fitting memorial of her. I quote from her warm and 
appreciative letter. 

Exeter, N.H., July 21, 1874. 

I loved your mother dearly ; I mourned for her with 
sincere grief. First her eclipse, then her death, caused a 
great void in my life. Her place has never been filled 
for me. Standing on my own feet so much in youth, and 
having so much care and responsibility, you can compre- 
hend how I reposed in the all-embracing affluence of her 
nature, and how all chills and shivers were dispelled, 
while basking in her sunshine. 

At the time of your mother's death, I longed for some 
sufficient testimonial to so large a life. I shall take the 
deepest interest in your memorial. 

Yours very affectionately, 

H. C. Stearns. 

The published notices of my mother, to which I have 
referred, are here added. 



HER INFLUENCE ON NORTHAMPTON 483 

[From the Boston Daiy Advertiser^ 

MRS. ANNE JEAN LYMAN. 

In that short list of deaths which makes every news- 
paper pathetic, there appeared to-day, in the "Advertiser," 
this notice: "May 25th, Mrs. Anne J., widow of the late 
Hon. Joseph Lyman, of Northampton, Mass." 

It is due to the memory of a remarkable woman and 
to the feelings of a very wide circle of friends in this 
community, by whom she was admired, that something 
more than this should be said of the death of Mrs. 
Lyman. 

For thirty-eight years she lived in Northampton, and 
gave character to that whole community. She was born 
in 1789, at Milton, the daughter of the Hon. E. H. Rob- 
bins. On the mother's side, she was descended from a 
vigorous Scotch stock — the Murrays — among whose 
living representatives in this city are some of our best 
citizens. In 181 1, she was married to the Hon. Joseph 
Lyman, of Northampton. From that time until the year 
1849, sne lived with her husband and the beautiful family 
of children which they reared, in one house at Northamp- 
ton, near the middle of the village. Judge Lyman was a 
man of high character and influence, and of a sweet and 
gracious demeanor which affected one like a benediction. 
Their house was the centre of wide-spread hospitality; 
all that was best and most cultivated in the town had 
there a natural home and shelter. 

Mrs. Lyman was a person of a vigor of mind, a broad 
and strong good sense, and a quaint, idiomatic emphasis 
of expression which gave general currency to her opin- 
ions and her sayings. She was of a noble and impressive 
presence, and it was easy to believe the traditions of the 
beauty which had filled the town with admiration when 
she first came there. 



4S4 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

But the best part of this good woman was a deep and 
warm heart, which found expression in never-ending 
deeds of kindness. It stirred her up to the most ener- 
getic and persistent efforts to help all whom she had 
once befriended, and to search out new objects for her 
care. 

A peculiar and sad interest is attached to the few 
dosing years of her life. It is comforting to think that 
she sleeps at last in peace. t. 

May 27, 1867. 

[From the Monthly Religious Magazine] 

" A Leaf from my Autobiography, in which, though the 
first pronoun personal occwreth very of ten, the chief figure is 
really one better than myself. " 

We associate certain places with certain seasons of the 
year. For myself autumn is, and always will be, North- 
ampton. I always go there, in thought, when the shadows 
of the year begin to lengthen, and here and there a 
feebler leaf, taking on the hectic color before the rest, 
predicts what is surely coming upon all. I should go in 
deed as well as in thought, were there not such a ming- 
ling of joy and sorrow because of changes. It was a 
beautiful day in the earliest autumn, when two of us, 
fellow-students at C , climbed up to the seat be- 
hind the driver on the old " Putt's-Bridge Stage " which 
made the connection in those days between the Western 
Railroad and Northampton. Long ago, in my early 
childhood, I had seen Holyoke and Tom, but the visions 
had passed into dreamland, out of which they seemed to 
come naturally enough in that refulgent summer ; and 
when we drew up at length at the Mansion House, after 
crossing the ferry at Hockanum and driving none too 



MR. RUFUS ELLIS'S ACCOUNT 485 

slowly through the rich, unfenced meadows, the house all 
came back with the associations of the time when it was 
filled with summer strangers and the parents of Round 
Hill scholars. The hotel window commanded a view of 
the glories of that magnificent region, and, as I could see 
at a glance, they were no rustics that passed up and 
down the village streets. To the eyes of a city-bred and 
college-bred youth, the whole scene was as beautiful as it 
was fresh. I heard, the other day, of a young man who 
went to " supply " a pulpit in one of our inland parishes, 
and was allowed to go to the tavern unwelcomed, to pass 
thence to the church and return twice during the Sunday 
unspoken to, except perhaps by the functionary who fails 
not to come for " the metres," and then to leave for home 
with no token of recognition except, we may hope, the 
usual honorarium. It was not so in Northampton. The 
afternoon had not gone by before a gentleman, authorized 
and competent to represent the little parish, had made 
his appearance and proffered hospitality; and before 
Monday morning the young preacher had met and con- 
versed with several parishioners of both sexes. That 
Sunday proved to be the first of a six months' supply ; 
and the supply, with the interval of a twelvemonth spent 
in another field, was the prelude of a ten years' ministry, 
— a ministry marked by the utmost patience and kind- 
ness on the part of the parishioners, who, it should ever 
be remembered, must take their young clergyman, after 
"the School" has done its best and its worst for him, 
and give him the most valuable part of his training, and 
help him to convert his scholasticisms into experience. 

It was a significant time in the parish. It was the day 
of Transcendentalism, — that was the word then, a word 
almost forgotten in our swift years. I think the " Dial " 
was just announcing the hour in the great cycle of the 



486 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

Ages, for the last time. My predecessor had been a 
favorite and valued contributor to the pages of that 
periodical, and there were those in the congregation who 
hung eagerly upon his words. The larger portion, how- 
ever, preferred the old paths ; and so my friend — for 
such he was, is, and, I trust, ever will be — withdrew 
from his charge after a very short term of service, and, as 
long as he remained in town, was my kind parishioner. 
All the things which are now called new were discussed 
twenty-five years ago in that little parish, with only a 
little difference of names, but with, I think, a less 
clear perception of the inevitable issues. We had it all 
in Bible classes and teachers' meetings, at our pleasant 
tea-parties, at our evening gatherings, where we were not 
ashamed to eat Porter apples and boiled chestnuts, and 
on more stately occasions ; for let no one suppose that 
we were not sometimes as stately as the stateliest, or that 
there were none amongst us who had been in king's pal- 
aces, and were fit to be there, too. I can hardly recall 
without a smile my choice of a sermon for the first Sun- 
day morning. I had the young man's feeling that a Tes- 
timony must be uttered ; and so the preacher (who, with a 
very hearty appreciation of the positive side of Transcen- 
dentalism, especially as a protest against the miraculously- 
confirmed deism which Unitarianism in many quarters had 
become, had no sympathy whatever with the Transcen- 
dentalist's rejection, or, worse, his patronizing recognition, 
of the everlasting Symbol provided for the world in the 
incarnate Word) took for his text, " The glory which thou 
gavest me I have given them, that they may be one as we 
are one." Well, insignificant as what the young man said 
unquestionably was, it was a good key-note. 

I would write rather of things than of persons, but 
what are things save as they pass into forms and faces 



A VIEW OF THE LYMAN HOME 487 

and deeds, and words and smiles and tears? — so I must 
say something about persons. Of one, the chiefest chief 
of them, even then in the time of his age and of his 
decaying faculties, I have elsewhere set down my impres- 
sions, as they were freshly made upon me. Poorly 
enough the writer preached upon the " Christian in his 
Village Home " The Christian was Judge Lyman, one 
of New England's noblemen, who found his peers only 
amongst the great and good of our land. Had he lived 
anywhere save in that beautiful region, we should have 
felt that he was out of place. But there was another 
whom we called Mrs. Judge Lyman. In this year of my 
writing, as I reach this point in my simple story, she has 
passed out of the clouds that obscured her later years, 
into the light of our higher life. Admirable words — 
they could not have been better, and were only too few — 
were set down about her character in one of the daily 
journals. I meant then to have added my testimony. 
Perhaps, as the twelvemonth is not gone, it is not too late 
now. 

Walk from Round Hill with the preacher down into 
Shop Row. He had been in town not more than a day, 
before he found out that there was one place, at least, 
which would be pretty sure to come into his rounds. 
That is the door. It is on the left hand of the street as 
you go down. It is not quite shut. The writer thinks 
that it must have been shut during the very coldest of 
the weather, but there is no picture in his image-chamber 
of any closing, " early " or late. I have my doubts 
whether it was not kept from blowing open by some 
peculiar process other than latching and locking. I only 
know that a push sufficed to clear the way into the hall, 
and that a knock was sufficient to open the parlor. There 
was a little maid in the house whose name, by way of 



488 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

compensating for the smallness of her stature, her mis- 
tress was in the habit of lengthening out by an added 
syllable, which put her upon the instant, so far as words 
could do it, amongst heroes and saints, — the Brigittas 
and the Theresas of mediaeval times. This little woman, 
however, did not come much to the door. There was no 
need. We will go in. Seated at the farther end of the 
parlor, by the side of a generous Franklin stove, soon to 
have a little "smudge " of fire in it, morning and evening, 
you will see a lady not yet past middle life, and yet 
provided with spectacles which she seems to maintain, 
chiefly, that she may lose and find them. Perceiving at 
once that she is girt about with all sorts of " work," you 
will beg her not to rise, and will get welcome enough 
from her warm grasp and her fine, expressive face. What 
is she doing? Many things, O fine lady ! It is not her 
train that impedes her movements ; it is not that her 
hands are aesthetically folded ; it is not that she is so 
elaborately got up that to rise would be an artistic move- 
ment not lightly to be undertaken. What is she doing ? 
Shelling peas, perhaps ; not always to the best advantage, 
for peas will roll under sofas and into nooks from which 
it " does not pay " to extricate them with much stooping 
and probing; darning stockings, perhaps, — what the good 
lady calls her " embroidery," and what is indeed a very 
useful kind of worsted work ; making a garment, perhaps, 
— a " sofa covering " possibly, for some sewing-circle or 
other circle-child, a little peculiar it may be in the pat- 
tern, but very comfortable, nevertheless, in the wear. But 
this is not all; there is a volume in her lap, — "Jane 
Eyre," we will say, or "Margaret Fuller," or some fresh 
sermon by Dr. Channing, or the last " North American ; " 
and as the story deepens in interest, or the paragraph 
warms and flushes into eloquence, the peas fly about a 



A HEART OF HOSPITALITY 489 

little more wildly, and now and then the needle goes into 
the finger instead of the stocking. But the reading stops 
now. She loves the speech of the liting, out of the abun-' 
dance of the heart, better than any dead words. You 
have your cordial greeting. You have, henceforth and 
ever, your devoted friend. 

I suppose it is so still, but I know that in those days 
one did not need to go away from N. to hear of new 
things in literature, in theology, in politics, in society. I 
think they came to us amongst the first, and we had 
time enough to welcome and entertain them during 
those blessed, long days. Here was the old thought ; 
revering, believing heartily in the Gospel tradition and 
dear churchly things and ways. There, right opposite, 
in the pleasant old house which has modestly withdrawn 
behind the comparatively new Town Hall, the new 
thought uttered itself in kindly, graceful speech, firm in 
protest and dissent, but just and tender towards persons. 
All came together sooner or later into that parlor, as we 
went up and down and in and out, as we were asked to 
meet summer visitors, or gathered on great occasions 
when the Courts were in session, or Webster and Choate 
came to argue the famous Will Case. Did " the Ortho- 
dox " come? the Unitarian asks, having heard, it may be, 
fearful accounts of a spirit of bigotry stealing up from 
Connecticut along the river banks. Yes, "the Ortho- 
dox " did come ; the town met in that parlor and made 
their social, if not their theologic, report. It was a great 
blessing to the town that the door of that old dwelling 
was so easily opened, and that the heart of the household 
was altogether a heart of hospitality, not only for men 
and women, but for truths and what claimed to be truths. 
We had a " Community " within our borders • and who- 
soever of the Community was seized with a consuming 



49° RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

and irresistible longing for the fleshpots of civilization 
was welcome to fall back, within those walls, upon a cup 
"of -proscribed tea and a denounced hot biscuit, whilst all 
the vagaries of what we voted "a transition age" were 
quietly ventilated. All could come, because our friend 
was a large-minded, large-hearted, hospitable woman, 
eager not to divide but to gather and bind, earnest with- 
out narrowness and bigotry, a great blessing to a village. 
And she was so ready, so eager to serve ! Was it a 
young man whose way to Harvard was to be smoothed 
and otherwise provided for ? He could count upon her 
friendly offices ; he could be sure that she would not fail 
him until the end had been reached. She was a good 
friend, so good that, when the movement was reversed 
and the force turned the other way, she could flash into 
wrath which did not smoulder into sullenness and mali- 
ciousness. Her quaint and racy speech, which alas ! has 
perished with her, was a source of infinite entertainment 
to the young preacher ; and when it was brought to bear, 
as it sometimes was, against some of his ministerial 
"juveniles," in word or deed, it always did him good, 
whether for the moment he liked the medicine or not, — 
for "faithful are the wounds of a friend," and here was 
one who was a friend, first and last and midway, only a 
friend. When he seemed to be running low, she pro- 
vided, not bitter words, but a pot of wormwood tea, 
which she persuaded the young parson to drink, hoping 
that, somehow, it would get into his sermons. Is there 
any such parlor there in these days ? Is there any house 
which has been such a, I will not say " saint's rest," but 
minister's home? What one of our elder clergymen of 
those who have begun with me to delight in " reminis- 
cences" has not slept under that roof, or preached in 
that pulpit, or felt the force of the words of the exasper- 



A REVIEW OF CHANGES 491 

ated man who tried to keep the Mansion House, and 
declared that "it was no use, for Judge Lyman invited 
everybody who came to town to stay with him " ? I won- 
der how the conflict of the two thoughts gets on ? Has 
the Community taken up all the religious radicalism? I 
could see no change in my day ; each combatant stood 
by his and, I ought to add, " her " (for we were mostly 
women) guns. Emigration and death were the only 
causes of change in the relative numbers. It will take 
more time than a lifetime, even in these days, when we 
think or at least talk so fast, for a distracted Liberalism, 
numbering its adherents now in all churches, orthodox 
and heterodox, to find the higher unity which the fact of 
the incarnation, freed from the scholasticisms of theology, 
will surely become to all who are Christians, in any sense 
which a man of common sense need take into account. 
To go to Northampton during that beautiful season when 
its atmosphere is not too warm, and its glories have lost 
none of their gloriousness, would be to find much, very 
much, that is delightful ; but it would be to find the old 
house changed, and the old forms vanished, the old inter- 
locutors silent, even the old words changed. They talk 
about theisms now, and free thought, and right wing and 
left wing. Is it strange that the writer does not care to go ? 
I began with a walk down town. I got only so far as 
one dwelling. I began with that first Saturday after the 
Master's Degree had been taken, and the work of life had 
been seriously entered upon. I got no farther than that 
first Sunday. How many walks, how many Sundays 
followed ! How many houses became homes, and would 
be still, I think ! Shall I ever have time to carry on 
these chapters? — to take some one with me to my first 
Association (pronounced then, by the elders in all that 
region, without the second syllable, — "Association"), 



492 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

where, to my great dismay, I was accounted a Transcen- 
dentalism and, on the whole, a dangerous young man ? — 
to go over in some congenial company to see those dear 
old saints in Hadley ; that calm old man, quietly farming 
and theologizing upon his broad, rich meadow, not know- 
ing what a' stir the son who returned on that Saturday, 
for his vacation, was destined to make in our Zion ; that 
true Christian woman, his wife ; that courtly and melan- 
choly and wise and honorable and large-minded gentle- 
man, under the evergreens in the brown house opposite ? 
— to drive up the river and talk with the old blind 
preacher in Deerfield ? Perhaps so ; but for the present 
this chapter must suffice, and, instead of writing personal 
history, I must be making it ; and what I most wished 
was to say a word about my dear old friend, Mrs. L. 

E.* 

Mrs. L. Maria Child to Mrs. Lesley. 

Dear Susan, — I am glad to hear that you are pre- 
paring a memorial of your large-souled mother, for the 
benefit of her grand-children. She and your excellent 
father are among the noblest pictures in my Gallery of 
Memory. I recall very vividly those old times in North- 
ampton, when we occupied a pew next to yours, and 
listened to the pleasant preaching of John S. Dwight. 
His soul was then, as now, harmoniously attuned to all 
lovely sig-hts and sounds, and he seemed then, as he does 
now, like the poetic child in the " Story without an End," 
who went meandering through creation, wondering at its 
multiform miracles, and earnestly questioning all its 
forms of beauty. 

It was one of my delights at that time to observe your 
father and mother, as they walked up the aisle of the 
church. They had such a goodly presence ! One rarely 



LYDIA MARIA CHILD'S LETTER 493 

sees a couple so handsome, after they have passed the 
meridian of their life ; and their bearing was an imper- 
sonation of unpretending dignity. Your mother espe- 
cially was as stately in her motions, as if she had been 
reared in the atmosphere of royalty. 

We always liked each other; but in many respects it 
was the attraction of opposites. I was a born radical, 
and her training had been eminently conservative. Both 
of us were by temperament as direct and energetic as 
a locomotive under high-pressure of steam, and coming 
full tilt from opposite directions we often met with a 
clash ; but no bones were ever broken. After such 
encounters, we shook hands and laughed, and indulged 
in a little playful raillery at each other's vehemence. 
She was too sincere to deny any proposition that she 
perceived to be right and true, however much it might be 
at variance with her preconceived opinions. 

I often wondered that she had a liking for me. I sup- 
pose the earnestness of my convictions, and the fearless 
honesty with which I expressed them, proved attractive 
to her because her own nature was in sympathy with 
those traits ; and I imagine she rather enjoyed the onset 
of our antagonisms as a sort of intellectual tournament. 

My attraction toward her is easily explained. I de- 
lighted in her earnestness, her energy, her abhorrence of 
all sorts of shams, her uprightness of principle, and her 
large views of men and things ; and even when her 
opinions were most at variance with my own, I honored 
the downright sincerity with which she expressed them, 
and I greatly enjoyed the raciness of humor which she 
often employed in their defence. Aristocratic she un- 
doubtedly was ; but not in any narrow sense. She rose 
with a lofty disdain above all distinctions that were 
merely conventional and external. I have often smiled 



494 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

at the impetuosity with which she upon some occasions 
manifested this quality in my defence. . . . The genuine 
inborn nobleness of her character often flashed out in 
this way, in fine scorn of all pretension and sham. 

I left Northampton, and years passed without my see- 
ing her. Meanwhile, her good husband passed away, and 
his moral worth left a fragrance in the memory of all who 
knew him. Her children had formed households of their 
own. You, dear Susan, had married P. L., whose mind 
was absorbed in science, while his heart was deeply 
interested in all that concerned the welfare of his fellow- 
beings. It was after the hospitable old homestead in 
Northampton was broken up, and its inmates scattered 
abroad, that I again met your mother. After cordial salu- 
tations and a few mutual inquiries, I said, " Do you re- 
member the lively encounters we used to have about 
Anti-slavery ? How do you feel upon that subject now ? " 
" I hardly know what to say," she replied. " Between 
you and Peter, you have got me on the fence, and I don't 
know which way I shall jump." I answered very quickly, 
But I know, Mrs. Lyman. You will be certain to jump 
on the right side. You cannot do otherwise." 

The largeness of her nature showed itself in generous 
hospitality and delight in doing pleasant things for others. 
I shall never forget her many kind attentions to my dear 
husband, when circumstances compelled me to be absent 
from him. We still keep, as precious relics, some pieces 
of a velvet wrapper which she gave him, and the sight of 
them always recalls pleasant and grateful recollections 
of her. 

When I last saw your mother, her bright and active 
mind was over-clouded by physical infirmities and in- 
creasing years ; but even then gleams of her native humor 
broke through the gathering mist, like sunshine flashing 



DR. AUSTIN FLINTS LETTER 495 

out between the drifting clouds of a darkening sky. Her 
earthly light went out in darkness ; but the spirit, disen- 
cumbered of external obstacles, shows only its interioi 
qualities, — and hers were good, bright, and noble. 
Always your affectionate friend, 

L. Maria Child. 

Dr. Austin Flint* to Mrs. Lesley. 

New York, Sept. 13, 1S74. 

Dear Mrs. Lesley, — In accordance with your wishes, 
conveyed to me in a letter from Mrs. Briggs, I shall send 
you several letters written by your dear mother. In 
reading her letters to-day, I have lived over the period 
when her sympathy and affection were so much to me 
and mine. My heart has been filled with love for her, 
and often I could not refrain from tears. 

I have endeavored a brief sketch, but it does neither 
her memory nor me justice, and do not hesitate therefore, 
if you think best, not to introduce it. I shall send the 
package by express. 

I earnestly hope that your mother is now cognizant of 
the affection and gratitude which, in common with her 
descendants, my wife and I feel whenever we think of 
her. My recollections of your mother always awaken 
emotions of love and reverence. It were, indeed, proof 
of heartlessness and ingratitude, if I did not cherish her 
memory with deep affection. 

When I was beginning my professional life in North- 
ampton, she was a sympathizing, devoted friend to my 
wife and myself. A tender mother could not have been 
more kind; and in her letters after we had left North- 
ampton, she often addressed us as her children. She 

•i'rofcsx.r.il tl„ Principles and Practice ol Medicine and cif Clinical Medicine 
in the liellcvue Hospital, .Medical Curlege, St., Jtc, New York. 



496 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

confided, when I commenced practice, herself and her 
family to my care, and thus, by her example and influ- 
ence, the struggles incident to this early period of my 
professional life were much less than they would other- 
wise have been. At this time I was under obligations 
to her, for her encouragement and wise counsels, more 
than I can adequately express. 

Of the social position and influence of your mother 
you may justly be proud. She was truly a queen among 
women. No one could be in her company without being 
impressed with the fact that her endowments were of a 
superior order. With much beauty of countenance were 
combined intellectuality, dignity, refinement ; and to 
these were added grace and graciousness of manner. 
The homage which she received was not obtained by art 
or effort, but was the spontaneous offering of those around 
her. She was ever ready to listen and respond to the 
claims of philanthropy. She was ready at all times to 
promote intellectual pursuits and pleasures, especially 
among the younger members of society. I recollect in 
my boyhood days in Northampton, there was a Literary 
Society, composed chiefly of young persons, to which 
were submitted original poems, promiscuous essays, and 
profoundly metaphysical disquisitions. Although then a 
mother of children of mature age, she was not merely a 
patroness but an active member of this society, furnish- 
ing her quota of written contributions. These were of a 
high order, and it would have been an easy task for her 
to have become distinguished as a writer. Her conver- 
sational powers were remarkable. She was not chary of 
her gifts in this regard ; but her conversation was so full 
of interest and instruction that she never appeared to talk 
too much. The exercise of her conversational powers was 
entirely devoid of pedantry or assumption. The sayings 



R. IV. EMERSON'S LETTER 497 

of no one at that time and place were oftener repeated ; 
but the wit and humor which characterized them never 
hurt the feelings of others : she was far above a spirit of 
ridicule or detraction. 

When it is said that she was the worthy wife of your 
honored father, one must have known him and his home 
to appreciate all that is expressed in this statement. 
Judge Lyman was in truth a "gentleman of the old 
school," in the fullest and highest sense of this expres- 
sion. His house represented the highest idea of domes- 
tic life and elegant hospitality, forty years ago, in one of 
the most intellectual, cultivated, and refined sections of 
New England. 

I sympathize with you in your undertaking to prepare 
a memorial for distribution among your mother's descend- 
ants, and surviving friends. There are many living who 
knew her in her days of health, during your father's 
life, who are much more capable than I am of delineating 
her superior endowments and beautiful traits of character. 
But no one, more than I, of those not connected by ties 
of blood, can cherish her memory with greater affection 
and reverence. Very truly yours, 

Austin Flint. 

Mr. R. IV. Emerson to Mrs. Lesley. 

Concord, July 26, 1S74. 
My dear Mrs. Lesley, . . . Your father and herself 
made me their guest in their house at Northampton, in 
my young days, when Rev. Mr. Hall left me in charge 
of his pulpit for a few Sundays. I had not then, and 
I cannot believe that I have since, seen so stately and 
naturally distinguished a pair as Judge and Mrs. Lyman. 
Your mother was then a queenly woman, nobly formed, 
in perfect health, made for society, with flowing conversa- 



498 RECOLLECTIONS OF MY MOTHER 

tion, high spirits, and perfectly at ease, — understanding 
and fulfilling the duties which the proverbial hospitality 
of your house required. Judge Howe came daily to the 
house, — Judge Wilde was a guest, — Mr. Ashmun, later 
Law Professor at Harvard ; the patroon Van Rensselaer 
from Albany, and his daughter, were guests one day while 
I was there, and others. But no guests came, or could 
come, I thought, who surpassed the dignity and the intel- 
ligence of the hosts. It cost them no effort to preside or 
to please. Your mother, — I remember how much she 
interested me one day, by a narrative of the romantic 
history of Mrs. Mills, wife of the senator, and then car- 
ried me to the house and introduced me to their daugh- 
ters, — one of whom, I believe, afterwards became Mrs. 
Huntington, and the other Mrs. Peirce. My visit was 
shortened by two days, by a kind arrangement which was 
made for me, by your mother, with Judge Howe who was 
going to hold a Court at Lenox ; and I was to drive his 
horse and chaise thither to bring him home, and thereby 
make the acquaintance of Miss Catherine Sedgwick at 
Stockbridge, which was happily accomplished. Since 
that time I have rarely seen your mother, and only it 
seems for moments, — once at her house in Cambridge, 
where she introduced me to Chauncey Wright. I grieve 
that I can add so little to your own memories. 
Yours affectionately, 

R. W. Emerson. 



INDEX. 



Abbot, Rev. Julian, zjo. 

Abdication, a talismanic word, 355. 

Abolitionists, how regarded, 95. 

Adam Blair read, 203. 

Adams's (J. Q.) picture, her remem- 
brance of him, 404. 

Advice to a son on his travels, 334 ; to 
a young mother, 403 ; to a college 
student, 407. 

Affectation, 444. 

Akenside quoted, 289. 

Aikin's Queen Elizabeth's Court read, 
144. 

AH Bey's Travels in Africa read, 116. 

Allen (President), 372. 

Allen (Richard L.) married Sally Lyman 
in 1834, 293, 397. 

Amateur theatricals, 217. 

Ames (Mr. and Mrs. Fisher), described, 
42. 

An angel unawares, 226. 

Anacharsis read, 148. 

Anecdote^: the two bed-mates at 
school, 34; the silver spoon, 35; the 
christening and baby's cap, 76 ; the 
Bideful family in the cupboard, 81 ; 
the Boston stage-driver, 86 ; a book- 
trade transaction before the days of 
expressage, 150; Miss C. B., 155; 
a fall from a tree sends the fut- 
ure judge to college, 172; where is 
heaven? 175; the first collection of 
liberals, 176; Old Parson Williams, 
175; the tract distributor, 189; how 
Ralph Waldo Emerson came to be 
her guest, 225; impromptu rebuke, 
246; IJebby Barker's loyalty to King 
George in 1830, 259; the boy tor- 
menting a chicken, 261; twins a 
medicine for a broken leg, 272; the 
ten gold pieces, 2^0; Eliza Robbins's 
reply to the poet Bryant, 308; her 
use of language, 308; wonderful phe- 
nomena following two deaths, 314; 
Miss Edgeworth's Helen, 32c), 330; 
old black Billah at the judge's dinner- 
table, 340; a day dream, 347; kiss- 
ing by proxy, 349; better give up 
and go to board, 349; the young lire 
worshippers, 350; Martha Cochran's 
card, 351; how the sewing circle was 
saved, 352; plain advice, 353; David 
Child's speculation, 354; the seduced 
girl's baby, 357; the wedding trous- 



seau, 357; Judge Huntington's peace 
offering, 358; the unfashionable bon- 
net. 359 > the argument against hered- 
ity, 360; Almira's soup for Judge 
Shaw, 363 : Dr. Atwater's dwarf, 367; 
the midnight fire and Jane Eyre, 
395; Judge Lyman's old age, 413; 
the new bird, 415 ; the maid-servant's 
gratitude, 416; the embroidered pet- 
ticoat, 418; the girl who would not 
read, 419; gossip over bad servants, 
419 ; Judge Shaw's profound thoughts, 
423 ; new shoes for the invited little 
guest, 425 ; the Shakspeare readings, 
427; the converted young friend, 430; 
a personal devil indispensable, 430; 
the astral lamp, 430; a Christian 
feller cretur, 431; Mrs. Hall's new 
babies, 431; blue mortification, 433; 
cotton garters for an emergency, 436; 
the expelled mischief-maker, 438; 
the marchioness punished, 439; that 
piece of pretension and affectation, 
443 ; the two families that didn't 
speak, 447; the new bonnet, 463; 
the Irish wake, 464; Dr. Robbins 
an institution, 467; the invalid, 475; 
the two friends who lost their mem- 
ory, 476. 

Apthorp (Harrison), 389. 

Arboriculture made profitable by Mrs. 
Griffiths, 247. 

Ashmun (Hooker), a student, 191; in- 
augurated professor at Cambridge 
1829, 249. 

Aurora of January, 1S37, after Anne's 
death, 314. 



Balestier (Mrs.), 149. 

Bancroft (George) in 1823 ar >d after, 29, 
190, 2io, 222, 277. 

Bancroft (Miss), 141. 

Bangs (Miss), 343. 

Barbauld's works, 224. 

Barbour (Miss), 476. 

Barker (the three Misses), described, 44. 

Barker (.Mrs.), Co. 

Barlow (Joel) at Vale College, 173. 

Barnard (Mr. and Mrs.), 122, 253, 312, 
338. 

Beach (Miss), boarding-school, 34. 

Bearing children the best of occupa- 
tions, 356. 



5°° 



INDEX 



Beck (Mr.), married 1826, 222. 

Beecher (Harriet), prize tale, 289. 

Beneficences, 259. 

Bennet (the two Scotch aunts), 17. 

Bent (Ann), 32, 37. 

Betts (Judge), 367. 

Bigelow (Rev.), 254. 

Billah, the Massachusetts slave, 340. 

Black Dwarf criticised, 127. 

Bliss (Mrs.), 294. 

Bloody Brook celebration, September, 
1835, 296. 

Bonaparte (Joseph), described, 141. 

Books read by the girls at Brush Hill, 
51 ; read by Sally Howe in 18 10, 63 ; 
read at Northampton, 81 ; at Worth- 
ington, 114; reviewed in 1822, 159; 
evil if poor, 202; that "furnish an 
additional quantity of vulgarity to con- 
template," 328. 

Bradford (George P.), 248. 

Bradford's History of Massachusetts 
read, 164. 

Bradford's notions of materialism, 169. 

Breakfast hour in the old home, 417. 

Bremer's (Miss) works appreciated, 380. 

Brewer (Elizabeth), 282. 

Brewer (Stephen), 23, 278, 375. 

Brilliant conversation, 350. 

Brimmer famiiv, 43. 

Brinley (Mrs.),' 368. 

Brooks (Mrs.), 140. 

Brush Hill, built 1734; occupied by 
Nathaniel Robbms 1804; family life 
there described, 21, 36, 38. 

Bryant (William Cullen), 100; (Dr.) 
101; (Rush) 268. 

Bulfmch (Rev. and Mrs.), 333, 426. 

Bulwer's works criticised, 295. 

Burns appreciated, 460. 

Burty, the old nurse, 77. 

Byron's poems appear, 114. 

Cabot (Eliza), 62, 157. 

Calvinism in Northampton described, 

171 ; its zeal discussed, 184. 
Cambridge homes, 1853, 1856, 469, 470, 
Camilla read, 132. 
Campbell (the poet), 128. 
Campbell (the widow), 36. 
Gary (Mrs.), described, 146, 270. 
Chalmers, 197. 
Channing, 265, 454. 
Charley's Hope nursery for trees, 246. 
Child (David and Maria), 346, 354, 481. 
Children, the joys and sorrows they 

bring, 198. 
Cholera year, 1832, 273. 
Christian Examiner, 203. 
Christianity discussed, 178. 
Church society organized Feb. 22, 1823, 

183. 
Churchill house on Milton Hill, 17. 
Clapp (Harriet and Caroline), 151, 383. 
Clarence read, 262. 
Clarendon quoted, 137. 



Clark (Justin), 154. 

Clarke (Julia), 389. 

Clarke (Thomas) in 1658, 30. 

Clay (Henry), speech against abolition, 

338. 
Cochran (Martha), 347. 
Codman (Dr.), 265. 
Cogswell, 190. 
Combe Varin, 478. 
Communion in Anne Jean's chamber, 

326. 
Congeniality in marriage discussed, 147 
Constant (Benjamin) read, 370. 
Cooper and Scott contrasted, 1822, 151. 
Copley's portrait of Aunt Forbes, 70. 
Court-week party, 422. 
Cousin Marshall read, 275. 
Cultivating the understanding, 269. 
Cushing (Mrs.), 60, 274. 
Cutter (Mrs.), 276. 
Cuvier's life and portrait, 287. 
Cynicism pestilential, 359. 

Dana (Mr.), 327. 

Darning stockings her embroidery, 416. 

Dawes (Judge), 88. _ 

Dead children as living as the living, 386. 

Deaf, dumb, and blind for policy, 448. 

Death in May, 1867, 476. 

Degerando's On Self-education read, 
373- 

Delano (Warren), 381, 391, 397. 

Described by her daughter, 71. 

Desor's Avenue at Combe Varin, 478. 

De Tocqueviile recommended, 336. 

Devil necessary, 430. 

De Wette's Ethics read, 370. 

Dewey (Judge), 367. 

Dial (The), 374. 

Dickens's visit, works criticised, 379, 
380. 

Dickinson (George), 389. 

Dignity is not worth nursing, 357. 

Dikeman (Mrs.), 364. 

Dinner-time at the old home, 419. 

Dirt on the brain, 365. 

Disparity of year., felt later on, 451. 

Dix (Mrs.), 57. 

Donnison (Miss), 471. 

Don't abdicate, 353. 

Dorchester Academy, 34. 

Dramas acted, 1826-1833, 217, 281, 389. 

Drayton (Hannah), 339. 

Dress in 1815-1829, 39, 253, 434. 

Drew (John), a Milton character, 339. 

Dwight (Aunt), 74; (Sarah) 139; (Rev. 
J. S.) called, 345; settled, 369; un- 
settled, 374; Life of Jefferson, 343. 

Early letters, 56. 

Eccentric action, 481. 

Edgeworth's Life, 132. 

Education of little children, 43S. 

Edwards Church in Northampton, 430. 

Ellery (Elizabeth), 1822, 158. 

Ellis (Rev. Rufus), 66, 227, 351, 379- 



INDEX 



5 01 



Emerson (Charles), 1827, 226. 
Emerson (George B.), school in Boston, 

250. 
Emerson (R. Waldo), appears first in 

Northampton, 226 ; views on death, 

242; on immortality, 256; lecture, 

1849, 466; last visit, 472. 
Emery (Margaret), 160. 
Enjoyment discussed, 196. 
Enthusiasm for carpets, 445. 
Erskine's Speeches, 116. 
Essay on Education, 277. 
Eustace's Tour in Italy, 116. 
Evening; parties at the old home, 421. 
Everett s eloquence, 143 ; oration, 296. 
Excursion to Saratoga, 1821, 140. 
Experience better than books, 309. 

Factory Village described, 278. 

Faith in Providence, 221. 

Farm life in 1805, 39. 

Feed the mind, 266. 

Ferdinand and Isabella read, 378. 

Fichte's Nature of the Scholar read, 370. 

Finances of the Northampton family, 406. 

First-born child, 181 2, 89. 

Fisher (Redwood), 367. 

Flattery in excess a slow poison, 338. 

Flint (Dr. and Anne). See Letters, 265, 
306. 

Follen (Dr.), lost on the Lexington, 275, 
344- 

Forbes (Bennet), 25. 

Forbes (Dorothy), 36; death in 1811,69. 

Forbes (Emma), described. See Letters, 
38, 196, 206. 

Forbes mansion on Milton Hill, 32. 

Ford (Nathaniel), 58. 

Foreign travel regarded, 207. 

Fowler (James), 199, 366; (Fanny) 388. 

French talked by the Worthington chil- 
dren, 128. 

Friendship discussed, 137, 222, 446. 

Front door always open, 4H6. 

Frothingham (Rev. F.), Milton, 18, 289. 

Gannett on Unitarianism quoted, 170. 

Gay (Mr.), 57. 

(ieraldine read, 148. 

Gild your lot with contentment, 353. 

Girlhood at Brush Hill, 47. 

Girls of New England in 1805, 48. 

Good's Hook of Nature, 1833, 281. 

Gordon (Lady Duff), 456. 

Gorham (Dr.), 193. 

Gorton's Glass for the People of New 

England, 28. 
Gossip as necessary as the air we breathe, 

37 2 - 

Grant (Mrs.), seminary for boys in Scot- 
land, 141. 

Grant's Sketches on Intellectual Educa- 
tion, 1 14. 

Great Western steamship, 1839, 341. 

Greeley's lecture, 401 . 

Greene (Mr. and Mrs.), 120, 24S, 480. 



Green Vale, Conn., home of Mrs. Mur- 
ray, 64. 
Greenwood Cemetery in 1846, 395. 
Griffith (Mrs.), described, 246. 
Groves were God's first temples, 279. 
Gurney (Mr.), 472. 

Hale (Lucretia), 439. 

Hall (Rev. E. B.), in 1823, 177, 183, 216, 
222, 225. 

Hamilton's (Mrs.) works, 225. 

Happy are they who are under press of 
business, 371. 

Harding family, 169, 332, 391. 

Hartford Convention, 1814, 88. 

Hassan and Ali in Egypt, 456. 

He fifty, 1 fifteen, 412. 

He seventy, I seventeen, 413. 

Healthful stimulus of prospective want 
409. 

Heartiness in the household, 346. 

Heckewelder's account of the Indians, 
202. 

Hedge's review of Emerson's Essays, 
39'- 

Hemans's works, 224. 

Henshaw (Mr.), 140. 

Hentz (Mr. and Mrs.), 197, 211. 

Hillard (G. S. and Susan), 191, 379. 

Hillhouse's Last Judgment, 142. 

Hinckley (Mrs.), death, 342. 

Hingham visits, and Tories, 58, 259. 

History of the Pilgrim Fathers, 378. 

Hitchcock (Dr.), 295. 

Hoar (Elizabeth), 320. 

Hockanum ferrv, 483. 

Holbrook (Dr.)J of Milton, 31. 

Home life in 1840, 413. 

Hope Leslie read and praised, 225. 

Hopkins (President), lecture, 1845, 39°- 

Hopkinson (Mrs.), 471. 

Hospitality of the old home, 418. 

Housekeeping sixty years ago, 362. 

How would you like it ? 340. 

Howard (Mrs. John), 306; (Betsey), 347 ; 
(Sophia), 350. 

Howe (Dr. Estes), description of Nathan- 
iel Robbins, 20. 

Howe (Mrs. Lois), 472; (Miss Mary) 
387 ; (Miss Sarah) account of the 
Hutchinson family, 28; (Miss Susan) 
school, 275. 

Howe (Judge Samuel) in Worthington, 
97; married, 98; described, 102; 
comes to live at Northampton 1823, 
190; death Jan. 20, 1828; character 
drawn by Rufus Ellis, 227; bv his 
wife, 234; by Miss Sedgwick, 238. 

Hume's England read, 151. 

Humphrey's Tour read, 336. 

Hunt (Eben), 72, 21S; (Maria) death, 
25' ; 3'4- 

Huntington. (C. P.), 222, 302, 358; 
house at lladley, 425; (Bishop), 426; 
427; (Wilhaui) school, 2S1. 

Huntoon (Mr. 1, 330. 



502 



INDEX 



Hutchinson (Anne), 27; (Edward) 29; 
(Edward) 30; (Elizabeth) 27. 

Illnesses, 1822, 1846, 158, 394. 
Inches (Mrs.), 43, 162. 
Influence of a fine child, 325. 
Inherited virtues, 360. 
Innoctnt occupation, 355. 
Invalid youth a sorrowful sight, 273. 
Ion, a tragedy, 323. 

Irving (Rev. Pierre), 270; (Washing- 
ton) 61. 

Jackson (Dr. James), died 1834, 284. 

Jane Eyre read, 1847, 39^- 

Jay's Life read, 402. 

Jeffrey (Mr.), 61. 

Jennison (Dr.), 268. 

Jesus, his character discussed, 179. 

Jones (Mary), died 1834, 290; (Thomas) 
marries Mary Lyman, 1829, 225. 

Jones, Sir William's Life read and dis- 
cussed, 148. 

Jouffroy's Philosophical Essays read, 
37°, 378. 

Kane (Mrs.), of New York, 61. 
Kirkland (Professor), quoted, 125. 
Knapp (John), 67. 

Ladies' Academy in Dorchester, 34. 

Lady Eleanor, 342. 

Lady of the Lake, a drama performed in 

the Northampton house, 1826, 217. 
Langley (W. G), 342. 
Language seemingly pedantic quite nat- 
ural, 308. 
Last days, 450. 

Law business at Northampton, 87. 
Law School established in 1823, 189. 
Leaders in society, 426. 
Lebanon Mountains, tour, 388. 
Lesley children, 1851, 467. 
Let all children eat humble pie, 433. 
Letitia, the marchioness, 440. 
Letters of Mrs. Lyman to : — 
Mr. Allen, December, 1847, 397. 
Mrs Barnard, Dec. 30, 1827, 253. 
Miss Cochran in January and Septem- 
ber, 1835, 295, 299. 
Mrs. Delano on the education of chil- 
dren, 438. 
Aunt Forbes, 1S04-1805, 57. 
Emma Forbes, 1817, 121 ; 1818, 124, 
127, 130; 1821, 136, 142; 1822, 154, 
157; 1823, 160, 167, 193, 197; 1824, 
200, 203, 205; 1825, 208, 212; 1828, 
243, 245; 1831, 262; 1S32, 271; 
1838, 333- 
T. M. Forbes, Jan. 1, 1832, 265. 
Dr Flint, 1836,303; 1S37, 3'S; 1838, 

332- 
Mrs. Greene (Abby Lyman), 1821, 135, 
139. 141; 1822, 147, 149, 151, 152, 
'5&> '5 s ; '823, 163, 164, 197; 1S24, 
202, 204; 1S26, 218,220; 1827,223, 



224; 1830, 258; 1832, 268, 271; 
1833, 274; 276; 1834, 291; 1836, 
303; 1837, 324. 33°; 1839, 342; 
1840, 344; 1842, 374; 1843, 378, 
380; 1844, 387; 1847, 397; 1848, 
405 : 1849, 409. 
Mrs. Hentz, Dec. 25, 1826, 220. 
Mrs. Howe, Aug. 31, 1849, 409. 
A. J. Lyman (her daughter), Nov. 15, 

1829, 251. 
E. H. R. Lyman (her son), 1833, 281; 
1834,283,286; 1835,294,297; 1836, 
309,311; 1837,322,323,328; 1838, 
334,336; 1839,337,338,341; 1840, 
343) 368, 370; 1842,377; 1843,381, 
382; 1845,392; 1846,393,394; 1847, 
400; 1848,402,404; 1852,410. 
Catherine Robbins (her sister), 1832, 
272 ; 1833, 274; 1835, 296; 1840, 
366; 1841, 372; 1845, 389; 1847, 
401 ; 1848, 402. 
Eliza Robbins (her sister), 1804, 57; 

1808, 59. 
Madame Robbins (her mother), Aug. 

24, 1825, 215. 
Miss H. Stearns, 1842,376; 1844,384. 
W. S. Thayer, 1848, 407. 
Letter from L. M. Child to Mrs. Lesley, 

491. 
Letter from G. B. Emerson to Judge 

Lyman, 257. 
Letters from R. W. Emerson to Mrs. 
Lyman, 1828, 241; 1829, 248; 1830, 
256, 257; 1837, 318; to Mrs. Lesley, 
July 26, 1874, 406. 
Letter from Dr. Flint to Mrs. Lesley, 

1874, 494- 
Letter from Mr. Greene to Mrs. Les- 
ley, 1875, 480- 
Letters from Mrs. Howe to Eliza Rob- 
bins, 67 ; to Miss Cabot, 1813, 104, 
108; 1814, 112,113; 1816, 116; 1818, 
118; 1823, 182; to Miss Forbes, 1825, 
206, 210 ; 1830, 262. 
Letters of Judge Lyman to his son Ed- 
ward, 285, 312. 
Letter of Hannah Stearns to Mrs. Les- 
ley, 1874, 481. 
Letter of Professor Thayer to Mrs. Les- 
ley, 1875, 456. 
Letter of J. G. Whittier to Mrs. Lyman, 

1849, 455- 
Lexington, Sound boat, lost by fire, 1840, 

344- 
Library at the old home, 81. 
Life's varied stages, 143. 
Lippett (Mr.), 390 
Literary institutions, 168. 
Literature in New England, 488. 
Little ladies, 303. 
Loneliness after 1849, 466. 
Loose-enders (Transcendentalists), 449. 
Lord Collingwood's Letters read, 275. 
Loss of good friends, reflections, 157. 
Louisa, her story, 128. 
Love must be cultivated, 153. 



INDEX 



5°3 



Love of young people's society, 420. 

Lovell (James), 67 ; (Mrs.) 37. 

Low people as intolerable in books as in 
society, 329. 

Lowell (Edward), 224, 258 ; (John) 139, 
141. 

Loyal sentiments preserved in New 
England, 44. 

Lyman (Abby: Mrs. Greene), 120, 135. 

Lyman (Anne Jean Robbins), early 
childhood, 31. 

Lyman (Anne Jean, eldest daughter), 
born July, 1815, 120; 1825, 218; at 
school, 1829, 250 ; visits Cincinnati, 
1833, 280; illness, 1835, 3° 2 ; death, 
Jan. 21, 1837, 3 11 ! described by her 
mother, 316. 

Lyman (Catherine R.), born Jan. 12, 
1824, 205; married to W. Delano, 
October, 1843,381,383. 

Lyman (Dwight), died 1834, 290. 

Lyman (E. H. R., second son), born 
February, 1819, 120, 216; returns 
from Europe, 1833 (see Letters), 281. 

Lyman's Italy read, 132. 

Lyman (James), 389. 

Lyman (Jane), married S. Brewer, 1833, 
278. 

Lyman (Judge Joseph), described by 
Rufus Ellis, 66; by S. I. L., 84; at 
death-bed of Judge Howe, 230; died 
Dec. 11, 1847; described by Mrs. 
Lyman, 397, 450. 

Lyman (Joseph, his eldest son), born 
Aug. 14, 1812, S9; ill in 1822, 161; 
coming home, 1839, 342 ; at North- 
ampton, 397; at Jamaica Plain, 1856, 
470. 

Lyman (Martha), 473. 

Lyman (Mary), married to Mr. Jones, 
1829, 248. 

Lyman (Sally), married Mr. Richard L. 
Allen, 1834, 293. 

Lyman (Susan Inches), born 1823, 195; 
1839, 342; in New York, 1847, 395 i 
married February, 1849, 465. 

Lyman (Theodore), 409. 

Ma chere Mere, 428. 
Madame de Stael's Germany read, 378. 
Manners, not conventionalities, 435. 
Many acquaintances not worth one 

friend, f62. 
Marchioness, 440. 
Marriage with Judge Lyman, 70. 
Mather's Magnalia read, 233. 
Mclntyre's store, 456. 
McLean Insane Asylum, 475. 
Mellen (Judge), 36S. 
Meredith (William), 191. 
Metcalf (Mrs. and Judge), 110,423. 
Methodism discussed, 145. 
Middleton (Prudence), 37. 
Millennium of no sorrow about clothes, 

252. 
Mills & Howe, law partners, 103. 



Mills (Charles), 267; (Helen) 154, 222; 

(Mrs.) 187, 263. 
Milton Cemetery, 477; church, 18; 

Hill, 17, 31. 
Minot (Mr.), 204. 
Monuments, Where are your? 91. 
Moore's Life of Sheridan read, 219. 
More's (H ) works read, 224. 
Morison (Rev. J.), 468. 
Morse (Dr.), 130. 
Mortification stuff, 433. 
Morton (Mrs.), 130. 
Moseley (General), 272. 
Mother Goose translated into French, 

123. 
Mounts Tom and Holyoke, 73. 
Murray ancestry, 26; (Betsy) 17, 36; 

(Charles) 337. 

Named chambers in the old house, 80. 

Nature the best of friends, 271. 

Neutral ground for village warfare, 448. 

New Haven in 1813, 105. 

New Salmagundi, 62. 

New York Review criticised, 125. 

North American Review, authors, 123, 
130, 150. 

Northampton home pictured, 72; aban- 
doned in 1849, 466 ; village described, 
1811, 72. 

Novels appreciated in after life, 329. 

Noyes (Rev.), 1834, 294. 

Obituary notices of Mrs. Lyman, 482. 
Old horse and chaise, 414. 
Old parlor described, 90. 
Old saints in Hadley, 491. 
Opportunities, 92. 
Otis (H. Gray), 364. 

Paley's Moral Philosophy read, 117, 124. 

Parker (Captain), 18; (John) 391; The- 
odore, 1856,471, 478. 

Patronage read, 114. 

Paulding (Mr.), 61. 

Peabody (Mr.), 160. 

Peabodv (Rev. Mr.), 160, 168. 

Peirce (Mr.), 268. 

Percy's Masque read, 144. 

Perkins (James), 43 ; (Sarah), 293. 

Peter's Letters condemned, 144. 

Pianos scarce in 1823, 175. 

Pickard (Mrs.), 37. 

Pickering (Octavius), 423. 

Pickwick Papers condemned, 328. 

Pierce (Sally), 472. 

Pioneers read and criticised, 161. 

Pirate read and criticised, 151. 

Phelps (Caroline), 295; Hadley house, 
425- 

Philothea quoted. See Anecdote, 359. 

Plain speaking that gave no offence, 
353- 

Pomeroy family, 135 ; (Mrs.) death, 
1S25, 2 10 

Popular Essays, 117. 



5°4 



INDEX 



Prior's Life of Burke, 219. 
Private education approved, 270. 
Proof texts unconvincing, 182. 
Putt's-Bridge Stage, 483. 

Quaker persecution, 30, 95. 
Quarterly Review condemned, 125. 
Queen of the Rose performed, 28*1. 
Queen Victoria's wedding-day, 344. 
Queen's Wake read, 115. 

Radcliffe's (Mrs.) novels, 225. 

Railroad comes to change Northamp- 
ton, 383. 

Recollections of a Housekeeper read, 
296. 

Reginald Dalton read, 203. 

Rest! there is no such thing as rest, 371. 

Revere (Mr.), marries Mary Robbins, 
134- 

Rice (Henry), 367. 

Richard Jones read and condemned, 161. 

Rights of Women, Miss Martineau criti- 
cised, 330. 

Ripley (Mrs.), 249, 373. 

Rob Roy read and judged, 117, 124. 

Robbins (Anne Jean), birth and descent, 
17; (Anne) 1821, 142; (Catherine) 
38-46; (Hon. E. H, father) 17; 
(Dr. E. H., son) 214, 467; (Eliza) 26, 
308, 309, 469; (James) 141; (Mary) 
134; (Rev. Nathaniel) 17, 19, 24, 248, 
254; (Sally) 48, 52, 98. 

Robbinston, Me., 20. 

Roderick the Goth read, 115. 

Rcenne' (Baron), 365. 

Rogers (Mrs.), 303. 

Romeyn (Dr.), 64. 

Rose-breasted grossbeak, 416. 

Rotch (Miss), 204. 

Round Hill School, 1823, 189. 

Russell (Colonel H. S.), 18. 

Sacrifices for friendship, 405. 

Saint Ronan's Well criticised, 202. 

Saratoga in 1821, 140. 

Saunders (Miss), school, 34. 

School-house (old) on Milton Hill, 32. 

School-teaching at Round Hill, 201. 

Sciatica, 1834 to 1839, 3 10 - 

Scott's Lives of the Novelists, 219. 

Sears (David), 364. 

Sedgwick family, 1813, 106; 1822, 159; 

(Catherine) 204, 388; (Charles), 158; 

(jane) 265 ; (Robert) 158; (Theodore) 

i54, 33L. 
Seeger (Eliza), 300. 
Sewing circle, 351. 
Shakspeare Club, 426. 
Shaw (Judge), 362. 
Shelling peas in the parlor, 487. 
Shepherd (C. and E.), 154. 
Sheridan's Rivals performed, 389. 
Shop Row, 85. 
Sickness ignored, 82. 
Siesta hour in the old home, 420. 



Silvio Pellico, 296. 

Simmons (Rev.), 401. 

Sismondi's Travels in England, 116: 
Switzerland, 164. 

Smith (Mrs. R.), 35 i (Uncle) 1734, 36. 

Somerville Asylum, 475. 

Sonnet by Sally Howe, 52. 

Sorrow a wholesome regimen, 165. 

Sorrow over Anne's death, 315, 321. 

S'outhey's Life of Nelson, 113; Life of 
Wesley, 144. 

Spae Wife, 203. 

Sparks (Mr.), 162 ; Tracts, 203 ; Wash- 
ington, 302, 342. 

Spring (Marshall), 214, 338; (Elizabeth) 
293- 

Spy read, 151. 

Staging to Boston in old time, 92. 

Stearns (Rev.), 272, 332 ; (Hannah) 334. 

Stevens's Travels in Egypt* 336. 

Strong (Martha), 217. 

Study of theology, 373. 

Sturgis (Russell), 168, 191. 

Summer visitors, 86. 

Sumner (Betsy), 123 ; (Charles) 341. 

Sunday church-going, its value, 306. 

Sunday-school class in 1832, 272. 

Swan (Martha), 401. 

Tacitus read, in. 

Tales of my Landlord, 127. 

Thanksgiving dinner, 1840, 368. 

Thatcher (Thomas), 18, 118. 

Thayer (Mrs.), 454; (James B.) 456; 

(William S.) 417, 456. 
Theodolf read, 401. 
Theodore read, 370. 
Things held cheaply, 446. 
Third marriages, 349. 
Thompson (Dr.), 390. 
Tract distribution, 189. 
Transcendentalism, 226, 374, 484. 
Travelling, its uses, 167. 
Trouble to be borne as a minor evil, 139. 
Tucker (Rev. Mark), 175. 
Tuckerman (H), 469. 
Tudor's Life of Otis, 166. 
Tyler (Dr.), 476. 
Tyng (George), his school, 148, 154, 165, 

I 9 1 -. . . . 

Typhoid epidemic in 1825, 214. 

Undine read aloud, criticised, 342. 
Unitarianism, 102, 170, 177, 237. 
Upham (Mr.), 249. 

Valerius verstis Richard Jones, 148, 161. 

Van Raumer's England, 323. 

Village society, 85 ; changes, 384. 

Vinton (Mrs.), 448. 

Virgil read, 116. 

Virtues grow by culture, 136. 

Voice from St. Helena read, 164. 

Walker (Eleanor), 101 ; (Mary) 470; 
(Timothy) 191. 



INDEX 



5°5 



Wallace (Betsey), the slave, 339. 

Wanderer read, 114. 

Wandering Jew read, 392. 

War in 1861, 475. 

Ware (H. and W), 59; (Mrs. H.)37i 
(H.) 213; (Lizzie) 206; influence at 
Cambridge, 264; formation of Chris- 
tian Church, 275; Julian, 378. 

Ware, great staging station, 96. 

Warner's tavern, 86, 448. 

Washburn (Luther), 389. 

Watson (Mrs.), 294, 368. 

Wayne (Mary), 339. 

Ways with her children, 78, 79. 

Webster (Daniel), 304. 

Wells (Mrs.), 61. 

What can I do ? etc., 288. 

What's he to Hecuba? 427. 

Wheeler (President), lectureSj 401. 

When things are in a transition state, 
481. 

Whipple (Aunt), 37, 51. 

White (Amelia), 168. 

Whitmarsh (Mrs.), 294, 363; (Caroline) 
389; (T.) 3 8 9 . 



Whittier (J. G.), 455- 
Whoso shall offend, etc., 432. 
Willard (Mrs. and Dr.), 60, 186, 348. 
Williams (Judge), 88; (Parson) 171. 
Wilde (Judge), 364. 
Wilder's death, 218. 
Wilson (Miss), 268. 
Winter life at Brush Hill, 53. 
Wirt (William), 140,141. 
Woodstock read, Scott's best, 224. 
Wordsworth's Excursion admired, 223. 
Worth a guinea a minute, 347. 
Worthington described, 99. 
Wounds that left«no sting, 427. 
Wrath gone before action, 428. 
Wright (Chauncey), 409, 457, 461, 462, 
474- 

Yale College in 178c, 172. 
Yamoyden read, 139. 
You can't be too religious, 429. 
You have got me on the fence, 493. 
Young people wisely treated, 424. 
Your heart shall live forever, 475. 



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