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cepted, which may be 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 moment 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."
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 carth" 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 relinquish with that filial submission which we should all have to the decrces of our Heavenly Parent,which is a principle highly capable of cultivation, if we keep the providence of Almighty God constantly in view, and remember that in the heavenly heritage "there is no more pain, neither sorrow nor crying."
THE RICHES OF CONTENT
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 pleasures 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 nd strawberries 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 sentiment "My mind to me a kingdom is," more truthfully than she might have done.
My mother's letters to my cousin, Emma Forbes,
and to my cousin, Abby Lyman (who afterwards 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 1840.
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 character, 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, 1815, and of her second son, Edward Hutchinson Robbins, February, 1819.
NORTHAMPTON IN JUNE, 1817
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 permitted 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
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 Providence 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 American 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 designed 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 different 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.