« VorigeDoorgaan »
A YEAR OF SICKNESS AND ANXIETY 213 seen, is the only compensation I have for the absolute 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 combined 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 regards 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 to bid you adieu. With much affection,
A. J. LYMAN.
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.
N the summer of 1825, a severe form of typhoidfever 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 discase 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 Northampton, 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-FEVER AT BRUSH HILL 215
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 morning stage. He said he would carry me to Belchertown 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, Northampton, Aug. 24, 1825. DEAR MOTHER,-I little thought to have experienced 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
well; but nothing seems to agree with his stomach, and he looks very feeble, though he is uncomplaining. 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 remain 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 determine 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 regrets it, but we think it a great pity that he has got his house so small; there are a sufficient num
FAMOUS AMATEUR THEATRICALS
ber of rooms, but they are all too small. The parlors 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 beautiful 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 village, dressed in a suit of Lincoln green, took the part of James Fitz-James; and for many years after the tears would come to my mother's eyes as she described the scene where he was found alone, mourning 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