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 company 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 presence, 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 considération for others, and desire to give pleasure and put one at their ease, entirely apart from conventional polite


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



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 intimately 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 grandmother'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.

"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 income; 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 whenever people came together politics was the all-absorbing subject of conversation. Your grandfather was a strong federalist, and in common with others



of those views, through the administration of Jefferson, when the embargo was made and other measures carried which culminated in the war of 1812, they all felt that the country was ruined, the republican 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 cfforts to go and hear Dr. Channing or Mr. Buckminster, who was a great favorite for a few years.

"In closing these brief reminiscences, I ought to mention one condition which exercised a continued influence upon the lives of all the Brush Hill family, restricting them in many ways, and occasioning 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 embarrassments, 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

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."

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