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verything that flies in the air, swims in the sea, grows out of the ground, or upon tree or vine, contributed to the abundance laid upon the table for the Thanksgiving dinner. In almost every home family parties gathered together to utter their gratitude to a bountiful Providence, and to feast upon the good things set before them. It must be confessed that there was sometimes indulgence beyond the proprieties. But the holiday of all the year was blessed Christmas-tide, extending from Christmas to and including New Year's Day. For weeks before parents and children would lay aside, with scrupulous care and great secrecy, all they could for Christmas; and none was so poor as to be indifferent to the influence of the pretty custom of remembering loved ones with some token at Christmas. We have watched the simple folk in their preparations for this day with moistened eyes, because of the touch of heavenly love that pervaded all their efforts. They little knew themselves how muc
, Michigan, a devoted friend of General Logan, invited the general and myself to accompany him for the series. They were a rare treat. Notwithstanding Mr. Dickens's monotonous style of reading, the innate drollery of the man, manifested in his intonations and gestures, made his readings very interesting. Beginning February 6 with Doctor Marigold, and the trial scene from Pickwick, he also read extracts from Nicholas Nickleby, Old curiosity shop, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and son and The Christmas carol, using precisely the same intonations for every character, whether pathetic or comic. During his stay he was entertained by Charles Sumner and many other distinguished people, enjoying particularly walking about the city at night with Captain Kelly, Charles Sumner, and Mr. Stanton. He was the guest of Sir Edward Thornton, the English minister, who had succeeded Sir Frederick Bruce on the death of that illustrious diplomat. Dickens carried away, as a result of his readings in Am
Mrs. John A. Logan, Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife: An Autobiography, Chapter 10: (search)
days of adversity. Nothing she could do for these dear friends, who had been so much to her before fortune had smiled upon them, seemed onerous. Her only grief was that the President could not provide each one of the many with lucrative positions, and thereby improve their conditions in life. Many sought her aid, and were never turned away impatiently. She at least made an appeal for them. Every member of President Grant's cabinet had stories to tell of Mrs. Grant's kind heart. Every Christmas the asylums, hospitals, and charitable institutions in Washington received donations from Mrs. Grant, while the members of her family and her friends and their children were most generously remembered. She was the veritable Lady bountiful in more than one household. Her greatest fault, if she had faults, was her extreme leniency. She could never discipline either her servants or her children, her kind heart always suggesting some excuse for misdemeanors or neglect of duty. She was nev
Mrs. John A. Logan, Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife: An Autobiography, Chapter 12: (search)
state dining-room for the luncheon which Mrs. Grant had provided for the large party accompanying the President, he insisted upon taking Jack with him. It was a red-letter day in the dear boy's life, and he used to tell it to all of his school friends with a good deal of satisfaction. It spoke volumes for the kind heart of General Grant. Jack was always proud of being a favorite with the President and Mrs. Grant, who never forgot him at Christmas, but always sent him some beautiful Christmas gift. He was her champion and made many speeches in eulogy of Mrs. Grant, which were reported to her and caused her to be very strongly attached to him as long as she lived. The afternoon was spent by everybody in trying to get warm. The inaugural committee had made most extensive preparations for the inaugural ball. They had built a temporary marquee on Judiciary Square. It was magnificently decorated and extensive enough to have accommodated the thousands whom the committee expect