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[252] material used for blacking guns in the navy. They are very handsome gaiters, and bear polishing by blacking and the shoe-brush as well as morocco. They are lasting, and very cheap when compared with those we buy, which are from $125 to $150 per pair. We are certainly becoming very independent of foreign aid. The girls make beautifully fitting gloves, of dark flannel, cloth, linen, and any other material we can command. We make very nice blacking, and a friend has just sent me a bottle of brilliant black ink, made of elderberries.

February 15, 1864.

A pause in my diary; but nothing of importance has occurred, either at home or with the country. The armies are mud-bound — I wish they could continue so. I dread the approach of Spring, with its excitements and horrors.

Prices of provisions have risen enormously-bacon $8 per pound, butter $15, etc. Our old friends from the lower part of Essex, Mr.--‘s parishioners for many years, sent over a wagon filled most generously with all manner of necessary things for our larder. We have no right to complain, for Providence is certainly supplying our wants. The clerks' salaries, too, have been raised to $250 per month, which sounds very large; but when we remember that flour is $300 per barrel, it sinks into insignificance.

February 28th, 1864.

Our hearts ache for the poor. A few days ago, as E. was walking out, she met a wretchedly dressed woman, of miserable appearance, who said she was seeking the Young Men's Christian Association, where she hoped to get assistance and work to do. E. carried her to the door, but it was closed, and the poor woman's wants were pressing. She then brought her home, supplied her with food, and told her to return to see me the following afternoon.

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