father, and their faithful Aunt Eliza, known in the family as “Auntie Francis.”
The young mother, in dying, had commended her children specially to the care of this, her eldest sister, whose ability had been tried and proved from childhood.
In 1810 her father, Benjamin Clarke Cutler
, died suddenly under singular and painful circumstances.
Her mother, crushed by this event, took to her bed, leaving the care of the family to Eliza, then fifteen years of age. Eliza took up the house-mother's burden without question; nursed her mother, husbanded the narrow resources of the household, brought up the four younger children with a strong hand.
“There were giants in those days.”
Nothing could daunt Eliza Cutler
's spirits, which were a perpetual cordial to those around her. She was often “borrowed” by one member and another of the family; she threatened to hang a sign over her door with the inscription, “Cheering done here by the job by E. Cutler
Her tongue could be sharp as well as merry; witness many anecdotes.
The housekeeper of a certain millionnaire, calling upon her to ask the character of a servant, took occasion to enlarge upon the splendors of her employer's establishment.
So-and-So keeps this; Mr. Soand
-So keeps that:--”
said Mrs. Francis
; “it is well known that Mr.
So-and-So keeps everything, except the Ten Commandments!”
“Oh! Mrs. Francis
, how could
cried the poor millionnaire when next they met.