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To Laura

Oak Glen, August 21, 1896.
Being in a spleeny and uncomfortable mood to-day, what resource so legitimate as to betake myself to my own family? No particular reason for growling, growly so much the more. If I only had a good grievance now, how I would improve it! Well, you see, trouble is some of us have not any money to speak of, and in consequence we ain't nobody, and so on. There I hear the voice of my little mother Laura, saying: “Well, well!” in her soothing way. The truth is, darling, that first I was roasted out, and then it “friz horrid,” and my poor old “conshushion” could n't quite stand it.... D'ye see? “Well, no,” says Laura: “I don't exactly see.” Well, s'pose you don't — what then? You sweetheart, this is just the way this old, unthankful sinner was taken, just now. But I've got bravely over it, and I submit to health, comfort, delightful books, young company and good friends. Edifying, ain't it? ...

September 15. In the cars, reading the Duke of Argyll's fine opuscule, ‘Our [England's] Responsibilities for Turkey,’ my heart was lifted up in agonized prayer. I said, ‘O God! give me a handwriting on the wall, that I may truly know what I can do for these people.’ And I resolved not to go back from the purpose which prompted this prayer.”

“Arrived at St. John [New Brunswick] and was made very welcome. Reception in the evening by the ”

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