Chapter 4: girlhood 1839-1843; aet. 20-23
In Julia's childhood her brother Sam was her ideal and her idol. She describes him as a “handsome youth, quick of wit and tender of heart, brilliant in promise, and with a great and versatile power of work in him.” He had early shown special proficiency in mathematics, and to the end of his life rejoiced in being one of the few persons who clearly understood the function called “Gamma.” His masters expected great things from him; but his brilliant and effervescent spirit was forced into the Wall Street mould, with kindly intent but disastrous effect. His life was checkered, sun and shadow; but from first to last, he remained the delight of all who knew him. Sam Ward; Uncle Sam to three generations, his was a name to conjure with: the soul of generosity, the essence of wit, the
The torch that lit these silent halls,
Has now extinguished been;
The windows of the soul are dark,
And all is gloom within.
But lo! it shines, a star in heav'n,
And through death's murky night,
The ruins of the stately pile
Gleam softly in its light.
And it shall be a beacon star
To cheer us, and to guide;
For we would live as thou hast lived,
And die as thou hast died.Julia Ward, on her father's death, 1839.