He offers a grand-niece a silk dress if she will make it up herself.
This was the “Uncle John” of No. 8 Bond Street, one of the worthies of Wall Street, and uncle, by courtesy, to half New York.
In his youth he had received an injury which deprived him of speech for more than a year.
It was feared that he would never speak again; one day his mother, trying to help him in some small matter, and not succeeding to her mind, cried, “I am a poor, awkward, old woman!”
“No, you are not
exclaimed John Ward
; and the trouble was over.
His devotion to his orphan nieces and nephews was constant and beautiful.
He desired ardently that the three girls should be good housekeepers, and grudged the amount of time which one of them at least devoted to books and music.
To them also he was fond of giving dress-materials, with the proviso that they should make them up for themselves.
This they managed to do, “with a good deal of help from the family seamstress.”
published her first literary venture, a translation of Lamartine
's “Jocelyne,” Uncle John showed her a favorable notice of it in a newspaper, saying: “This is my little girl who knows about books, and writes an article and has it printed, but I wish she knew more about housekeeping.”
“A sentiment,” she adds, “which in after years I had occasion to echo with fervor.”
While Sam was her ideal of youthful manhood, Henry
was her mate, the nearest to her in age and