lasting an influence over her as Theodore Parker
, who had long been a close friend of the Doctor
's. She had first heard of him in her girlhood, as an impious and sacrilegious person, to be shunned by all good Christians.
In 1843 she met him in Rome
, and found him “one of the most sympathetic and delightful of men” ; an intimacy sprang up between the two families which ended only with Parker
He baptized the baby Julia
; on returning to this country, she and the Doctor
went regularly to hear him preach.
This she always considered as among the great opportunities of her life.
“I cannot remember,” she says, “that the interest of his sermons ever varied for me. It was all one intensedelight.... It was hard to go out from his presence, all aglow with the enthusiasm which he felt and inspired, and to hear him spoken of as a teacher of irreligion, a pest to the community.”
These were the days when it was possible for a minister of a Christian church, hearing of Parker
's dangerous illness, to pray that God might remove him from the earth.
To her, it seemed that “truly, he talked with God, and took us with him into the divine presence.”
could play as well as preach; she loved to “make fun” with him. Witness her “Philosophmaster and poet-aster” in “Passion flowers.”
's own powers of merrymaking appear in his Latin epitaph on “the Doctor
” (who survived him by many years), which is printed in the “Letters and Journals of Samuel Gridley Howe