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[p. 110]

In another: ‘A month elapsed after I came here before I stepped into the woods which were all around me blooming with wild flowers. I did not go to Mr. Dwight's ordination, nor yet have I been to meeting. He has been to see me, however, and though I left my work in the midst and sat down with a dirty gown and hands somewhat grimed, we were high in the blue in fifteen minutes. I promised to take a flight with him from the wash-tub or dish-kettle any time he would come along with his balloon.’


You are right, my dear brother, to attribute such freshness as I have to a vivid religious sentiment. If I can in quietness and peace forego my own pleasure and relinquish my own tastes, I seem to those who live in shadows to be cooking food or mixing medicines, but I am in fact making divine works of art which will reveal to me their fair proportions in the far eternity. Another means of keeping my soul fresh is my intense love of Nature. Another help, perhaps stronger than either of the two, is domestic love.

The only house on our farm is a sort of shanty with two rooms and a garret. We expect to whitewash it, build a new woodshed, and live there the next year. I shall keep no help, and there will be room enough for David and me. I intend to half bury it in flowers. I have obtained a hyacinth bean, which I value because it grew around my door in Cottage place, where I spent the happiest years of my life.

Here let me quote a little from that admirable biography, Mrs. Leslie's ‘Recollections of my Mother’:

Mrs. Lyman had the greatest affection for David Lee Child and his gifted wife. But she was often much tried with the amount of time, hard labor, and money which Mr. Child expended on schemes that never succeeded, and with his going from one failure to another with unbounded enthusiasm. At one time it was the “morus multicaulis”, at another it was beet sugar. For years he toiled upon a farm that was a worthless ’

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