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Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall) 32 26 Browse Search
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 15. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 2 0 Browse Search
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Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. West Newton, 1852. Do you know that Harriet Hosmer, daughter of a physician in Watertown, has produced a remarkably good piece of statuary? It is a bust of Vesper, the Evening Star. I never saw a tender, happy drowsiness so well expressed. A star shining on her forehead, and beneath her breast lies the crescent moon. Her graceful hair is intertwined with capsules of the poppy. It is cut with great delicacy and precision, and the flesh seems to me very flesh-like. The poetic conception is her own, and the workmanship is all her own. A man worked upon it a day and a half, to chip off large bits of marble; but she did not venture to have him go within several inches of the surface she intended to work. Miss Hosmer is going to Rome in October, accompanied by her father, a plain, sensible man, of competent property. She expects to remain in Italy three years, with the view of becoming a sculptor by profession. Mrs. Stowe's truly great work, Uncle Tom's
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw Wayland, March 23, 1856. This winter has been the loneliest of my life. If you could know my situation you would pronounce it unendurable. I should have thought it so myself if I had had a foreshadowing of it a few years ago. But the human mind can get acclimated to anything. What with constant occupation and the happy consciousness of sustaining and cheering my poor old father in his descent into the grave, I am almost always in a state of serene contentment. In summer, my once extravagant love of beauty satisfies itself with watching the birds, the insects, and the flowers in my little patch of a garden. I have no room in which to put the vases and engravings and transparencies that friends have given me from time to time. But I keep them safely in a large chest, and when birds and flowers are gone I sometimes take them out, as a child does its playthings, and sit down in the sunshine with them, dreaming how life would seem in such places, and how poet
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, 1856. The outrage upon Charles Sumner made me literally ill for several days. It brought on nervous headache and painful suffocations about the heart. If I could only have done something, it would have loosened that tight ligature that seemed to stop the flowing of my blood. But I never was one who knew how to serve the Lord by standing and waiting; and to stand and wait then! It almost drove me mad. And that miserable Faneuil Hall meeting! The time-serving Mr.-- talking about his friend Sumner's being a man that hit hard! making the people laugh at his own witticisms, when a volcano was seething beneath their feet! poisoning the well-spring of popular indignation, which was rising in its might! Mr. A., on the eve of departing for Europe, wrote to me, The North will not really do anything to maintain their own dignity. See if they do! I am willing to go abroad, to find some relief from the mental pain that the course of public affairs in th
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, October 27, 1856. Your letter accompanying Mr. Curtis's oration came safely to hand. The oration is eloquent, brilliant, manly, and every way admirable. Among the many good things which this crisis has brought forth, I am inclined to pronounce it the best. How glad I am to see Mr. Curtis looming up to such a lofty stature of manliness. This I attribute in part to the crisis, so well adapted to call out all the manhood there is in souls. I smiled to read that he had warmed up N. P. W. to such a degree that he announced his intention to deposit his virgin vote for Fremont. It was pleasant to learn that he had anything virgin left to swear by. What a Rip! to lie sleeping fifty years, dreaming of kid gloves, embroidered vests, and perfumed handkerchiefs, taking it for granted that his country was all the while going forward in a righteous and glorious career. Is n't it too bad that such parasol-holders should have the right to vote, while earnest
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, December 8, 1856. Yes, my beloved friend, the old man has gone home ; Death of her father. and unless you had had such a charge for three years, you could not imagine how lonely and desolate I feel. Night and day he was on my mind, and now the occupation of my life seems gone. I have much work to do, both mental and manual; but as yet I cannot settle down to work. Always that dreary void! I went to Boston and spent four days; but the dreariness went with me. The old man loved me; and you know how foolishly my nature craves love. . . . Always when I came back from Boston there was a bright fire-light in his room for me, and his hand was eagerly stretched out, and the old face lighted up, as he said, You're welcome back, Maria. This time, when I came home, it was all dark and silent. I almost cried myself blind, and thought I would willingly be fettered to his bedside for years, if I could only hear that voice again. This is weakness, I know.
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, 1857. It is a dark, drizzling day, and I am going to make sunshine for myself by sitting down before the old fire-place and having a cosy chat with you. Did you see Mr. H--'s sermon, preached soon after his return from Palestine? He thinks the truth of the Bible is proved by the fact that Jordan is still flowing and the Mount of Olives still standing. He says his faith was greatly strengthened by a sight of them By the same token he ought to consider Grecian mythology proved, because Olympus and Parnassus are still standing; and a sight of them ought to strengthen his faith in Jupiter and the Muses. What a fuss they have made about finding the name of Jonah among the inscriptions at Nineveh! Does that prove that the whale swallowed him, and that he did not set easy on the whale's stomach? I can never get over wondering at the external tendency of a large class of minds.
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, 1858. There is compensation in all things. My ignorance and my poverty both have their advantages. You can never take such child-like delight in a little picture, engraving, or statuette, as I do. Now, while I write, Beauty keeps drawing me away from my letter. I stop with my pen poised in air, to contemplate my Galatea, my St. Cecilia, my Flying Hour of the Night, my palace in Venice, my young Bacchus, my glowing nasturtium, and my vase of tremulous grass. Decidedly, there are many compensations for those who are poor, and have never seen the world. The landscape in front of the window is lovely. No sharp frost has come to blight the foliage, and the scenery is like a handsome woman of fifty, whom Time has touched so lightly that her girlish delicacy of beauty is merely deepened and warmed with a few autumnal tints. Thus gently may you glide into the frosted silver of a bright old age! It must be so, dearest, because so many are cheered by
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Wayland, 1859. I would gladly come to meet you, to save you trouble; but for no other reason. As for turning us out of our chamber, we transfer only our bodies; and should you consider that any great trouble, for the sight of a precious friend? Moreover, suppose it was any trouble, be it known to you that I would turn myself out of my house, and live in a tree, any time, for you. Please put quite out of your head all idea that your coming will give me trouble. In the first place, I will promise not to take trouble. In the next place, I would inform you that the world is divided into two classes: those who love to minister to others, and those who like to be ministered unto. I think I belong to the first class. I also belong to the class described in Counterparts: those to whom it is more necessary to love than to be loved ; though both are essential to my happiness. Bad, is n't it? for a childless woman of sixty years. But then my good David serves me
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. 1860. I have made an excursion lately, which is unusual for me. Miss L. wanted to go to Newbury to see her sister, and was too feeble to go alone, and asked me to go with her. Her sister owns a mill, where the Artichoke joins the Merrimack .... Friend Whittier lives about four miles from the mill, across the river. The bridge was being repaired, which made it necessary to go a long way round. I was not sorry, for the scenery was lovely. We rode along the Merrimack nearly all the way. The sunshine was rippling it with gold, and the oars of various little boats and rafts were dropping silver as they went. I think nature never made such a vivid impression on me as it has this summer. I don't know whether it is because I have so very few human ties, or whether it is that I feel a sort of farewell tenderness for the earth, because I am growing old. Friend Whittier and his gentle Quakerly sister seemed delighted to see me, or, rather, he seemed delighted
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. (search)
To Mrs. S. B. Shaw. Medford, January, 1861. Tired in mind and body, I sit down to write to you and tell you all about it. On Wednesday evening I went to Mrs. Chapman's reception. The hall inside was beautiful with light and banners; and outside the street was beautiful with moonlight and prismatic icicles. All went on quietly. People walked about and talked, occasionally enlivened by music of the Germania Band. They seemed to enjoy themselves, and I (being released from the care of unruly boys, demolishing cake and spilling slops as they did last year) did my best to help them have a good time. But what with being introduced to strangers, and chatting with old acquaintances half forgotten, I went home to Derne Street very weary, yet found it impossible for me to sleep. I knew there were very formidable preparations to mob the anti-slavery meeting the next day, and that the mayor was avowedly on the side of the mob. I would rather have given fifty dollars than attend the me
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