previous next

To Miss Lucy Searle.

Wayland, December 21, 1862.
We live almost like dormice in the winter. Very few people are so completely isolated. But I warm up my little den with bright little pictures, and rainbow glories from prisms suspended in the windows. I am amused twenty times a day with their fantastic variations. Sometimes the portrait of Charles Sumner is transfigured by the splendid light, and sometimes the ears of my little white kitten, in the picture opposite, are all aglow. The moss on a stick of wood in the corner suddenly becomes iridescent, and then the ashes on the hearth look like the glittering soil where the metallic gnomes live. I am childish enough to find pleasure in all this, and to talk aloud to the picture of a baby that is being washed. But you must not infer from this that I live for amusement. On the contrary, I work like a beaver the whole time. Just now I am making a hood for a poor neighbor; last week I was making flannels for the hospitals; odd minutes are filled up with ravelling lint; every string that I can get sight of, I pull for my poor oppressed brother Sambo. I write to the “Tribune” about him; I write to the “Transcript” about him; I write to private individuals about him; and I write to the President and Members of Congress about him; I write to Western Virginia and Missouri about him, and I get the articles published too. That shows what progress the cause of freedom is making. You see even the grave Historical Society of Massachusetts comes up to the work, in Mr. Livermore's valuable pamphlet entitled “Historical researches.” The manner in which poor Sambo's cause [171] gets argued and listened to in all quarters now is the most encouraging feature of the times. I try to forget Bull Runs and Fredericksburg retreats, and think only of the increasing rapidity of moral progress. Human hands blunder shockingly; but the Divine Hand is overruling all in infinite wisdom.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Sumner (1)
Lucy Searle (1)
Livermore (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 21st, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: