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To David Lee Child.

Wayland, October 27, 1856.
I have thought enough about my dear absent mate, but I have found it nearly impossible to get an hour's time to tell him so. In the first place, there was the press waiting for that Kansas story. . . . Then I felt bound to stir up the women here to do something for Kansas; and, in order to set the example, I wrote to Mr. Hovey begging for a piece of cheap calico and of unbleached factory cotton. He sent them, but said [83] he did it out of courtesy to me; he himself deeming that money and energy had better be expended on the immediate abolition of slavery, and dissolution of the Union if that could not be soon brought about. I did not think it best to wait for either of these events before I made up the cloth. Cold weather was coming on, the emigrants would be down with fever and ague, and the roads would soon be in a bad state for baggage wagons. So I hurried night and day, sitting up here all alone till eleven at night, stitching as fast as my fingers could go. It was a heavy job to cut and make more than sixty yards of cloth into garments, but with help from Mrs. R. and the children I completed it in eight days. The women in town, both Orthodox and Unitarian, came up to the work cordially, and sent about sixty dollars' worth of clothing.

I think you will gather from this account that I have had little leisure since you left. Oh dear! how I have missed you. My nest seems so dreary without my kind mate. I have nobody to plague, nobody to scold at, nobody to talk loving nonsense to. I do long to have you get back. Voting day will bring you, of course. If you don't come, I shall put on your old hat and coat, and vote for you.

Alas, I am afraid it is no matter what New England does, since Pennsylvania and Illinois seem likely to go so wrong. My anxiety on the subject has been intense. It seemed as if my heart would burst if I could not do something to help on the election. But all I could do was to write a song for the Free Soil men. If you had been here I should have had somebody to admire my effort, but as it is I don't know whether anybody likes it or not. I have been told [84] that the Boston Post was down upon me for the verse about President Pierce. I could n't help it. His name would not rhyme to anything but curse! . . .

The scenery up in that hilly region must indeed be beautiful this sunny autumn. I should mightily enjoy rambling about with you, but then I think the pleasure would be more than balanced by the liability of being called upon by such highly respectable people. I should demur about heaven itself on such terms.

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