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The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss
by George L. Prentiss
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Then Mr. Pain made a low bow and said he was thinking of going away and sending his brother, Mr. Sorrow, and his sister, Mrs. Disappointment, to take his place."

"Oh, no!" cried Susy's mamma, "not yet, not yet! Susy is still so little!"

Then Mr. Pain said he would stay without a rod, as Susy was now too old to be whipped.

Then Miss Joy took up her book with its rainbow cover and tried to read. But she laughed so heartily all the time, and her leaves kept flying out of her hands at such a rate, that it was not possible to understand what she was saying. It was all about clapping hands and running races, and picking flowers and having a good time. Everybody laughed just because she laughed, and Susy's papa could hardly keep his face grave long enough to say:

"You have done more good than tongue can tell. You have made her just such a merry, happy, laughing little creature as I wanted her to be. You must certainly stay six years longer."

Then Mr. Ought drew forth his book. It had silver covers and its leaves were of the most delicate tissue.

"I have taught little Susy to be good," said he. "Never to touch what is not hers; never to speak a word that is not true; never to have a thought she would not like the great and holy God to see. If I stay six years longer I can teach her a great deal more, for she begins now to understand my faintest whisper. She is such a little girl as I love to live with."

Then Susy turned rosy-red with pleasure, and her papa and mamma got up and shook hands with Mr. Ought and begged him never, never to leave their darling child as long as she lived.

It was now the turn of Aunt Patience. Her book had covers wrought by her own hands in grave and gay colors well mingled together.

"When I first came here," she said, "Susy used to cry a great deal whenever she was hurt or punished. When she was sick she was very hard to please. When she sat down to learn to sew and to read and to write, she would break her thread in anger, or throw her book on the floor, or declare she never could learn. But now she has left off crying when she is hurt, and tries to bear the pain quietly. When she is sick she does not fret or complain, but takes her medicine without a word. When she is sewing she does not twitch her thread into knots, and when she is writing she writes slowly and carefully. I have rocked her to sleep a thousand times. I have been shut up in a closet with her again and again, and I hope I have done her some good and taught her some useful lessons."

"Indeed you have, Aunt Patience," said Susy's papa, "but Susy is not yet perfect. We shall need you six years longer."

And now the little angel Faith opened his golden book and began to read:

"I have taught Susy that there is another world besides this, and have told her that it is her real home, and what a beautiful and happy one it is. I have told her a great deal about Jesus and the holy angels. I do not know much myself. I am not very old, but if I stay here six years longer I shall grow wiser and I will teach Susy all I learn, and we will pray together every morning and every night, till at last she loves the Lord Jesus with all her heart and soul and mind and strength."

Then Susy's papa and mamma looked at each other and smiled, and they both said:

"Oh, beautiful angel, never leave her!"

And the angel answered:

"I will stay with her as long as she lives, and will never leave her till I leave her at the very door of heaven."

Then the teachers began to put up their books, and Susy's papa and mamma kissed her, and said:

"We have had a great deal of comfort in our little daughter; and, with God's blessing, we shall see her grow up a loving, patient, and obedient child—full of joy and peace and rich in faith and good works."

So they all bade each other good-night and went thankfully to bed.

The next entry in the journal notes a trait of character, or rather of temperament, which often excited the wonder and also the anxiety of her friends. It caused her no little discomfort, but she could never withstand its power.

March 21st.—I have been busy with a sewing fit and find the least interesting piece of work I can get hold of, as great a temptation as the most charming. For if its charm does not absorb my time and thoughts, the eager haste to finish and get it out of the way, does. This is my life. I either am stupefied by ill-health or sorrow, so as to feel no interest in anything, or am absorbed in whatever business, work or pleasure I have on hand.

But neither anxiety about her child, household cares, or any work she had in hand, so absorbed her thoughts as to render her insensible to the sorrows and trials of others. On the contrary, they served rather to call forth and intensify her kindly sympathies. A single case will illustrate this. A poor little girl—one of those waifs of humanity in which a great city abounds—had been commended to her by a friend. In a letter to this friend, dated March 17, 1856, she writes:

That little girl came, petticoat and all; we gave her some breakfast, and I then went down with her to Avenue A. On the way, she told me that you gave her some money. To my great sorrow we found, on reaching the school, that they could not take another one, as they were already overflowing. As we came out, I saw that the poor little soul was just ready to burst into tears, and said to her "Now you're disappointed, I know!" whereupon she actually looked up into my face and smiled. You know I was afraid I never should make her smile, she looked so forlorn. I brought her home to get some books, as she said she could read, and she is to come again to-morrow. A lady to whom I told the whole story, sent me some stockings that would about go on to her big toe; however, they will be nice for her little sister. The weather has been so mild that I thought it would not be worth while to make her a cloak or anything of that sort; but next fall I shall see that she is comfortably clad, if she behaves as well as she did the day she was here. Oh, dear! what a drop in the great bucket of New York misery, one such child is! Yet somebody must look out for the drops, and I am only too thankful to seize on this one.

In June she went, with the children, to Westport, Conn., where in rural quiet and seclusion she passed the next three months. Here are some extracts from her letters, written from that place:

Westport, June 25, 1856.

We had a most comfortable time getting here; both the children enjoyed the ride, and baby seemed unusually bright. Judge Betts was very attentive and kind to us. Mrs. G. grows more and more pleasant every day. We have plenty of good food, but she worries because I do not eat more. You know I never was famous for eating meat, and country dinners are not tempting. You can't think how we enjoy seeing the poultry fed. There are a hundred and eighty hens and chickens, and you should see baby throw her little hand full of corn to them. We went strawberrying yesterday, all of us, and the way she was poked through bars and lifted over stone-walls would have amused you. She is already quite sunburnt; but I think she is looking sweetly. I find myself all the time peeping out of the window, thinking every step is yours, or that every wagon holds a letter for me.

To Miss A. H. Woolsey, Westport, June 27.

Mr. P. enclosed your kind note in one of his own, after first reading it himself, if you ever heard of such a man. I had to laugh all alone while reading it, which was not a little provoking. We are having very nice times here indeed. Breakfast at eight, dinner at half-past twelve, and tea at half-past six, giving us an afternoon of unprecedented length for such lounging, strawberrying or egg-hunting as happens to be on the carpet. The air is perfectly loaded with the fragrance of clover blossoms and fresh hay. I never saw such clover in my life; roses are nothing in comparison. I only want an old nag and a wagon, so as to drive a load of children about these lovely regions, and that I hope every moment to attain. To be sure, it would be amazingly convenient if I had a table, and didn't have to sit on the floor to write upon a trunk; but then one can't have everything, and I am almost too comfortable with what I have. A. is busy reading Southey to her "children"; baby is off searching for eggs, and her felicity reached its height when she found an ambitious hen had laid two in her carriage, which little thought what it was coming to the country for. I think the dear child already looks better; she lives in the open air and enjoys everything.

Mrs. Buck lives about half a mile below us, and we run back and forth many times a day. I have already caught the country fashion of rushing to the windows the moment a wheel or an opening gate is heard. I fancy everybody is bringing me a letter or else want to send one to the office, and the only way to do that is to scream at passers-by and ask them if they are going that way. If you hear that I am often seen driving a flock of geese down the road, or climbing stone walls, or creeping through bar fences, you needn't believe a word of it, for I am a pattern of propriety, and pride myself on my dignity. I hope, now you have begun so charmingly, that you will write again. You know what letters are in the country.

To her Husband, Westport, June 27.

I wonder where you are this lovely morning? Having a nice time somewhere, I do hope, for it is too fine a day to be lost. If you want to know where I am, why I'm sitting at the window writing on a trunk that I have just lifted into a chair, in order to make a table. For table there, is none in this room, and how am I to write a book without one? If ever I get down to the village, I hope to buy, beg, borrow or steal one, and until that time am putting off beginning my new Little Susy. [7] That note from Miss Warner, by the by, spoke so enthusiastically of the Six Teachers that I felt compensated for the mortification of hearing ———— call it a "nice" book. You will be sorry to hear that I have no prospect of getting a horse. I am quite disappointed, as besides the pleasure of driving our children, I hoped to give Mrs. Buck and the boys a share in it. Only to think of her bringing up from the city a beefsteak for baby, and proposing that the doctor should send a small piece for her every day! Thank you, darling, for your proposal about the Ocean House. I trust no such change will be needful. We are all comfortable now, the weather is delicious, and there are so many pretty walks about here, that I am only afraid I shall be too well off. Everything about the country is charming to me, and I never get tired of it. The first few days nurse seemed a good deal out of sorts; but I must expect some such little vexations; of course, I can not have perfection, and for dear baby's sake I shall try to exercise all the prudence and forbearance I can.

Sunday.—We went to church this morning and heard a most instructive and, I thought, superior sermon from Mr. Burr of Weston, on progress in religious knowledge. He used the very illustration about the cavern and the point of light that you did.

July 7th.—We all drove to the beach on Saturday. It was just the very day for such a trip, and baby was enchanted. She sat right down and began to gather stones and shells, as if she had the week before her. We were gone three hours and came home by way of the village, quite in the mood for supper. Yesterday we had a pleasant service; Mr. Atkinson appears to be a truly devout, heavenly man to whom I felt my heart knit at the outset on this account, I am taking great delight in reading the Memoir of Miss Allibone. [8] How I wish I had a friend of so heavenly a temper! I fear my new Little Susy will come out at the little end of the horn. I am sure it won't be so good as the others. It is more than one quarter done.

July 21st.—What do you think I did this forenoon? Why, I finished Little Susy and shall lay it aside for some days, when I shall read it over, correct, and pack it off out of the way. Yes, I wish you would bring my German Hymn Book. I am so glad you liked the hymns I had marked! [9] And do get well so as not to have to leave off preaching the Gospel. My heart dies within me whenever I think of your leaving the ministry. Every day I live, it appears to me that the office of a Christian pastor and teacher is the best in the world. I shall not be able to write you a word to-morrow, as we are to go to Greenfield Hill to Miss Murray's, and you must take to-morrow's love to-night—if you think you can stand so much at once. God be with you and bless you.

July 30th.—Baby and I have just been having a great frolic. She was so pleased with your message that she caught up your letter and kissed it, which I think very remarkable in a child who, I am sure, never saw such a thing done. A. seems well and happy, and is as good as I think we ought to expect. I see more and more every day, that if there ever was such a thing as human perfection, it was as long ago as David's time when, as he says, he saw the "end" of it. How very kind the W.'s have been!

August 3d.—I got hold of Dr. Boardman's "Bible in the Family," at the Bucks yesterday, and brought it home to read. I like it very much. There is a vein of humor running through it which, subdued as it is, must have awakened a good many smiles. He quotes some lines of Coleridge, which I wonder I did not have as a motto for Susy's Teachers:

Love, Hope and Patience, these must be thy graces, And in thine own heart let them first keep school.

To Miss Mary B. Shipman, Westport, August 11.

Dr. Buck, who has seen her twice since we came here, thinks baby wonderfully improved, and says every day she lives increases her chance of life. I have been exceedingly encouraged by all he has said, and feel a great load off my heart. Last Friday, on fifteen minutes' notice, I packed up and went home, taking nurse and biddies, of course. I was so restless and so perfectly possessed to go to meet George, that I could not help it. We went in the six o'clock train, as it was after five when I was "taken" with the fit that started me off; got home in a soft rain, and to our great surprise and delight found G. there, he having got homesick at Saratoga, and just rushed to New York on his way here. We had a great rejoicing together, you may depend, and I had a charming visit of nearly three days. We got back on Monday night, rather tired, but none of us at all the worse for the expedition. Mr. P. sits here reading the Tribune, and A. is reading "Fremont's Life." She is as brown as an Indian and about as wild.

A few passages from her journal will also throw light upon this period:

June 30th.—I am finding this solitude and leisure very sweet and precious; God grant it may bear the rich and abundant fruit it ought to do! Communion with Him is such a blessing, here at home in my own room, and out in the silent woods and on the wayside. Saturday, especially, I had a long walk full of blissful thoughts of Him whom I do believe I love—oh, that I loved Him better!—and in the evening Mrs. Buck came and we had some very sweet beginnings of what will, I trust, ripen into most profitable Christian communion. My heart delights in the society of those who love Him. Yesterday I had a more near access to God in prayer than usual, so that during the whole service at church I could hardly repress tears of joy and gratitude.

July 7th.—I do trust God's blessed, blessed Spirit is dealing faithfully with my soul—searching and sifting it, revealing it somewhat to itself and preparing it for the indwelling of Christ. This I do heartily desire. Oh, God! search me and know me, and show me my own guilty, poor, meagre soul, that I may turn from it, humbled and ashamed and penitent, to my blessed Saviour. How very, very thankful I feel for this seclusion and leisure; this quiet room where I can seek my God and pray and praise, unseen by any human eye—and which sometimes seems like the very gate of heaven.

July 23d.—This is my dear little baby's birthday. I was not able to sleep last night at all, but at last got up and prayed specially for her. God has spared her two years; I can hardly believe it! Precious years of discipline they have been, for which I do thank Him. I have prayed much for her to-day, and with some faith, that if her life is spared it will be for His glory. How far rather would I let her go this moment, than grow up without loving Him! Precious little creature!

27th.—This has been one of the most oppressive days I ever knew. I went to church, however, and enjoyed all the services unusually. As we rode along and I saw the grain ripe for the harvest, I said to myself, "God gathers in His harvest as soon as it is ripe, and if I devote myself to Him and pray much and turn entirely from the world I shall ripen, and so the sooner get where I am all the time yearning and longing to go!" I fear this was a merely selfish thought, but I do not know. This world seems less and less homelike every day I live. The more I pray and meditate on heaven and my Saviour and saints who have crossed the flood, the stronger grows my desire to be bidden to depart hence and go up to that sinless, blessed abode. Not that I forget my comforts, my mercies here; they are manifold; I know they are. But Christ appears so precious; sin so dreadful! so dreadful! To-day I gave way to pride and irritation, and my agony on account of it outweighs weeks of merely earthly felicity. The idea of a Christian as he should be, and the reality of most Christians—particularly myself—why, it almost makes me shudder; my only comfort is, in heaven, I can not sin! In heaven I shall see Christ, and see Him as He is, and praise and honor Him as I never do and never shall do here. And yet I know my dear little ones need me, poor and imperfect a mother as I am; and I pray every hour to be made willing to wait for their sakes. For at the longest it will not be long. Oh, I do believe it is the sin I dread and not the suffering of life—but I know not; I may be deluded. My love to my Master seems to me very shallow and contemptible. I am astonished that I love anything else. Oh, that He would this moment come down into this room and tell me I never, never, shall grieve Him again!

Some verses entitled "Alone with God," belong here:

Into my closet fleeing, as the dove Doth homeward flee, I haste away to ponder o'er Thy love Alone with Thee!

In the dim wood, by human ear unheard, Joyous and free, Lord! I adore Thee, feasting on Thy word, Alone with Thee!

Amid the busy city, thronged and gay, But One I see, Tasting sweet peace, as unobserved I pray Alone with Thee!

Oh, sweetest life! Life hid with Christ in God! So making me At home, and by the wayside, and abroad, Alone with Thee!

WESTPORT, August 22, 1856.

* * * * *

V.

Ready for new Trials. Dangerous Illness. Extracts from her Journal. Visit to Greenwood. Sabbath Meditations. Birth of another Son. Her Husband resigns his pastoral Charge. Voyage to Europe.

The summer at Westport was so beneficial to the baby and so full both of bodily and spiritual refreshment to herself, that on returning to town, she resumed her home tasks with unwonted ease and comfort. The next entry in her journal alludes to this:

November 27th.—Two months, and not a word in my journal! I have done far more with my needle and my feet than with my pen. One comes home from the country to a good many cares, and they are worldly cares, too, about eating and about wearing. I hope the worst of mine are over now and that I shall have more leisure. But no, I forget that now comes the dreaded, dreaded experience of weaning baby. But what then? I have had a good rest this fall. Have slept unusually well; why, only think, some nights not waking once—and some nights only a few times; and then we have had no sickness; baby better—all better. Now I ought to be willing to have the trials I need so much, seeing I have had such a rest. And heaven! heaven! let me rest on that precious word. Heaven is at the end and God is there.

Early in March, 1857, she was taken very ill and continued so until May. For some weeks her recovery seemed hardly possible. She felt assured her hour had come and was eager to go. All the yearnings of her heart, during many years, seemed on the point of being gratified. The next entry in her journal refers to this illness:

Sunday, May 24th, 1857.—Just reading over the last record how ashamed I felt of my faithlessness! To see dear baby so improved by the very change I dreaded, and to hear her pretty, cheerful prattle, and to find in her such a source of joy and comfort—what undeserved, what unlooked-for mercies! But like a physician who changes his remedies as he sees occasion, and who forbears using all his severe ones at once, my Father first relieved me from my wearing care and pain about this dear child, and then put me under new discipline. It is now nearly six months since I have been in usual health, and eight weeks of great prostration and suffering have been teaching me many needed lessons. Now, contrary to my hopes and expectations, I find myself almost well again. At first, having got my heart set toward heaven and after fancying myself almost there, I felt disappointed to find its gates still shut against me. [10]

But God was very good to me and taught me to yield in this point to His wiser and better will; He made me, as far as I know, as peaceful in the prospect of living as joyful in the prospect of dying. Heaven did, indeed, look very attractive when I thought myself so near it; I pictured myself as no longer a sinner but a blood-washed saint; I thought I shall soon see Him whom my soul loveth, and see Him as He is; I shall never wound, never grieve Him again, and all my companions will be they who worship Him and adore Him. But not yet am I there! Alas, not yet a saint! My soul is oppressed, now that health is returning, to find old habits of sin returning too, and this monster Self usurping God's place, as of old, and pride and love of ease and all the infirmities of the flesh thick upon me. After being encompassed with mercies for two months, having every comfort this world could offer for my alleviation, I wonder at myself that I can be anything but a meek, docile child, profiting by the Master's discipline, sensible of the tenderness that went hand-in-hand with every stroke, and walking softly before God and man! But I am indeed a wayward child and in need of many more stripes. May I be made willing and thankful to bear them.

Indeed, I do thank my dear Master that He does not let me alone, and that He has let me suffer so much; it has been a rich experience, this long illness, and I do trust He will so sanctify it that I shall have cause to rejoice over it all the rest of my life. Now may I return patiently to all the duties that lie in my sphere. May I not forget how momentous a thing death appeared when seen face to face, but be ever making ready for its approach. And may the glory of God be, as it never yet has been, my chief end. My love to Him seems to me so very feeble and fluctuating. Satan and self keep up a continual struggle to get the victory. But God is stronger than either. He must and will prevail, and at last, and in a time far better than any I can suggest, He will open those closed gates and let me enter in to go no more out, and then "I shall never, never sin."

As might be inferred from this record, she was at this time in the sweetest mood, full of tenderness and love. The time of the singing of birds had now come, and all nature was clothed with that wondrous beauty and verdure which mark the transition from spring to summer. The drives, which she was now able to take into the country, on either side of the river, gave her the utmost delight. On the 30th of May—the day that has since become consecrated to the memory of the Nation's heroic dead—she went, with her husband and eldest daughter, to visit and place flowers upon the graves of Eddy and Bessie. Never is Greenwood more lovely and impressive than at the moment when May is just passing into June. It is as if Nature were in a transfiguration and the glory of the Lord shone upon the graves of our beloved! Mrs. Prentiss made no record of this visit, but on the following day thus wrote in her journal:

May 31st.—Another peaceful, pleasant Sunday, whose only drawback has been the want of strength to get down on my knees and praise and pray to my Saviour, as I long to do. For well as I am and astonishingly improved in every way, a very few minutes' use of my voice, even in a whisper, in prayer, exhausts me to such a degree that I am ready to faint. This seems so strange when I can go on talking to any extent—but then it is talking without emotion and in a desultory way. Ah well! God knows best in what manner to let me live, and I desire to ask for nothing but a docile, acquiescent temper, whose only petition shall be, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" not how can I get most enjoyment along the way. I can not believe if I am His child, that He will let anything hinder my progress in the divine life. It seems dreadful that I have gone on so slowly, and backward so many times—but then I have been thinking this is "to humble and to prove me, and to do me good in the latter end." ... I thank my God and Saviour for every faint desire He gives me to see Him as He is, and to be changed into His image, and for every struggle against sin He enables me to make. It is all of Him. I do wish I loved Him better! I do wish He were never out of my thoughts and that the aim to do His will swallowed up all other desires and strivings. Satan whispers that will never be. But it shall be! One day—oh, longed-for, blessed, blissful day!—Christ will become my All in all! Yes, even mine!

This is the last entry in her journal for more than a year; her letters, too, during the same period are very few. In August of 1857, she was made glad by the birth of another son, her fifth child. Her own health was now much better than it had been for a long time; but that of her husband had become so enfeebled that in April, 1858, he resigned his pastoral charge and by the advice of his physician determined to go abroad, with his family, for a couple years; the munificent kindness of his people having furnished him with the means of doing so. The tender sympathy and support which she gave him in this hour of extreme weakness and trial, more than everything else, after the blessing of Heaven, upheld his fainting spirits and helped to restore him at length to his chosen work. They set sail for the old world in the steamship Arago, Capt. Lines, June 26th, amidst a cloud of friendly wishes and benedictions.

[1] The friend was Mr. Wm. G. Bull, who had a summer cottage at Rockaway. He was a leading member of the Mercer street church and one of the best of men. The poor and unfortunate blessed him all the year round. To Mrs. Prentiss and her husband he was indefatigable in kindness. He died at an advanced age in 1859.

[2] Godman's "American Natural History."

[3] Mrs. Norman White, mother of the Rev. Erskine N. White, D.D., of New York.

[4] Her cousin, whose sudden death occurred under the same roof in October of the next year.

[5] "We were all weighed soon after coming here," she wrote, "and my ladyship weighed 96, which makes me out by far the leanest of the ladies here. When thirteen years old I weighed but 50 pounds."

[6] Referring to "Little Susy's Six Birthdays."

[7] Little Susy's Little Servants.

[8] A Life bid with Christ in God, being a memoir of Susan Allibone. By Alfred Lee, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Delaware.

[9] See appendix C, p. 539.

[10] Many years afterward, speaking to a friend of this illness, she related the following incident. One day she lay, as was supposed, entirely unconscious and in articulo mortis. Repeated but vain attempts had been made to administer a medicine ordered by the doctor to be used in case of extremity. Her husband urged one more attempt still; it might possibly succeed. She heard distinctly every word that was spoken and instantly reasoned within herself, whether she should consent or refuse to swallow the medicine. Fancying herself just entering the eternal city, she longed to refuse but decided it would be wrong and so consented to come back again to earth.



CHAPTER VI.

IN RETREAT AMONG THE ALPS.

1858-1860.

I.

Life abroad. Letters about the Voyage and the Journey from Havre to Switzerland. Chateau d'Oex. Letters from there. The Chalet Rosat. The Free Church of the Canton de Vaud. Pastor Panchaud.

Mrs. Prentiss passed more than two years abroad, mostly in Switzerland. They were years burdened with heavy cares, with ill-health and keen solicitude concerning her husband. But they were also years hallowed by signal mercies of Providence, bright every now and then with floods of real sunshine, and sweetened by many domestic joys. Although quite secluded from the world a large portion of the time, her solitude was cheered by the constant arrival of letters from home. During these years also she was first initiated into full communion with Nature; and what exquisite pleasure she tasted in this new experience, her own pen will tell. Indeed, this period affords little of interest except that which blossomed out of her domestic life, her friendships, and her love of nature. She travelled scarcely at all and caught only fugitive glimpses of society or of the treasures of European art.

A few simple records, therefore, of her retired home-life and of the impressions made upon her by Alpine scenery, as contained in her letters, must form the principal part of this chapter. Her correspondence, while abroad, would make a large volume by itself; in selecting from it what follows, the aim has been to present, as far as possible, a continuous picture of her European sojourn, drawn by herself. Were a faithful picture of its quiet yet varied scenes to be drawn by another hand, it would include features wholly omitted by her; features radiant with a light and beauty not of earth. It would reflect a sweet patience, a heroic fortitude, a tender sympathy, a faith in God and an upholding, comforting influence, which in sharp exigencies the Christian wife and mother knows so well how to exercise, and which are inspired only by the Lord Jesus Himself.

The friend to whom the following letter was addressed years ago passed away from earth. But her name is still enshrined in many hearts. The story of her generous and affectionate kindness, as also that of her children, would fill a whole chapter. "You will never know how we have loved and honored you all, straight through" wrote Mrs. Prentiss to one of them, many years later.

To Mrs. Charles W. Woolsey, Havre, July 11, 1858.

How many times during our voyage we had occasion to think of and thank you and yours, a dozen sheets like this would fail to tell you. Of all your kind arrangements for our comfort not one failed of its object. Whether the chair or my sacque had most admirers I do not know, but I can't imagine how people ever get across the ocean without such consolations on the way. As to the grapes they kept perfectly to the last day and proved delicious; the box then became a convenient receptacle for the children's toys; while the cake-box has turned into a medicine-chest. We had not so pleasant a voyage as is usual at this season, it being cold and rainy and foggy much of the time. However, none of us suffered much from sea-sickness—Mr. Prentiss not in the least; his chief discomfort was from want of sleep. On the whole, we had a less dreary time than we anticipated, and perhaps the stupidity in which we were engulfed for two weeks was a wholesome refuge from the excitement of the month previous to our departure. We landed in a deluge of rain, and the only article in our possession that alarmed the officers of the Custom House was not the sewing-machine, which was hardly vouchsafed a look, but your cake-box. We were thankful to tumble pell-mell into a carriage, and soon to find ourselves in a comfortable room, before a blazing fire. We go round with a phrase-book and talk out of it, so if anybody ever asks you what sort of people the Prentiss family are and what are our conversational powers, you may safely and veraciously answer, "They talk like a book." M. already asks the French names of almost everything and is very glad to know that "we have got at Europe," and when asked how she likes France, declares, "Me likes that." We go off to Paris in the morning. I will let Mr. Prentiss tell his own story. Meanwhile we send you everyone our warmest love and thanks.

After a few days in Paris the family hastened to Chateau d'Oex, where New York friends awaited them. Chateau d'Oex is a mountain valley in the canton of Vaud, on the right bank of the Sarine, twenty-two miles east of Lausanne, and is one of the loveliest spots in Switzerland. Aside from its natural beauties, it has some historical interest. It was once the home of the Counts of Gruyere, and the ruins of their ancient chateau are still seen there. The Free church of the village was at this time under the care of Pastor Panchaud, a favorite pupil and friend of Vinet. He was a man of great simplicity and sweetness of character, an excellent preacher, and wholly devoted to his little flock. Mrs. Prentiss and her husband counted his society and ministrations a smile of Heaven upon their sojourn in Chateau d'Oex.

To Mrs. Henry B. Smith, Chateau D'Oex July 25, 1858.

Our ride from Havre to Paris was charming. We had one of those luxurious cars, to us unknown, which is intended to hold only eight persons, but which has room for ten; the weather was perfect, and the scenery all the way very lovely and quite novel. A. and I kept mourning for you and M. to enjoy it with us, and both agreed that we would gladly see only half there was to see, and go half the distance we were going, if we could only share with you our pleasures of every kind. On reaching Paris and the hotel we found we could not get pleasant rooms below the fifth story. They were directly opposite the garden of the Tuileries, where birds were flying and singing, and it was hard to realise that we were in the midst of that great city. We went sight-seeing very little. A. and I strolled about here and there, did a little shopping, stared in at the shop windows, wished M. had this and you had that, and then strolled home and panted and toiled and groaned up our five flights, and wrote in our journals, or rested, or made believe study French. We went to the Jardin des Plantes in order to let the children see the Zoological Garden. We also drove through the Bois de Boulogne, and spent part of an evening in the garden of the Palais Royal, and watched the people drinking their tea and coffee, and having all sorts of good times. We found Paris far more beautiful than we expected, and certainly as to cleanliness it puts New York ages behind. We were four days in coming from Paris to this place. We went up the lake of Geneva on one of the finest days that could be asked for, and then the real joy of our journey began; Paris and all its splendors faded away at once and forever before these mountains, and as George had never visited Geneva, or seen any of this scenery, my pleasure was doubled by his. Imagine, if you can, how we felt when Mt. Blanc appeared in sight! We reached Vevay just after sunset, and were soon established in neat rooms of quite novel fashion. The floors were of unpainted white wood, checked off with black walnut; the stairs were all of stone, the stove was of porcelain, and every article of furniture was odd. But we had not much time to spend in looking at things within doors, for the lake was in full view, and the mountain tops were roseate with the last rays of the setting sun, and the moon soon rose and added to the whole scene all it wanted to make us half believe ourselves in a pleasant dream. I often asked myself, "Can this be I!" "And if it be I, as I hope it be"—

Early next morning, which was dear little M.'s birthday, we set off in grand style for Chateau d'Oex. We hired a monstrous voiture which had seats inside for four, and on top, with squeezing, seats for three, besides the driver's seat; had five black horses, and dashed forth in all our splendor, ten precious souls and all agog. I made a sandwich between Mr. S. and George on top, and the "bonnes" and children were packed inside. This was our great day. The weather was indescribably beautiful; we felt ourselves approaching a place of rest and a welcome home; the scenery was magnificent, and already the mountain air was beginning to revive our exhausted souls and bodies. We sat all day hand in hand, literally "lost in wonder." With all I had heard ever since I was born about these mountains, I had not the faintest idea of their real grandeur and beauty. We arrived here just after sunset, and soon found ourselves among our friends. Mrs. Buck brought us up to our new home, which we reached on foot (as our voiture could not ascend so high) by a little winding path, by the side of which a little brook kept running along to make music for us. It is a regular Swiss chalet, much like the little models you have seen, only of a darker brown, and on either side the mountains stand ranged, so that look where we will we are feasted to our utmost capacity.

We have four small, but very neat, pretty rooms. Our floors are of unpainted pine, as white and clean as possible. The room in which we spend our time, and where I am now writing, I must fully set before you.... Our centre table has had a nice new red cover put on it to-day, with a vase of flowers; it holds all our books, and is the ornament of the room. In front of the sofa is a red rug on which we say our prayers. Over it is a picture, and over G.'s table is another. Out of the window you see first a pretty little flower garden, then the valley dotted with brown chalets, then the background of mountains. Behind the house you go up a little winding path—and can go on forever without stopping if you choose—along the sides of which flowers such as we cultivate at home grow in profusion; you can't help picking them and throwing them away to snatch a new handful. The brook takes its rise on this side, and runs musically along as you ascend. Yesterday we all went to church at nine and a half o'clock, and had our first experience of French preaching, and I was relieved to find myself understanding whole sentences here and there. And now I need not, I suppose, wind up by saying we are in a charming spot. All we want, as far as this world goes, is health and strength with which to enjoy all this beauty and all this sweet retirement, and these, I trust, it will give us in time. Isabella "wears like gold." She is everything I hoped for, and from her there has not been even a tone of discomfort since we left. But my back aches and my paper is full. We all send heaps of love to you all and long to hear.

August 10th.—We breakfast at eight on bread and honey, which is the universal Swiss breakfast, dine at one, and have tea at seven. I usually sew and read and study all the forenoon. After dinner we take our Alpen- stocks and go up behind the house—a bit of mountain-climbing which makes me realise that I am no longer a young girl. I get only so high, and then have to come back and lie down. George and Annie beat me all to pieces with their exploits. I do not believe we could have found anywhere in the world a spot better adapted to our needs. How you would enjoy it! I perfectly yearn to show you these mountains and all this green valley. The views I send will give you a very good idea of it, however. The smaller chalet in the print is ours. In a little summer house opposite Isabella now sits at work on the sewing-machine. My best love to all three of your dear "chicks," and to your husband if "he's willin'."

To Mrs. H.B. Washburn, Chateau d'Oex, August 21, 1858.

... We slipped off without any leave-taking, which I was not sorry for. I did not want to bid you good-bye. We had to say it far too often as it was, and, when we fairly set sail we had not an emotion left, but sank at once into a state of entire exhaustion and stupidity.... We thought Paris very beautiful until we came in view of the Lake of Geneva, Mt. Blanc, and other handiworks of God, when straightway all its palaces and monuments and fountains faded into insignificance. I began to feel that it was wicked for a few of my friends, who were born to enjoy the land of lakes and mountains, not to be here enjoying it, and you were one of them, you may depend. However, whenever I have had any such pangs of regret in relation to you, I have consoled myself with the reflection that with your enthusiastic temperament, artist eye, and love of nature, you never would survive even a glimpse of Switzerland; the land of William Tell would be the death of you. When you are about eighty years old, have cooled down about ten degrees below zero, have got a little dim about the eyes, and a little stiff about the knees, it may possibly be safe for you to come and break yourself in gradually. I have not forgotten how you felt and what you did at the White Mountains, you see.

Well, joking apart, we are in a spot that would just suit you in every respect. We are not in a street or a road or any of those abominations you like to shun, but our little chalet, hardly accessible save on foot, is just tucked down on the side of the gentle slope leading up the mountain. It is remote from all sights but those magnificent ones afforded by the range of mountains, the green rich valley, and the ever-varying sky and cloudland, and all sounds save that of a brook which runs hurrying down its rocky little channel and keeps us company when we want it. I ought, however, to add that my view of this particular valley is that of a novice. People say the scenery here is tame in comparison with what may be seen elsewhere; but look which way I will, from front windows or back windows, at home or abroad, I am as one at a continual feast; and what more can one ask? Mr. Prentiss feels that this secluded spot is just the place for him, and as it is a good point from which to make excursions on foot or otherwise, he and Mr. Stearns have already made several trips and seen splendid sights. How much we have to be grateful for! For my part, I would rather—far rather—have come here and stayed here blindfold, than not to have come with my dear husband. So all I have seen and am experiencing I regard as beauty and felicity thrown in.

To Mrs. Abigail Prentiss, Chateau d'Oex, Sept. 5, 1858.

I wish we had you, my dear mother, here among these mountains, for the cool, bracing air would help to build you up. Both Mr. Stearns and George have come back from Germany looking better than when they started on their trip two weeks ago. It has been very cold; the thermometer some mornings at eight o'clock standing at 46, and the mountains being all covered with snow. We slept with a couple of bottles of hot water at our feet, and two blankets and a comforter of eiderdown over us, after going to bed early to get warm. My sewing-machine is a great comfort, and the peasants enjoy coming down from the mountains to see it. Besides, I find something to do on it every day.

I often wish I could set you down in the midst of the church to which we go every Sunday, if only to show you how the people dress. A bonnet is hardly seen there; everybody wearing a black silk cap or a bloomer. I wear a bloomer; a brown one trimmed with brown ribbon. An old lady sits in front of me who wears a white cap much after the fashion of yours, and on top of that is perked a monstrous bloomer trimmed with black gauze ribbon. Her dress is linsey-woolsey, and for outside garment she wears a black silk half-handkerchief, as do all the rest. No light dress or ribbon is seen. I must tell you now something that amused A. and me very much yesterday at dinner. A French gentleman, who married a Spanish lady four years ago, sits opposite us at the table, and he and his wife are quite fascinated with M., watch all her motions, and whisper together about all she does. Yesterday they got to telling us that the lady had been married when only twelve years old to a gentleman of thirty-two, had two children, and was a grandmother, though not yet thirty-six years old. She said she carried her doll with her to her husband's house, and he made her learn a geography lesson every day till she was fourteen, when she had a baby of her own. I asked her if she loved her husband, and she said "Oh, yes," only he was very grave and scolded her and shut her up when she wouldn't learn her lessons. She said that her own mother when thirty-six years old had fourteen children, all of whom are now living, twelve of them boys, and that the laws of Spain allow the father of six sons to ask a favor for them of the King, but the father of twelve may ask a favor for each one; so every one of her brothers had an office under the Government or was an officer in the army. I don't know when I have been more amused, for she, like all foreigners, was full of life and gesture, and showed us how she tore her hair and threw down her books when angry with her husband.

The children are all bright and well. The first time we took the cars after landing, M. was greatly delighted. "Now we're going to see grandma," she cried. Mrs. Buck got up a picnic for her, and had a treat of raspberries and sponge-cake—frosted. The cake had "M." on the top in red letters. Baby is full of life and mischief. The day we landed he said "Papa," and now he says "Mamma." Isabella [1] is everything we could ask. She is trying to learn French, and A. hears her recite every night. George found some furnished rooms at Montreux, which he has taken for six months from October, and we shall thus be keeping house. A. has just rushed in and snatched her French Bible, as she is going to the evening service with some of the English family. You will soon hear all about us from Mr. Stearns.

The following letter will show how little power either her own cares, or the charms of nature around her, had to quench her sympathy for friends in sorrow:

To Miss A. H. Woolsey, Chateau D'Oex, Sept. 11, 1858.

We received your kind letter this morning. We had already had our sympathies excited in behalf of you all, by seeing a notice of the death of the dear little child in a paper lent to us by Mrs. Buck, and were most anxious to hear all the particulars you have been so good as to give us. This day, which fifteen years ago we marked with a white stone, and which we were to celebrate with all our hearts, has passed quite wearily and drearily. There is something indescribably sad in the details of the first bereavement which has fallen within the circle of those we love; perhaps, too, old sorrows of our own clamored for a hearing; and then, too, there was the conviction, "This is not all death will do while the ocean severs you from kindred and friends." We longed to speak to you many words of affectionate sympathy and Christian cheer; but long before we can make them reach you, I trust you will have felt sure that you were at least remembered and prayed for. It is a comfort that no ocean separates us from Him who has afflicted you. The loss to you each and all is very great, but to the mother of such a child it is beyond description. Faith alone can bear her through it, but faith can. What a wonderful little creature the sweet Ellie must have been! We were greatly touched by your account of her singing that beautiful hymn. It must have been divinely ordered that she should leave such a precious legacy behind her. And though her loveliness makes her loss the greater, the loss of an unlovely wayward child would surely be a heavier grief.

I never know where to stop when I begin to talk about the death of a little one; but before I stop I want to ask you to tell Mrs. H. one word from me, which will not surprise and will perhaps comfort her. It is this. Neither his father nor myself would be willing to have God now bereave us of the rich experience of seven years ago, when our noble little boy was taken away. We have often said this to each other, and oftener said it to Him, who if He took, also gave much. But after all, we can not say much to comfort either Mrs. H. or you. We can only truly, heartily and always sympathise with you.... Mr. Prentiss and Mr. Stearns have spent a fortnight in jaunting about; beginning at Thun and ending at Munich. They both came home looking fresher and better than when they left, but Mr. P. is not at all well now, and will have his ups and downs, I suppose, for a long time to come.... We can step out at any moment into a beautiful path, and, turn which way we will, meet something charming. Yesterday he came back for me, having found a new walk, and we took our sticks, and went to enjoy it together till we got, as it were, fairly locked in by the mountains, and could go no further. Only to think of having such things as gorges and water-falls and roaring brooks, right at your back door! The seclusion of this whole region is, however, its great charm to us, and to tell the truth, the primitive simplicity of style of dress, etc., is quite as charming to me as its natural beauty. We took tea one night last week with the pastor of the Free church; he lives in a house for which he pays thirty dollars a year, and we were quite touched and pleased with his style of living; white pine walls and floors, unpainted, and everything else to match. We took our tea at a pine table, and the drawing-room to which we retired from it, was a corner of the same room, where was a little mite of a sofa and a few books, and a cheerful lamp burning.

All this time I have not answered your question about the Fourth of July. We had great doings, I assure you. Mr. P. made a speech, and ran up and down the saloon like a war horse. He was so excited and pale that I did not enjoy it much, thinking any instant he would faint and fall. Mr. Cleaveland was the orator of the day and acquitted himself very well, they all said. I was in my berth at the time of its delivery, saving myself for the dinner and toasts, and so did not hear it. The whole affair is to be printed. There was a great cry of "Prentiss! Prentiss!" after the "Captain's dinner," and at last the poor man had to respond in a short speech to a toast to the ladies. I suppose you know that he considers all women as angels. Mr. Stearns left us on Thursday to set his face homewards.

* * * * *

II.

Montreux. The Swiss Autumn. Castle of Chillon. Death and Sorrow of Friends at Home. Twilight Talks. Spring Flowers.

Early in October the family removed to Montreux, at the upper end of the lake of Geneva, where the next six months were passed in what was then known as the Maison des Bains. Montreux was at this time the centre of a group of pleasant villages, scattered along the shore of the lake, or lying back of it among the hills. One of these villages, Clarens, was rendered famous in the last century by the pen of Rousseau, and early in this by the pen of Byron. The grave of Vinet, the noble leader, and theologian of the Free Church of the canton of Vaud, now renders the spot sacred to the Christian scholar. Montreux was then a favorite resort of invalids in quest of a milder climate. At many points it commands fine views of the lake, and the whole region abounds in picturesque scenery. The Maison des Bains is said to have long since disappeared; but in 1858, it seemed to hang upon the side of the Montreux hill and was one of the most noticeable features of the landscape, as seen from the passing steamer.

To Mrs. Henry B. Smith, Montreux, October 31, 1858.

Your letter was a real comfort and I am so thankful to the man that invented letter-writing that I don't know what to do. We feast on everything we hear from home, however sick, or weak; it is a sort of sea-air appetite. Your letters are not a thousandth part long enough, but if you wrote all the time I suppose they wouldn't be.... You see I am experimenting with two kinds of ink, hoping my letters may be more easy to read. George tried it the other day by writing me a little note, telling me first how he loved me in black ink and then how he loved me in blue, after which he tore it up; wasn't that a shame? Anna writes that you seemed miserable the day she was at your house. The fact is, people of such restless mental activity as you and I, my dear, never need expect to be well long at a time—for, as soon as we get a little health we consume it just as children do candy. George and I are both able, however, to take long walks, and the other day we went to see the castle of Chillon. I was much impressed with all I saw. Under Byron's name, which I saw on one of the columns, there were the initials "H. B. S."—"H. B. Smith," says I. "You don't say so!" cries George, "where? let me see—oh, I don't think it can be his, for here are some more letters," which I knew all the time, but for all that H. B. S. does stand for H. B. Smith. There are ever so many charming walks about here and from some points the scenery is wonderfully picturesque. I never was in the country so late as to see the trees after a frost, and although the foliage here is less brilliant, it is said, than that of American forests, I find it hard to believe that there can be anything more beautiful than the wooded mountains covered with the softest tints of every shade and coloring interspersed with snowcapped peaks and bare, gray rocks. The glory has departed somewhat within two days, as we have had a little snow-storm, and the leaves have fallen sadly. We began to have a fire yesterday and to put on some of our winter clothing; yet roses bloom just outside our door, and mignonette, nasturtiums, and a variety of other flowers adorn every house. The Swiss love for flowers is really beautiful. I wish you would let the children go to the hot-house which they pass on the way from school and get me some flower-seeds, as it will be pleasant to me to have the means of giving pleasure. I presume the gardener would be able to select a dozen or so of American varieties which would be a treasure here. I amuse myself with making flower-pictures, with which to enliven our parlor, and assure you that these works of art are remarkable specimens of genius. I do not know where the time goes, but I do not have half enough of it, or else do not understand the art of making the most of it. We have just subscribed to a library at a franc a month, and hope to read a little French.... I suppose Z. will be a regular young lady by the time we come home, and that I shall be afraid of her, as I am of all young ladies. How nicely she and M. would look in the jaunty little hats they all wear here. I wonder if the fashion will stretch across the ocean? I dare say it will. Never was there anything so becoming in the world.

To Mrs. Stearns, Montreux, Nov. 21, 1858.

We were glad to hear from your last letter that you are all so well, and especially to hear such good accounts of Mr. Stearns. It is a real comfort to us to find that his little trip has done him so much good. I was sorry to hear of the loss of that friend of the Thurstons in the Austria, for I heard Ellen speak of her in the most rapturous manner. This world is full of mysteries. Only to think of the shock George received when expecting to meet Mr. Butler in Paris and perhaps spend several weeks with him there, he heard at Geneva the news of his sudden death! [2] He loved and honored Mr. B. most warmly and truly. You will remember that the latter came abroad on account of the health of his daughter; her younger sister accompanied them, and they were all full of the brightest anticipations. But the same steamer which brought them over, carried home his remains on the next trip, and those two poor young girls are left in a strange land, afflicted and disappointed and alone. Mr. Butler died a most peaceful and happy death, and George was very glad to be in Paris in time to comfort the young ladies, who were perfectly delighted to see him. He got back yesterday very much exhausted and has spent most of the day on the sofa. A. has a teacher who comes three times a week from Vevay, and spends most of the day. She is a young lady of about twenty-five, well educated and accustomed to teaching, and has taken hold of A. with no little energy. She can not speak a word of English. Tell your A. we can't get over it that the horses, dogs and cats here all understand French. I have been ever so busy fixing and fussing for winter, which has come upon us all in a rush. Isabella has been bewitched for about a week, having got at last a letter from her beau, and every speck of work she has done on the sewing machine was either wrongside out or upside down. While George was gone I made up a lot of flower-pictures to adorn the walls of our parlor; he is walking about admiring them, and I wish you would drop in and help him. He had a real homesick fit to see you all to-day, feeling so tired after his journey; but seems brighter to-night, and promises faithfully to get well now, right off.

Dec. 5th.—The death of Sarah P. must have excited all your sympathies. The loss of a little child—and I shudder when I recall the pangs of such a loss!—can be nothing in comparison with such an affliction as this. I well remember what a bright young thing she was. Her poor mother's grief and amazement must be all the greater for the fact of the perfect vigor and sound health which had, as it were, assured her of long life and happiness and usefulness. I had an inexpressible sadness upon me as soon as I heard that she was dangerously ill; often in such moments one bitterly realises that all this world's idols are likewise perishable.

A.'s teacher gives lessons also in a family half an hour from Vevay, who are going to Germany to spend a year, and she gave such an account of the place, that George let her persuade him into going to see it, as the owner desired to rent it during his absence. He took A. with him, as I could not go. They came back in ecstasies, and have both set their hearts so on taking it that I should not at all wonder if that should be the end. We left some of our things at Chateau d'Oex, fully expecting to return there, but this Vevay country seat with its cherry, apple and pear trees, its seclusion, its vicinity to reading-room and library, has quite disgusted George with the idea of spending another summer "en pension." The family entertained G. and A. very hospitably, gave them a lunch of bologna sausage, bread and butter, cake, wine and grapes, and above all, the little girls gave A. two little Guinea pigs, which you may imagine filled her with delight. The whole affair was very agreeable to her, as she had not spoken to a child (save M.) since we came to Montreux.

January 3d, 1859.—We read your letter, written at Bedford, with no little interest and sympathy. While we could not but rejoice that one more saint had got safely and without a struggle home, we felt the exceeding disappointment you must have had in losing the last smile you came so near receiving. [3] I think you had a sort of presentiment last winter what this one might bring forth, for I remember your saying it would probably be the last visit to you, and that you wanted to make it as pleasant as possible. And pleasant I do not doubt you and the whole household made it to her. Still there always will be regrets and vain wishes after the death of one we love. What a pity that we can not be to our friends while they live all we wish we had been after they have gone! George and I feel an almost childish clinging to mother, while we hope and believe she will live to bless us if we ever return home.

Jan. 23d.—We have been afflicted in the sudden death of our dear friend, Mrs. Wainwright. The news came upon us without preparation—for she was ill only a few days—and was a great shock to us. You and mother know what she was to us during the whole time of our acquaintance with her; I loved her most heartily. I can not get over the saddening impression which such deaths cause, by receiving new ones; our lives here are so quiet and uneventful, that we have full leisure to meditate on the breaches already made in our circle of friends at home, and to forebode many more such sorrowful tidings. Mrs. Wainwright was like a mother to me, and I am too old to take up a new friend in her place. [4]

I do not know whether I mentioned the afflictions of my cousin H. They have been very great, and have excited my sympathies keenly. Her first child died when eighteen months old, after a feeble, suffering life. Then the second child, an amiable, loving creature—I almost see her now sitting up so straight with her morsel of knitting in her hands!—she was taken sick and died in five days. Her sister, about eight years old, came near dying of grief; she neither played, ate or slept, and they wrote me that her wails of anguish were beyond description. Just as she was getting a little over the first shock, the little boy, then about three years old, died suddenly of croup. Poor H. is almost broken-hearted. I have felt dreadfully at being away when she was so afflicted; they had not been long enough in New York to have a minister of their own, and they all said, oh, if George and I had only been there!

Her letters during the rest of the winter are tinged with the sadness caused by these and other distressing afflictions among friends at home. Her sympathies were kept under a constant strain. But her letters contain also many gleams of sunshine. Although very quiet and secluded, and often troubled by torturing neuralgic pains, as well as by sudden shocks of grief, her life at Montreux was not without its own peculiar joys. One of the greatest of these was to while away the twilight or evening hours in long talks with her husband about home and former days. Distance, together with the strange Alpine scenes about her, seemed to have the effect of a score of years in separating her from the past, and throwing over it a mystic veil of tenderness and grace. Old times and old friends, when thus viewed from the beautiful shores of Lake Leman, appeared to the memory in a softened light and invested with something of that ideal loveliness which the grave itself imparts to the objects of our affections. Many of these old friends, indeed, had passed through the Grave—some, long before, some recently—and to talk of them was sweet talk about the blessed home above, as well as the home beyond the ocean.

Another joy that helped to relieve the monotony and weariness of the Montreux life, was in her children; especially as, on the approach of spring, she wandered with them over the hill-sides in quest of flowers; then her delight knew no bounds. In a letter to Mrs. Washburn, dated March 19, she writes:

M. and G. catch A.'s and my enthusiasm, and come with their little hands full of dandelions, buttercups and daisies, and their hats full of primroses. Even Mr. Prentiss conies in with his hands full of crocuses, purple and white, and lots of an extremely pretty flower, "la fille avant la mere," which he gathers on the mountains where I can not climb.... I often think of you and Mrs. B——, when I revel among the beautiful profusion of flowers with which this country is adorned. So early as it is, the hills and fields are covered with primroses, daisies, cowslips, violets, lilies, and I don't know what not; in five minutes we can gather a basketful.

* * * * *

III.

The Campagne Genevrier. Vevay. Beauty of the Region. Letters. Birth of a Son. Visit from Professor Smith. Excursion to Chamouni. Whooping-cough and Scarlet-fever among the Children. Doctor Curchod. Letters.

At the end of March the family removed to the campagne Genevrier, about two miles back of Vevay, in the direction of St. Leger. At one point it overlooked the town and the lake, and commanded a fine view of the mountains of Savoy and of the distant Jura range. On the opposite shore of the lake is the village where Lord Byron passed some time in 1816, and where he is said to have written the wonderful description of a thunder-storm, in the third canto of Childe Harold. At all events the very scene, so vividly depicted by him, was witnessed from Genevrier. [5]

To Mrs. Stearns, Genevrier, April 5, 1859

Your letter describing how nicely your party went off, followed us from Montreux, to enliven us here in our new home. We only wish we could have been there. You need not have apologised for giving so many details, for it is just such little events of your daily life that we want to hear about. My mouth quite waters for a bit of the cake they sent you; I remember Mrs. Dr. J. and others used to send us big loaves which were delicious, and such as I never tasted out of Newark. We came here last Thursday in a great snow-storm, which was cheerless and cold enough after the warm weather we had had for so many weeks. I do not suppose more snow fell on any day through the winter, and we all shivered and lamented and huddled over the fire at a great rate. Yet I have just been driven indoors by the heat of the sun, having begun to write at a little table just outside the house, and fires and snow have disappeared. George has gone to town with Jules in the wagon to buy sugar, oil, oats, buttons, and I do not know what not, and is no doubt thinking of you all; for we do nothing but cry out how we wish you were here with us to enjoy this beautiful spot. We are entirely surrounded by mountains in the distance, and with green fields, vineyards, and cultivated grounds nearer home. How your children would delight in the flowers, the white doves, the seven little tiny guinea pigs, no bigger than your Annie's hand shut up, and the ample, neat play-places all about us. I can't tell you how George and I enjoy seeing M. trotting about, so eager and so happy, and gathering up, as we hope, health and strength every hour! We find the house, on the whole, very convenient, and it is certainly as pleasant as can be; every room cheerful and every window commanding a view which is ravishing.

To Mrs. Smith, Genevrier, April 7, 1859.

You will be surprised, I dare say, to hear that I am writing out of doors; I can hardly, myself, believe that it is possible to do so with comfort and safety at this season, but it is perfectly charming weather, neither cold or hot, and with a small shawl and my bloomer on, I am out a large part of the day. You would fly here in a balloon if you knew what a beautiful spot we are in. We are surrounded with magnificent views of both the lake and the mountains, and can not turn in any direction without being ravished. The house is pretty, and in most respects well and even handsomely furnished; damask curtains, a Titian, a Rembrandt, and a Murillo in the parlor; the floors are waxed and carpetless, to be sure, but Mrs. Buck has given us lots of large pieces of carpeting such as are used in this country to cover the middle of the rooms, and these will make us comfortable next winter. But the winters here are so short that one hardly gets fixed to meet them, when they are over.

We have quite a nice garden, from which we have already eaten lettuce, spinach, and parsley; our potatoes were planted a day or two ago, and our peas are just up. One corner of the house, unconnected with our part, is occupied by a farmer who rents part of the land; he is obliged to do our marketing, etc., and we get milk and cream from him. I wish the latter was as easy to digest as it is palatable and cheap. They beat it up here till it looks like pure white lather and eat it with sugar. The grounds about our house are very neat and we shall have oceans of flowers of all sorts; several kinds are in full bloom now. The wild flowers are so profuse, so beautiful and so various that A. and I are almost demented on the subject. From the windows I see first the wide, gravelled walk which runs round the house; then a little bit of a green lawn in which there is a little bit of a pond and a tiny jet d'eau which falls agreeably on the ear; beyond this the land slopes gently upward till it is not land but bare, rugged mountain, here and there sprinkled with snow and interspersed with pine-trees. The sloping land is ploughed up and men and women are busy sowing and planting; too far off to disturb us with noise, but looking, the women at least, rather picturesque in their short blue dresses and straw hats. On the right hand the Dent du Midi is seen to great advantage; it is now covered with snow. The little village of St. Leger lies off in the distance; you can just see its roofs and the quaint spire of a very old church; otherwise you see next to no houses, and the stillness is very sweet. Now won't you come? The children seem to enjoy their liberty greatly, and are running about all the time. They have each a little garden and I hope will live out of doors all summer.

The state of her health during the next three months was a source of constant and severe suffering, but could not quench her joy in the wonders of nature around her. "My drives about this lovely place," she wrote in June, "have begun to give me an immense amount of pleasure; indeed, my faculty for enjoyment is so great, that I sometimes think one day's felicity pays for weeks of misery, and that if it hadn't been for my poor health, I should have been too happy here." Nor did her suffering weaken in the least her sympathy with the troubles of her friends at home. While for the most part silent as to her own peculiar trials, her letters were full of cheering words about theirs. To one of these she wrote at this time:

God has taken care that we should not enjoy so much of this world's comfort since we left home as to rest in it. Your letters are so sad, that I have fancied you perhaps overestimated our situation, feeling that you and your feeble husband were bearing the burden and heat of the day while we were standing idle. My dear ——, there are trials everywhere and in every sphere, and every heart knoweth its own bitterness, or else physical burdens are sent to take the place of mental depression. After all, it will not need more than an hour in heaven to make us ashamed of our want of faith and courage here on earth. Do cheer up, dear child, and "look aloft!" Poor Mr. ——! I know his work is hard and up the hill, but it will not be lost work and can not last forever. It seems to me God might accept with special favor the services of those who "toil in rowing." After all, it is not the amount of work He regards, but the spirit with which it is done.

Early in July she was made glad by the birth of her sixth child—her "Swiss boy," as she liked to call him. Her gladness was not a little increased by a visit soon after from Professor Henry B. Smith, of the Union Theological Seminary. This visit was one of the memorable events of her life abroad. Professor Smith was not merely a great theologian and scholar; he was also a man of most attractive personal qualities. And, when unbending among friends from his exacting literary labors, the charm of his presence and conversation was perfect. His spirits ran high, and he entered with equal zest into the amusements of young or old. His laugh was as merry as that of the merriest girl; no boy took part more eagerly in any innocent sport; nobody could beat him in climbing a mountain. He was a keen observer, and his humor—sometimes very dry, sometimes fresh and bright as the early dew—rendered his companionship at once delightful and instructive. His learning and culture were so much a part of himself, that his most familiar talk abounded in the happiest touches about books and art and life. All his finest traits were in full play while he was at Genevrier, and, when he left, his visit seemed like a pleasant dream.

To Mrs. Smith, Genevrier, July 25th.

I am only too glad of the chance your husband gives me to write you another bit of a note. We are enjoying his visit amazingly. There are only two drawbacks to its felicity; one is that he won't stay all summer, and the other that you are not here. The children were enchanted with the presents he brought them. When I shall be on my feet and well and strong again time only can tell. A. has devoted herself to me in the sweetest way. What she has been to me all winter and up to this time, tongue could not tell. My doctor is as kind as a brother. He was a perfect stranger to me, and was brought to my bedside when I was writhing in agony; but in ten minutes his tenderness and sympathy made me forget that he was a stranger, and, through that long night of distress and the long day that followed, he did every thing that mortal could do to relieve and comfort me. He brought his wife up to see me the other day, and I begged her to tell him how grateful I felt. "He is kind," she answered, "but then he loves you so!" (They both speak English.) I am so puffed up by his praises! I am sure I thought I groaned, but he says "pas une gemissement."

August 14th.—Our two husbands have gone to Lausanne for the day, taking A. with them. They seem to be having real nice times together, and if, as your husband says, "his old wife were here," his felicity and ours would be too great. They lounge about, talk, drink soda-water, and view the prospect. Dr. Buck came up from Geneva on Thursday and spent the night and part of Friday with us, and it would have done you good to hear him and your husband laugh. He was quite enchanted with the place, and says we never shall want to go home. August 23d.—Your husband has given me leave to write you a little bit of a note out of my little bit of a heart on this little bit of paper. He and A. have just gone off to get some pretty grass for you. He will tell you when he gets home how he baptized his namesake on Sunday. We have enjoyed his visit more than tongue can tell. George says he has enjoyed it as much as he thought he should, and I am sure I have enjoyed it a great deal more, as I have been so much better in health than I expected. But how you must miss him!

On the 12th of September—a faultless autumn day—she set out with her husband and eldest daughter for Chamouni. It was her first excursion for pleasure since coming to Switzerland. A visit to this great and marvelous handiwork of God is an event in the dullest life. In her case the experience was so full of delight, that it seemed almost to compensate for the cares and disappointments of the whole previous year. The plan was to return to Genevrier and then pass on to the Bernese Oberland, but the visit to Chamouni proved to be her last as well as her first pleasure excursion in Switzerland.

To Mrs. Stearns, Genevrier, October 2, 1859.

I have, been so absorbed with anxiety about the children since we got back from our journey, that I have not felt like writing you a description of it. George told you, I suppose, that the news awaiting us when we reached Vevay was of the baby's having whooping-cough. It was a great shock to us, for the weather was dismally cold, and it did not seem as if the little thing could get safely through the disease at so unfavorable a time of year. Then there were the other two to have it also. On Friday last baby's cry had become a sad sort of wail, and he was so pale and weak, that I did not see how he was going to rally; but he is better to-day, so that I begin to take breath.... To go back to Chamouni, it seems a mercy that we went when we did. We enjoyed the whole trip. We made the excursion to the Mer de Glace in a pouring rain, without injury to any of us, and were well repaid for our trouble by the novelty of the whole expedition and the extraordinary sights we saw. George intended taking us to the Oberland if we found the children well on our return, but all hope of accomplishing another journey was destroyed when we found what different business was before us. It is a real disappointment, for the weather is now mild and very fine, just adapted to journeying, and so many things have conspired to confine me to this spot, that I have found it quite hard to be as patient and cheerful as I am sure I ought to be. Alas and alas! what an insatiable thing human nature is! How it craves every thing the world can offer, instead of contenting itself with what ought to content it. However, I shall soon get over my fidgets, and as to George, of course he is only disappointed for me and A., as he has visited the Oberland, and was only going to give us pleasure. And, if I must choose between the two, I'd rather have the littlest baby in the world than see all the biggest mountains in it. We are thankful to hear that mother still continues to be so well. We long to see her, and I think a look at her or a smile from her would do George good like a medicine.

October 17th.—I went to church yesterday for the first time in ten months; we came out at half-past ten, so you see we have a tolerably long day before us when church is done. It is not at all like going to church at home; you not only find it painful to listen with such strict attention as the foreign tongue requires, but you miss the neat, well-ordered sanctuary, the picture of family life (for there are no little children present!) and the agreeable array of dress. The flapping, monstrous bloomers tire your eyes, and so do the grotesque, coarse clothes and the tokens of extreme poverty. I grow more and more patriotic every day, and am astonished at what I see and hear of life in Europe.

I snatched one afternoon when the baby was better than usual to go to Villeneuve with George to call on Mr. and Mrs. H. and the sister of Mrs. H., who is one of our Mercer street young ladies. They were at the Hotel Byron, where you stayed. What a beautiful spot it is! Mr. H. afterwards came and dined with us, and was so charmed with the place that he was tempted to take it when we leave; his wife, however, had set her heart on going home at that time, as she had left one child there. The vintage is going on here at Genevrier to-day, and we are all invited to go and eat our fill.

To Mrs. Henry B. Smith, Genevrier, Oct. 20, 1859.

You ask how I find time to make flower-pictures. Why, I have been confined to the house a good deal by the baby's sickness, and could hardly set myself about anything else when I was not watching and worrying about him. When we got home from Chamouni we found him with what proved to be a very serious disease in the case of so young a child. It has shaken his little frame nearly to pieces, leaving him after weeks of suffering not much bigger than a doll, and all eyes and bones. It was a pretty hard struggle for life, and I hardly know how he has weathered the storm. The idea of leaving our dear little Swiss baby in a little Swiss grave, instead of taking him home with us, was very distressing to me, and I can not help earnestly desiring that death may not assail us in this foreign land.

Our trip to Chamouni was very pleasant and did me a deal of good. If I could have kept on the mule-riding and mountain-viewing a few weeks I should have got quite built up, but the children's coughs made it impossible to take any more journeys. Mr. de Palezieux, our landlord, called Monday to see if I would sell him my sewing-machine, as his wife was crazy to have one, and didn't feel as if she could wait to get one from New York. I told him I would, and all night could not sleep for teaching him how to use it—for his wife is in Germany, and he had to learn for her. I invited him to come to dinner on Wednesday and take his lessons. On Tuesday George said he wanted me to make a pair of sleeves for Mrs. Tholuck before the machine went off, so I went to town to get the stuff, at three o'clock began the sleeves and worked like a lion for a little over two hours, when they were done, beautifully. This morning I made four collars, which I shall want for Christmas presents, and a shirt for Jules (our old hired man), who never had one made of linen, and will go off the handle when he gets it. So I am tolerably used up, and shall be almost glad to send away the tempter to-morrow, though I dare say I shall miss it. I wish you could look out of my window this minute, and see how beautiful the autumnal foliage is already beginning to look. But my poor old head, what shall I do with it! You ask about my health; I am as well as I can be without sleep. I have had only one really good night since the baby came, to say nothing of those before; some worse than others, to be sure; but all wakeful to a degree that tries my faith not a little. I don't see what is to hinder my going crazy one of these days. However, I won't if I can help it. George goes to Germany this week. Well, my dear, good-bye.

To Mrs. Stearns, Dec. 12th.

George got home a fortnight ago, after his three weeks' absence; looking nicely, and more like himself than I have seen him in a long time. He had a most refreshing time in Germany among his old friends. It does my heart good to see him so cheery and hopeful. I have just seen the three babies safely in bed, after no little scampering and carrying-on, and now am ready for a little chat with you and dear mother. George sits by me, piously reading "Adam Bede." I was disappointed in the "Minister's Wooing," which he brought from Germany, and can not think Mrs. Stowe came up to herself this time, whatever the newspapers may say about it; and as for the plot, I don't see why she couldn't have let Mary marry good old Dr. Hopkins, who was vastly more of a man than that harum-scarum James. As to "Adam Bede," I think it a wonderful book, beyond praise. I hope these literary observations will be blessed to you, my dear. Mrs. Tholuck sent me a very pretty worsted cape to wear about house, or under a cloak. We went to Lausanne last Wednesday (George, A. and I) to do a little shopping for Christmas, and had quite a good time, only as life is always mingled in sweet and bitter, bitter and sweet, we had the melancholy experience of finding, when we got ready to come home, that Jules had taken a drop too much, and was in a state of ineffable silliness, which made George prefer to drive himself.

We begin now to think and talk about Paris. We have been buying this afternoon some Swiss chalets and other things, brought to the door by two women, and I had hard work to keep George from taking a bushel or two. He got leaf-cutters enough to stab all his friends to the heart. Most of our lady friends will receive a salad-spoon and fork from one or the other of us. In fact, I have no doubt we shall be seized at the Custom-house as merchants in disguise. Well, I must bid you good night.

The latter part of December her husband was requested to go to Paris and take the temporary charge of the American chapel there. He decided to do so, with the understanding that she and the children should soon follow him. But scarcely had he left Geneva, when first one and then another of the children was seized with scarlet fever. Here are a few extracts from her letters on the subject:

Dec. 31st.—Jules had hardly gone to the office, when I became satisfied that G. had scarlet fever beyond a doubt, and therefore sent Jeanette instantly to town to tell the doctor so, and to ask him to come up. He came, and said at once I was quite right.... As to our leaving here, he said decidedly that it could not be under less than forty days. I can not tell you, my darling, how grieved I am for you to hear this news. Now I know your first impulse will be to come home, and perhaps to renounce the chaplaincy, but I beg you to think twice—thrice before you decide to do so.... How one thing hurries on after another! But it is the universal cry, everywhere; everybody is groaning and travailing in pain together; and we shall doubtless learn, in eternity, that our lot was not peculiar, but that we had millions of unknown fellow-sufferers on the way. Don't be too disappointed, but let us rather be thankful, that if our poor children must be sick, it was here and not in Paris, and now, good night. Betake yourself to your knees, when you have read this, and pray for us with all your might.

Jan. 5, 1860.—The doctor has been here and says the other children must not meet G. till the end of this month, unless they are taken sick meantime. Poor M. melted like a snow-flake in the fire, when she heard that; she begins to miss her little playmate, and keeps running to say things to him through the key-hole, and to serenade him with singing, accompanied with a rattling of knives. I see but one thing to be done; for you to stay and preach and me to stay and nurse, each in the place God has assigned us.... You must pray for me, that I may be patient and willing to have my coming to Europe turn out a failure as far as my special enjoyment of it is concerned. There are better things than going to Paris, being with you and hearing you preach; pray that I may have them in full measure. I can't bear to stop writing—good-bye, my dearest love!

Jan. 15th—If you could look in upon us this evening, you would be not a little surprised to see me writing in the corner of my room, close to the wash-stand where my lamp is placed; but you would see at a glance that the curtain of the bed is let down to shade our darling little M.'s eyes, as she lies close at my side. How sorry I am, as you can not see all this, to have to tell it to you! I have let her decide for me, and she wants dear papa to know that she is sick. Oh, why need I add another care to those you already suffer on our account!... As to baby, we are disposed to think that he has had the fever. Of course we do not know, but it is pleasant to hope the best.... And now, my precious darling, you see there is more praying work to do, as I hinted in my Saturday's note when my heart was pretty heavy within me. I need not tell you what to ask for the dear child; but for me do pray that I may have no will of my own. All these trials and disappointments are so purely Providential that it frightens me to think I may have much secret discontent about them, or may like to plan for myself in ways different from God's plans. Yet in the midst of so much care and fatigue I hardly know how I do feel; I am like a feather blown here and there by an unexpected whirlwind and I suppose I ought not to expect much of myself. "Though He slay me yet will I trust in Him," I keep saying over and over to myself, and if you are going to write a new sermon this week, suppose you take that for your text. I have not had one regret that you went to Paris, and as to your coming on, I do hope you will not think of it, unless you are sent for. You could do nothing and would be very lonely and uncomfortable. The doctor told me to tell you to stay where you were, and that you ought to rejoice that the children are not sick in Paris. I do trust that in the end we shall come forth from this troublous time like gold from the furnace. So far I have been able to do all that was necessary and I trust I shall continue so. God bless you, and bring us to a happy meeting in His own good time!

To Mrs. Stearns, Genevrier, Jan. 21, 1860.

... Boiling over does one good of itself, and I am sure you feel the better for having done so. I do not know why men seem to get along without such reliefs as women almost always seek in this way; whether there is less water in their kettles or whether their kettles are bigger than ours and boil with more safety. It is a comfort to believe that, whatever our troubles, in the end all will work together for our good. The new year has opened upon us here at Genevrier pretty gloomily, as George has told you. You will not be surprised, therefore, to hear that M. is also quite sick, much sicker than G. She is one of those meek, precious little darlings whom it is painful to see suffer, and I have hardly known what I was about, or where I was, since she was taken down. My baby is deserted by us all; I have only seen him in moments for three weeks. You can not think how lonely poor A. is; half the time she eats alone in the big solitary dining-room; nobody has any time to walk out with her, what few children she knew are afraid to come here or to have her come nigh them, and I feel as if I should fly, when I think of it—for she is not strong or well and her life here in Switzerland has been a series of disappointments and anxieties. The only leisure moments I can snatch in the course of the twenty-four hours I have to spend in writing to George; but the last few evenings M. has slept, so that I could play a game of chess with her and try to cheer and brace her up against next day's dreariness. All her splendid dreams of getting off from this solitude to the life and stir of Paris have been dissipated, but she has never uttered one word of complaint; I have not heard her say as much as "Isn't it too bad!" And indeed we ought none of us to say so or to feel so, for the doctor assures me that for three such delicate children as he considers ours, to pass safely through whooping-dough and scarlet-fever, is a perfect wonder and that he is sure it is owing to the pure country air. And when I think how different a scene our house might present if our three little ones had been snatched away, as three or four even have been from other families, I am ashamed of myself that I dare to sigh, that I am lonely and friendless here, or that I have anything to complain of. It has been no small trial, however, to pass through such anxieties in so remote a place, with George gone; while on the other hand I have been most thankful that he has been spared all the details of the children's ailments, and permitted once more to feel himself about his Master's business. Providence most plainly called him to Paris, and I trust he will stay there and get good till we can join him. But I feel uneasy about him, too, lest his anxiety about the children should hang as a dead weight on his not quite rested head and heart. At any rate, I shall be tolerably glad to see him again at the end of our two months' separation. How I should love to drop in on you to-night! Doesn't it seem as if one could if one tried hard enough! Well, good night to you.

To Mrs. Smith, Genevrier, Jan. 29, 1860.

I believe George has written you about our private hospital. He had not been gone to Paris forty-eight hours when G. was taken sick; that was a month ago, and I have only tasted the air twice in all that time. G. had the disease lightly. M., poor little darling, was much sicker than he was. It is a fortnight since she was taken and she hardly sits up at all; an older child would be in bed, but little ones never will give up if they can help it; I suppose it is because they can be held in the arms and rocked, and carried about. I have passed through some most anxious hours on account of M., and it seems little less than a miracle that she is still alive. The baby is well, and he is a nice little rosy fellow. It was a dreadful disappointment to us to be detained here instead of going to Paris. I felt that I couldn't live longer in such entire solitude; and just then, lo and behold, George was whisked off and I was shut up closer than ever. It is a great comfort to me that he got off just when he did, and has had grace to stay away; on the other hand, I need not say how his absence has aggravated my cares, how solitary the season of anxiety has been, and how, at times, my faith and courage have been put to their utmost stretch. The whole thing has been so evidently ordered and planned by God that I have not dared to complain; but, my dear child, if you had come in now and then with a little of your strengthening talk, I can't deny I should have been most thankful. It has been pretty trying for George to hear such doleful accounts from home, but I hope the worst is over, and that we shall be the wiser and the better for this new lesson of life. Dr. Curchod's rule is the same as Dr. Buck's—forty days confinement to one room; so we have a month more to spend here. I am afraid I am writing a gloomy letter. If I am, you must try to excuse me and say, "Poor child, she isn't well, and she hasn't had any good sleep lately, and she's tired, and I don't believe she means to grumble." Do so much for me, and I'll do as much for you sometime. I hear your husband has taken up a Bible-class. It is perfectly shocking. Does he want to kill himself, or what ails him? The pleasantest remembrance we shall have of this place is his visit.... Our doctor and his family stand out as bright lights in this picture; he has been like a brother in sympathy and kindness. We shall never forget it. God has been so good to you and to me in sparing our children when assailed by so fearful a disease, that we ought to love Him better than we ever did. I do so want my weary solitude to bear that fruit.

* * * * *

IV.

Paris. Sight-seeing. A sick Friend. London and its Environs. The Queen and Prince Albert. The Isle of Wight. Homeward.

On the 20th of February the family gladly bade adieu to Switzerland and set out for Paris, arriving there on the morning of the 22d. Mrs. Prentiss was overjoyed to find herself once more in the world. On the 23d she wrote to Mrs. Smith:

We have got here safe and sound with our little batch of invalids. They bore the journey very well and are heartily glad to get into the world again. I am chock-full of worldliness. All I think of is dress and fashion, and, on the whole, I don't know that you are worth writing to, as you were never in Paris and don't know the modes, and have perhaps foolishly left off hoops and open sleeves. I long, however, to hear from you and your new babby, and will try to keep a small spot swept clear of finery in my heart of hearts, where you can sit down when you've a mind. Our little fellow is getting to be a sweet-looking baby, with what his nurse calls a most "gracieuse" smile—if you can guess what kind of a smile that is. But he is getting teeth and is looking delicate and soft, and your Hercules will knock him down, I know.

But Paris was far from fulfilling to her or to the children the bright anticipations with which it had been looked forward to from lonely Genevrier. The weather could hardly have been worse; the house soon became another hospital; and sight-seeing was a task. Friends, however, soon gathered about her, and by their hospitality and little kindnesses, relieved the tedium of the weary days.

To Mrs. Stearns, Paris, March 27, 1860.

We pass many lonely hours in this big city, and often long for you and Mr. Stearns to drop in, or for a chance to run in to see dear mother. Getting nearer home makes it attractive. It works in the natural life just as it does in the spiritual in that respect. The weather is dreadful and has been for five months—scarcely one cheery day in that whole time. What with this and the children's ill-health, I should not wonder if we left Paris as ignorant of its beauties as when we came. But I hope we shall not let that worry us too much, but rather be thankful that, bad as things are, they are not so bad as they might be. Our sympathies are greatly excited now for the Rev. Mr. Little, formerly of Bangor, who is in Paris—alone, friendless, and sick. If we could by any miraculous power stretch our scanty accommodations, we should certainly take him home and nurse him till his wife could be got here. You know, perhaps, that Mrs. Little is a daughter of Dr. Cornelius; and, when I recall the love and honor I was taught to feel towards him when I was a little girl, my heart quite yearns towards her, especially in this time of fearful anxiety about her husband. How insignificant my own trials look to me, when I think of the sorrow which is probably before her.

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