October 22

Quite a fine day. James Burnham came down after Pert this morning. Cousin Hattie Burnham is ill with diphtheria. I called on Mr. and Mrs. Bliss this forenoon; am to stay at Nate Harrington's tonight. Carl Wilson came up from Montpelier about 8 o'clock p. m. Several of the girls came in in the evening and we had a pleasant time.

Thursday, October 22nd.—Took on from convoys all night in pitch darkness—a very bad load this time; going to go septic; swelling under the bandages. There was a fractured spine and a malignant œdema, both dying; we put these two off to-day at St Omer. We came straight away in the morning, and are now nearly back at Boulogne.

October Twenty-Second

Oh, the rolling, rolling prairies, and the grasses waving, waving
Like green billows 'neath the gulf breeze in the perfumed purple gloam!
Oh, my heart is heavy, heavy, and my eyes are craving, craving
For the fertile plains and forests of my far-off Texas home.
Judd Mortimer Lewis
(Longing for Texas )

 

Samuel Houston inaugurated President of Texas, 1836

 

 

October 22

October 22, 1856.--We must learn to look upon life as an apprenticeship to a progressive renunciation, a perpetual diminution in our pretensions, our hopes, our powers, and our liberty. The circle grows narrower and narrower; we began with being eager to learn everything, to see everything, to tame and conquer everything, and in all directions we reach our limit--non plus ultra. Fortune, glory, love, power, health, happiness, long life, all these blessings which have been possessed by other men seem at first promised and accessible to us, and then we have to put the dream away from us, to withdraw one personal claim after another to make ourselves small and humble, to submit to feel ourselves limited, feeble, dependent, ignorant and poor, and to throw ourselves upon God for all, recognizing our own worthlessness, and that we have no right to anything. It is in this nothingness that we recover something of life--the divine spark is there at the bottom of it. Resignation comes to us, and, in believing love, we reconquer the true greatness.

October 22, 1863

Thursday. We slept late, and when we came out, our host was waiting for us, to say that breakfast was ready, and would not listen to our going away until we had partaken of it with him. We sat down to a beefsteak breakfast, with all the extras. I did not think I was so hungry, but the smell of the victuals made us both ravenous. Our host seemed to enjoy seeing us eat and thanked us heartily for making him the visit, going so far as to say that in case the boat did not come that day he would be glad to entertain us again. In books and in other ways I had heard of southern hospitality and I now know it was all true. I wonder if it was ever put to a severer test.

We went down to the landing and found a guard of soldiers from an Illinois regiment, keeping watch over a quantity of sugar and molasses which the government has confiscated, and which the boat was expected to take away when it came. They invited us to make one of their party until the boat came, and we gladly accepted the invitation. They thought we had risked our lives in going to stay with Mr. Nelson, and eating food in his house, but we did not believe it, and did all we could to make them think better of him than they had so far done. The guards shot a hog, which made fodder for our folks for the day, together with the government rations we already had. The day passed and another night came on and still no boat. We crawled in wherever we could get and slept as best we could for the mosquitoes, which seems determined to eat us alive.

71. Abigail Adams

Braintree, 22 October, 1775.

Mr. Lothrop called here this evening, and brought me yours of the 1st of October,—a day which will ever be remembered by me, for it was the most distressing one I ever experienced. That morning I rose, and went into my mother's room, not apprehending her so near her exit; went to her bed with a cup of tea in my hand, and raised her head to give it to her. She swallowed a few drops, gasped, and fell back upon her pillow, opening her eyes with a look that pierced my heart, and which I shall never forget; it was the eagerness of a last look;

"And oh, the last sad silence of a friend!"

Yet she lived till five o'clock that day, but I could not be with her. My dear father prayed twice beside her bed that day. God Almighty was with him and supported him that day, and enabled him to go through the services of it. It was his communion day; he had there a tender scene to pass through—a young granddaughter, Betsey Cranch, joining herself to the church, and a beloved wife dying, to pray for. Weeping children, weeping and mourning parishioners all round him, for every eye streamed, his own heart almost bursting as he spoke. How painful is the recollection, and yet how pleasing!

I know I wound your heart. Why should I? Ought I to give relief to my own by paining yours? Yet

"the grief, that cannot speak,Whispers the o'erfraught heart, and bids it break."

My pen is always freer than my tongue. I have written many things to you that I suppose I never could have talked. My heart is made tender by repeated affliction; it never was a hard heart. The death of Patty came very near me, having lived four years with me under my care. I hope it will make me more continually mindful and watchful of all those who are still committed to my charge. 'T is a great trust; I daily feel more and more of the weight and importance of it, and of my own inability. I wish I could have more of the assistance of my dearest friend, but these perilous times swallow him up.

Mr. Lothrop has given me this account of the demand upon Falmouth. A man-of-war and two tenders went down, and sent to the inhabitants to demand their arms and require them to stand neuter. They required time to consider; they had until nine o'clock the next day, which time they employed in removing the women, children, and the rest of their most valuable effects, out of danger, when they sent their answer in the negative. Upon this, the enemy began a cannonade, and were continuing it when the express came away. Hichborne [108] and another gentleman got out of town in a small boat, one of the foggy nights we have had this week. I have not heard what intelligence he brings. Another person says that Howe enlarged all the prisoners but Lovell, and he would not come out.

I have since seen the Paraphrase,[109] as it is called; but 't is as low as the mock oration, though no reflection upon your private character, further than immoderately whipping your scholars when you kept school, a crime any one will acquit you of who knows you. As a specimen of the wit and humor it contained I will give you the title: "A Paraphrase upon the Second Epistle of John the Roundhead, to James, the Prolocutor of the Rump Parliament. Dear Devil," etc. I had it, but it was when I was in so much distress that I cared nothing about it. I will mention, when I see you, the foolish conjectures of some who want always to be finding out something extraordinary in whatever happens.

I hope to hear often from you, which is all the alleviation I have in your absence, and is, next to seeing you, the greatest comfort of your

Portia.

Footnotes:

[108]This was the person in whose possession the letters were found, when taken prisoner on his way from Philadelphia to Boston.

[109]The British officers and the loyal Americans shut up in Boston seem to have amused their hours of idleness with such pastime as they could make out of ridicule of the language and action of the patriots. The productions alluded to in the text were leveled at Mr. Adams, on account of the intercepted letters. No copy of them seems to have been preserved.