Project Gutenberg's The World As I Have Found It, by Mary L. Day Arms

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Title: The World As I Have Found It
       Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl

Author: Mary L. Day Arms

Release Date: February 7, 2005 [EBook #14963]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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SEQUEL TO Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl.



By Rev. Charles F. Deems, LL.D.

112 West Baltimore Street.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

[Transcriber's Note: Inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation have been retained as in the original.]




Mrs. Arms has asked me to write an introduction to her book. It hardly seems to need it. The title-page shows that it was written by one who is blind. It is a sequel to another volume. That volume has been widely sold, and all who read it will, I am sure, have some desire to see how the stream of the life of its writer has been flowing since her first book was written. Her patient perseverance under privations has won her a large circle of personal friends, who will take pleasure in procuring and preserving this fresh memento of the Blind Girl.

Such a book as this has a value which, probably, has not occurred to its author. She has put on record the phenomena of her life as she has recollected them, with great simplicity, merely for the entertainment of her readers, without attaching any importance to the value which every such memoir has in the department of science. But it is just from the study of such phenomena as these that the students in mental and moral philosophy learn the laws of mind and the operations of a human soul under a divine, moral government. As a matter of taste we might omit the writer's description of her husband, whom she never yet has seen, p. 45, and her account of her love affairs, p. 49; and if we had discretionary editorship, and the volume had been written by one having always had her sight, we should unhesitatingly exclude such passages. But, as the records of the impressions, consciousnesses and general mental phenomena of a blind girl in love, they stand to be, perhaps, quoted hereafter in some abstruse scientific treatise, or bloom out in some perennial poem.

There is an immediate practical usefulness in such a book as this. It has its wholesome lesson for the young. It shows what strength of character and vigor of purpose will accomplish under even extraordinary embarrassments. The young lady had a hard early life. She had neither friends nor money nor sight, but she unwhiningly took up the task of taking care of herself, and discharged it so nobly as to make for herself a wide circle of friends, and keep for herself that sense of self-reliance as toward man, and of faith as toward God, which are worth more than all the dirty dollars that wickedness can give to weakness.

Let our young women who are in straitened circumstances, in circumstances that seem absolutely exclusive of all hope of retaining virtue and keeping life, read this book and its predecessor, and pluck up faith and hope. Let all our young ladies, daughters of loving parents, daughters who have no care for the morrow, daughters of delicious ease and happy opportunity, read this book, and then let their consciences ask them how they are to carry their idleness to be examined at the judgment sent of Christ, in contrast with this blind girl's industry, fidelity and perseverance.

New York, 4th July, 1878.


"Warriors and statesmen have their meed of praise,
And what they do, or suffer, men record;
While the long sacrifice of woman's days
Passes without a thought, without a word:
And many a holy struggle for the sake
Of duty, sternly, faithfully fulfil'd;
For which the anxious soul must watch and wait,
Goes by unheeded as the summer wind,
And leaves no memory, and no trace behind!
Yet, it may be, more lofty courage dwells
In one meek heart that braves an adverse fate,
Than his whose ardent soul indignant swells,
Warmed by the fight, or cheered through high debate.
The soldier dies surrounded; could he live
Alone to suffer, and alone to strive?"

So was rendered the sad soul-music of one of the legion,

"Who learned in sorrow
What they taught in song."

and the weird words have been echoed by the voice of many a woman all along, whose weary wanderings have burned the sacrificial fires; amid the ashes of whose dead hopes the embers have flickered and faded only to rekindle the lurid, lustrous light of added, and still added offerings. There, waiting and watching the deep tracery "upon the sands beside the sounding sea," find wave after wave wash away the mystic hand-writing.

The ebbing tide carries afar the ships freighted with aching, anguished hearts; when borne upon the swell of the flowing sea, come the swift sails of Argosies richly laden with hope, full with fruition.

Within the heart of all there lies deeply imbedded the "Black Drop" of which the Mahometan legend tells, and which the angel revealed to the Prophet of Allah. 'Tis in aching anguish this drop must be probed and purified, to be healed only through the endless eloquence of duty done.

The sightless eyes have vivid visions. Theirs is the light in darkness which stirred the soul of a Milton with a "gift divine;" inspired a Homer with the "fire and frenzy" which crowned an Iliad and an Odyssey, the master pieces of Epic verse; gave to the antique and traditional literature of the Celtic race its meteoric brilliancy, and produced the weird, wondrous sublimity of an Ossian.

All who have read the Invocation to Light by the blind authoress, Mrs. De Kroyft, must have realized the luminous light of a soul sublimated by sorrow and swelling and soaring in eloquent strains.

'Tis but a simple song I must sing, a bird-note amid cathedral tones; but may not its minstrelsy meet the heart and search the soul of many a sorrowing one, or rise like the song of the nightingale to the throne of Him who sees the lives enthralled?

If this little lesson of life can find a single searcher for the truth it tells, or bear on the breath of the breeze "one soft Æolian strain," may I not hope that it may help to swell the harp-notes of the heavenly harmonies?


"I remember, I remember
How my childhood fleeted by—
The mirth of its December,
And the warmth of its July."

In a former volume I have recounted the varied scenes of an eventful childhood, whose auroral dawn was tinted with the rose-hue and perfumed with the breath of light-winged moments; even as the Goddess of the Morning ushers in the new-born day with her flower-laden chariot, and the bright Morning Star lends its light ere it sinks under the horizon.

Having my birth on the rich soil of a Southern land, and cradled under its tropical skies and sunny smiles, I was early transplanted to colder climes and ruder blasts, yet through the nurture of a mother's gentle hand, and the ministrations of a loving band of sisters and brothers, whose talismanic touch toned every note, softened every sorrow and heightened every hope, I could but bloom like an Alpine flower in its bed of snow.

But in the golden chain there came to be, in time, a "missing link;" the mother's life went out, and from the darkened fireside vanished the little flock, scattered through various ways to various destinies.

My own was a slippery path to tread, and ofttimes led my weary feet into the shadow, and gloom, and darkness. Through sickness, neglect and maltreatment came all too soon "sorrow's crown of sorrow;" when over the young life fell a dark pall, and eyes so used to light no longer held the prisoned sunbeams, and passed forever under the relentless bond and cruel curse of blindness. Then indeed my soul grew dark! And could my restless eyes wait in thraldom for the dawn of an eternal day, and must my wandering feet pass through the "valley of the shadow," ere I could see the light "around the Great White Throne?"

Through a singular complication of circumstances I was led to the home of a sister in Chicago, from whom I had long been separated; and by equally singular ways I was also there reunited to three of my brothers (Charles, William and Howard). Then my veiled vision could not shut out the loved lineaments living in the pictured halls of memory—the vision of a love-hallowed home, and a mother's face crowning all. Scenes and faces gone, passed like a panorama before my mind's eye, and

"So the blessed train passed by me,
But the vision was sealed upon my soul."

Through the agency of family friends I returned to my birth-place, and with strange and mingled emotions was welcomed back to Baltimore, with kind greetings from relatives and friends. Some had passed beyond the portal of earthly existence, and others unexpectedly reappeared, among whom was my father, whose face I could not see, but whose emotion betokened great anguish at the sight of his blind daughter. Oh how many memories must have passed through his mind, as he clasped to his heart his chastened, motherless child, and, while other loves and other ties were his, "the shades of friends departed" as told by Longfellow must have entered a weird train, and amid other angel footsteps must have come—

"That being beauteous
Who unto his youth was given;
More than all things else to love him,
And is now a saint in Heaven."

Notwithstanding so many former attempts at the restoration of my sight, another effort was made, involving a trip to New York, where a most painful operation was undergone. But, alas! although a brief period was accorded me, in which I saw with rapture objects around me, it was only to be shut out into utter and hopeless sightlessness. As the wounded hare seeks some cover remote from the human ken, so did my sinking soul seek the solace of solitude, where for twenty-four hours I searched my nature to its depths, and made resolves for my future course, known only to God and pitying angels. They alone comforted me then, and they have sustained and soothed through every succeeding trial!


"The saddest day hath gleams of light,
The darkest wave hath bright foam near it.
And, twinkles o'er the cloudiest night,
Some solitary star to cheer it."

In the year 1855, my heart still heavy with its burden of blindness, I entered the Baltimore Institution for the Blind. With kind friends to aid and cheer me, high hopes, rich resolutions and ambitious aims to inspire, I commenced the course of study which was to fit me for my new avocations. Ofttimes was I found in the deep valley of humiliation, where I sat me down and sighed; and in many a "Garden of Gethsemane" were seen the trickling "tears of blood." The cross and the crucifixion came, but afterwards came the resurrection of dead hopes and angels bearing the crown.

I must say with undying gratitude to all connected with the Institution, that it is to them I am indebted for the might and the mastery; for while many a daisy was crushed in my path, many a rose bloomed upon a thorny stem, and these kind ones led me at last to the sun-crowned mountain-tops and clear blue skies.

After being in school for three years, without consulting with any friend, I wrote, with much difficulty, a letter with pin-type, to Governor Hicks, asking a three years extension of time. I preserved secrecy in this matter in the fear of disappointment, and determined if it came to bear it alone. One day a professor called me to him and said: "You have written to the Governor, and his reply has come." With anxious, nervous silence, I "waited for the verdict," and when it came in an affirmative, how happy and joyous I felt! How determined to push on to the bright goal before me!

Meantime I had written a history of my life, and through assistance from ever kind friends had succeeded in securing its publication. A copy of it was sent to the Governor, as a tiny token of my appreciation of his kindness. I afterward accompanied a delegation from our school to Annapolis, where we gave an entertainment. The Governor, coming up to our little group, said, in cheerful tones, "I am going to see if I can recognize the one who wrote the book." And in pursuance of this announcement, easily selected me, and with kindly tones and hearty grasp of the hand, spoke many words of comfort, which are still carefully held in my casket of gems as

"Treasures guarded with jealous care
And kept as sacred tokens."

Continuing my course of studies, I graduated in 1860 with, I hope, a fair degree of honor to myself and my instructors. Just previous to this time there came among our many visitors a good friend from Loudon county, Virginia, named Richard Henry Taylor, who promised if I would visit his home he would furnish me every facility for the sale of my book; and of him I shall have more to say hereafter.

Now commenced the real struggle of life. Alone I must brave the world, and with patience bear its frowns or enjoy its smiles, as the case might be. Alone I must earn my bread.

Meagre were many times the means and scanty was the allowance, yet they came in the hour of need as manna in the wilderness, ofttimes wet with the dews of heavenly love; and ever, in my laborious pilgrimage, I have been allowed to stand upon Mount Gerizim, to bless the people and the "rulers of the land."


"Let us then be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

Deeming it proper to inaugurate my work in our nation's capital, I left my "Alma Mater" with all the trepidation of a child going out from the home-roof, and rushed into the exciting and excited vortex, where centralize our national interests, and where, as it were, throbs the great national heart, the city of Washington. I was kindly received at the house of my cousin, Mrs. Reese, in which sanctum my heart took fresh hope and courage. This was during the administration of Mr. Buchanan, and I first repaired to the bachelor President, who received me in his private audience-room with all of his characteristic and chivalrous courtesy. Taking both my hands in his, he said, with deep emotion—"I am so sorry for your deep affliction, but so glad that you have had the energy to write a book and the courage to make it a resource for support. I pray that God may bless and prosper you, and I know he will."

After this expression of his faith he showed his works by buying a book, for which he paid me two dollars and a half, more than double its price. So spoke, so did, the noble man, in whose heart was enshrined the memory of one cherished love, the idolized object of which precluded the possibility of a second affection, while the grand heart of the statesman went out in kindness and sympathy to all.

My second call was at one of the government offices, where my nervous excitement rendered me so nearly speechless that I could only silently and tremblingly tender a book to a young man who was one of the clerks. Seeing the movement, he asked:

"Do you wish, to sell the book?" to which I nodded an affirmative.

He turned jocularly toward me, and asked: "Were you ever in love?"

Speech suddenly followed in the wake of offended dignity, and I promptly replied: "Sir, I try to love every one."

"But," said he, in soaring strain, "suppose a young man should say to you—'You are the cherished idol of my worship, the one sweet flower blooming in my pathway, etc., etc.' what would you think?"

I quickly responded: "Sir, I should think he had more poetry than good sense in his composition."

Pleased, and apparently thoughtful, he turned from me, and going among the other employees, returned with the money for a dozen copies of my book in his hand, and on his lips a penitent and evidently heartfelt assurance that he meant no harm or insult by his words, humbly craved my pardon for the offense, and closed by wishing me many God speeds.

My next effort was in the Treasury Department, where the first person I approached exclaimed:

"Mary Day! where did you come from?" This exclamation was followed by many other expressions of joy and surprise. Suddenly the loving arm of a young girl encircled me. Kisses fell upon my forehead, cheek and lips, and words of endearment came in copious pearly showers. At the first lull in the sweet confusion I asked: "Who are you all?"

The first proved to be a brother of Mrs. Cook, of Michigan, who had been so kind to me in the past, and the second was her daughter, who rapidly recounted by-gone scenes, and lovingly lingered upon the many cherished memories my presence had evoked. They took me to their home in the city, and lavished upon me all the kindness and attention love could suggest. Among the many reminiscences came the one sad story of the father's death. In one of the darkest, sternest hours of my childhood he had held out to me the kind, paternal hand, and welcomed me to the protection of his own roof, and the story of his death deeply interested me. It was in substance this:

The family had returned from some festive scene on Christmas eve, and the father, leaving them to stable his horses, was so long absent as to arouse anxiety. They sought him everywhere, but found him not. After a night of untold suspense the morning revealed to them the shocking sight of his dead body lying in the corner of an adjoining lot, his face smiling and peaceful in death, his arms folded and limbs outstretched. He had been cruelly gored by a creature he had fed and fostered, cherishing it as a pet among his domestic animals, and it had turned upon him as many so-called human creatures repay those who have protected and loved them!

They knew not whether his wounds or the intense cold had been the final cause of death, but such was the sad dawning of their Christmas day, and so, amid the joy of my reunion with those dear friends, came the sad thought that—

Ever amid life's roses
Will the sombre cypress be twined,
And wherever a joy reposes,
A dream of sorrow we find.

I feel it due to the various government officials at Washington to give them an expression of gratitude for the great facilities afforded me in the way of permits to canvass in the many public departments, knowing their strict rules and rigid restrictions in this regard.

I was volunteered an entrée everywhere, from the humblest government office to the Capitol and White House, and in each and all was courteously received. In subsequent years I had also great reason for gratitude to Mr. Colfax, who not only gave his own patronage, but presented me to Congress, the members of which vied with each other in liberality.


"Thus, with delight, we linger to survey
The promised joys of life's unmeasured way;
Thus, from afar, each dim discovered scene
More pleasing seems than all the rest hath been;
And every form that fancy can repair
From dark oblivion, glows divinely there."

My nature, in its first struggle with the world, shrank, like Mimosa, from every human touch; but the kind words of love and gentle acts of kindness already received transformed and ripened within me a more trusting and hopeful character, and I almost unconsciously accepted as immutable and inevitable the great law of compensation.

It is well that it was in the season of youth that my career began, that season which Jean Paul so poetically designates as "The Festival Day of Life," in which period friendship dwells as yet in a serenely open Grecian Temple, not, as in later years, in a narrow Gothic Chapel.

My heart accepting as genuine these pure expressions of friendship, I turned from Washington toward Virginia, and after a visit at Leesburg, in which I had good success, I wrote to Mr. Taylor, the friend I have before mentioned, asking him to meet me at Hamilton, which point was reached by the old-time stage-route. Some doubt may have entered my mind as to his remembrance of the promise to meet me, all of which must have been dispelled when, upon the arrival of the stage, a cheery, gentle voice, in a tone which would have filled the darkest moment of doubt with the sun-ray of trust, exclaimed: "How does thee do, Mary?" Miss Rachel Weaver, my companion, was a bright-eyed, sunny-hearted, English girl, whose presence irradiated the atmosphere around her. She was presented to him, and received the same quiet yet cordial greeting. His carriage was in waiting for us, and a refreshing drive of three miles brought us to his cozy home. The reception given us by his excellent wife was characterized by all the depth and warmth of her expanded and exalted nature, and we were at once domiciled as truly "at home."

The next day was the beginning of their Quarterly Meeting, and the impressions of a life-time can never efface the varied pictures stamped upon memory by each phase of that religious gathering. Not in a gorgeous chapel of Gothic architecture, frescoed nave and highly wrought transept; no stained glass windows of rainbow hue; no gorgeously draped altar or elaborate organ; but in a simple wooden meeting-house, upon a gently sloping grassy seclusion, came the feet of those "who went up to the worship of God." No robed priest with consecrated head was there, but all were privileged to express with the lips the heart's devotion.

Mr. Taylor carried to this meeting a number of my little books, and I am safe in saying that each member of that community bought one of them.

At noon we partook of a collation upon the lovely green sward, where sweet words solaced and kind hands tendered me hospitality. Prominent among the guests was Mrs. Hoag, a lady of lovely character and cultured mind, who insisted upon having us accompany her to her home, a mansion rich and elegant in its appointments, and, above all, its halls resounding with the music of innocent mirth, and hung with the "golden tapestry" of love.

We remained in this community four weeks, a sweet "season of refreshment," which so gently glided away that we awoke, like those aroused from peaceful sleep and dear dreams of pleasure, renewed and buoyant.

Our farewell was not unmingled with sad regret at parting, but upon my return to Baltimore my friends failed not to note the favorable change in my physical and mental condition. So talismanic is the touch of love, so inspiring and life giving! and 'tis to this dear community of Louden county, Virginia, I shall ever trace the first impetus which has given momentum to all the subsequent movements of my life.


"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo:
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few;
On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead."

After a short period of reunion with friends in Baltimore, I resolved, notwithstanding the agitated condition of the country, to wend my way southward, for I restlessly yearned for an active continuation of duty.

Miss Weaver having other engagements, it became necessary for me to seek another traveling companion. Trusting to the good fortune which had hitherto favored me in that regard, I engaged the services of Miss Mary Chase, who proved a valuable attendant, combining in her character so many graces and endowments, possessing, among her numerous attractions, a voice of rare, rich and mellow flexibility.

My uncle, Mr. Heald, having an interest in the Bay Line of steamers, his son, my cousin, Howard Heald, attended me to the steamer Belvidere, introduced me to the captain, and took every precautionary measure to enhance the pleasure of my trip. Subsequent events proved how salutary were these efforts. The captain did all that polite attention and study of my comfort could suggest, attended us to the table, pointed out the workings of the engine, the complications of the machinery and propelling power of the steamer, which so airily and so gracefully "walked the waters," directed attention to every object of note on the route and their charm of historic interest, thus making the trip one replete with instruction. Miss Chase, with the melody of a song-bird, drew around us a circle of charmed listeners, and her voice became a source of constant and soothing solace to me.

Arriving at the city of Richmond at the untimely hour of four o'clock in the morning, at the solicitation of the captain we remained on board until a later and more convenient time, when we found the streets of the city alive with soldiers and filled with sad sounds of sword and musketry, the first low reverberation of the din of war, the opening of the battle-song, whose weird refrain has been echoed by so many sorrowing ones, its mad music adapted to the thousands of crushed and broken hearts!

The little war-cloud, at first "no larger than a man's hand," was growing deeper and darker, and the stern rumble of the conflict becoming irrepressible. Every avenue in the way of business was closed, and being told that if I desired remaining north of Mason and Dixon's line I must go at once, I retraced my steps, and returned by the James river, since so memorable in the history of our civil conflict, and sought shelter in Baltimore, where I remained for the winter; and while so many relatives and friends would have welcomed me to their homes, I felt impelled to accept an invitation to the institution in which I had been educated, and could enjoy the association of those who had first directed my tottering steps, and my schoolmates, who were friends and co-workers.


"But if chains are woven shining,
Firm as gold and fine as hair,
Twisting round the heart, and twining.
Binding all that centres there
In a knot that, like the olden,
May be cut, but ne'er unfolden;
Would not something sharp remain
In the breaking of the chain?"

Spring came with its "ethereal mildness" and budding beauty, and the ties which bound me to the Monumental City must, although with convulsive effort, be broken.

Miss Chase was but "a treasure lent," her sweet, loving nature having won the heart of one who made her his life companion; hence it became necessary for me to find another to fill her place. She came in the person of Miss Kate Fowler, a lovely young girl of seventeen years, who possessed great charms of person, mind and soul, as the sequel will show.

We traveled together throughout Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, meeting with greater success than we could have hoped for while the din of war was raging, always making sufficient for our support.

At Hollidaysburgh, Penn., I learned of the presence of General Anderson, and resolved that I would offer a tangible evidence of my appreciation of the "Hero of Fort Sumter." Entwining one of my little books with red, white and blue ribbons, I sent it to him with a little note, asking its acceptance from the authoress, a Baltimore lady, in behalf of her native city, then under a cloud, the Massachusetts troops having been stoned by a mob collected from various points, and for which she bore the undeserved odium. These I sent in their tri-colored dress, expecting only a silent reception. But, as I sat at dinner in my hotel, there came a singular and unexpected response in the person of the General himself. He was introduced by the landlord, and was accompanied by his little daughter, holding in her hand my token, as she smilingly approached me in her fairy-like beauty. A delightful chat ensued, and an urgent request upon his part that I should visit Cresson Springs, to which he had resorted with his family in order to recuperate his health, shattered by the protracted and gallant defense of one of our national citadels.

With a kind "good bye" he left, and as I passed out of the dining-room door I received an evidence of his great delicacy in a token he would not publicly tender. The landlord handed me a box from him containing a handsome plain gold ring, ever since cherished as a memento; and, although worn by time, there is still legible the name engraved within this shining circlet, even that of General Anderson.

After canvassing Altoona I went to Cresson Springs and was no sooner registered than I received a card from the General. Meeting me in the parlor, he gave me a cordial welcome, after which he said: "Now I am going to assist you in your sales." He drew together three of the parlor tables, and, taking one hundred of my books, he placed them thereon, together with specimens of my bead work, which he artistically arranged in the national colors. It needed but a wave of the magician's wand, for such he seemed, to evoke the spirits of generosity and love, and through these all of my volumes vanished, as well as much of the bead work. At General Anderson's request I took my work to the parlor, and amid a group of wondering ones, many of whom were members of his own family, I showed them how the blind could deftly weave these little trinkets, the fashioning of the "bijou" baskets needing no sight to arrange the colors, with celerity and skill. I was also, at his request, seated at his family table, and time will never erase the memory of words which fell from the lips of the warrior, as gently, as lovingly, as if a woman's voice were breathing words of comfort and affection. In after time, when tidings of his death were borne from a foreign land, when the perfumed breath of sunny France received the last sigh of our hero, I dropped many a tear, which truly welled up from the depths of a sorrowing heart.

In the winter I made Philadelphia my head-quarters, stopping at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mack, both of whom were blind when married, and who both possess great musical talent, which they utilized by teaching piano music, thus earning a handsome support and purchasing the home they then occupied, a tasteful, comfortable domicile. It was well for me I selected this spot, for it afterward proved "a City of Refuge." I was soon prostrated with a severe typhoid fever, and was so kindly cared for by this dear family, who, by tender ministration, nursed the little spark of hope, and brought me from death unto life. Their two sweet children and their musical prattle will ever be recalled as illuminated pictures upon the red-lettered page of life's history.

Of the tender care of Miss Fowler too much cannot be said. It was to her assiduous attention I was also, in a great degree, indebted for my recovery.

During this illness I could also number two other ministering spirits, Dr. Seiss, a Lutheran minister, who constantly visited me, and gave me many a word of comforting support, and Professor Brooks, who was called to my bedside as medical attendant.

He had been for many years an eminent allopathic physician, and was then a professor in the Homeopathic College of Philadelphia.

He also faithfully and unremittingly ministered to me during the many weeks of fever and prostration.

When I was almost well I one day said to him: "Doctor, what do I owe you?" The sweet serenity of his face merged into a benevolent beam, and in the vernacular of the Society of Friends, of which he was a member, he said: "Mary, Rachel and I have been talking it over, and we have concluded that thee will be too delicate to travel this winter, and will need all thy money; so thee does not owe me anything."

Choking with grateful emotion, as soon as I could command control I said: "Doctor, I could not expect you to give me such kind attention without remuneration, but since you have so willed it, I can only say I thank you for having saved my life." Whereupon there came the same luminous look, and the gentle voice said: "Mary, it was not I that saved thy life; it was thy Heavenly Father."

As soon as I was well enough to ride he made arrangements for me to visit his house. I took the street car, but by pre-arranged plan, he met me at his door, lifted me from the car, and carried me in his arms into a luxurious bed-chamber, where I was met by the sweet-voiced Rachel, who gave me a reviving draught of rare old wine, and in every way studied my wants during the day's visit, after which the Doctor drove me home in his carriage.

How do our hearts go out in gratitude to such true and loving natures, and how fondly do we recall in after years the sweet sounds of sympathy, whose melody pervades life's measured music.

Once again I found myself in Baltimore, where I received a letter from my brother William, urging me to spend the winter at his home in Pecatonica, Ill. This, together with a meeting with my cousin Sammy Heald, determined me to go West. My cousin was about to visit Iowa City, Iowa, where dwelt his betrothed, and he offered to pay all my traveling expenses if I would accompany him. The temptation of seeing one from whom there had been an eight years separation made my cousin's entreaties irresistible, and I yielded, receiving from him all the devoted attendance his kind nature could dictate. So, after the lapse of so many eventful years, I turned my face westward. I spent the winter at the home of my brother, and shall never forget his kindness and that of his family, as well as other residents of Pecatonica, who did so much to lighten the leaden-winged hours, which, in a little hamlet, drag so slowly in comparison with the din and bustle of city life, and the excitement of business and travel.


"So where'er I turn my eyes,
Back upon the days gone by,
Saddening thoughts of friends come o'er me;
Friends who closed their course before me,
Yet what links us friend to friend,
But that soul with soul can blend.
Love-like were those hours of yore,
Let us walk in soul once more."

The dreary winter had passed away, one in sad contrast with the mild southern season, and known only to those who have realized its storms and wind and snow.

The birds of spring were caroling their first songs of the season, and the white mantle of snow disappearing under the sun-rays. These tokens told me I must be "up and doing." Selecting a companion among the kind group of Pecatonica friends, Miss Sarah Rogers, a lady of sterling virtue and pronounced character, I went to Chicago. The war conflict being still at its height, I could do little in the way of book selling, but managed to dispose of sufficient bead work to be entirely self-sustaining. In my business route in Chicago I entered a millinery establishment, and was surprised by a greeting from the familiar voice of my sister Jennie, and they alone who are members of a scattered household can realize what must be such a meeting. In the lapse of years since our separation, our paths had so diverged that we had lost trace of each other. I sat down and eagerly listened to a recital of an experience fraught with varied incident. They had moved from Chicago to Monroe city, Missouri, a place which (as most will remember) received the baptism of fire, being utterly destroyed by the Northern troops. My sister not only lost her home, but was separated from her family for several days. As soon as they were gathered together, and had gained sufficient strength to travel, they returned without a resource to Chicago, there to begin life anew, my sister lending a helping hand by opening this business. Her daughter Cora, whom I had left a little girl, was then a graceful young lady, has since married and is living in the city.

My brothers, Charles and Howard, both entered the ranks of the army, returned with health impaired from service, and afterward yielded up their lives.

My father had settled with his new family at Farmington, Ill., and thither my brother Howard repaired when utterly broken down in health. No mother could have more tenderly and steadfastly ministered to him, than did my father's wife; she, her two bachelor brothers and a maiden sister attending him, in the lingering, languishing hours of suffering, and gently smoothing his "pathway to the grave."

I must not fail to mention among Chicago friends the name of Mrs. Dean, which has been written in letters of light upon a hallowed life page, standing out in bold relief upon the background of years. Her house was my home, and she was ever a fond mother to me.

Her lovely little daughter, Ada, has since matured to womanhood, assumed the relations and duties of a wife, and is now presiding over an elegant home in one of the flourishing towns of Iowa.


"And when the stream
Which overflowed the soul was passed away,
A consciousness remained that it had left.
Deposited upon the silent shore
Of memory, images and previous thoughts,
That shall not die and cannot be destroyed."

For three years longer lowered the lurking war-cloud, and I, among so many others, felt its baneful shadow. During this time I made Chicago my headquarters, taking occasional trips upon the various railroad routes converging there.

Finally I ventured upon a trip to Louisville, Ky., and, while it was my first introduction to that place, so cordially was I received by its citizens, so much was done to place me at ease, that I could but feel that I was revisiting a familiar spot and receiving the greetings of old-time friends; and, in spite of the heavy war pressure, it was financially the most successful visit I ever made, having sold five hundred volumes in the short space of two weeks, a fact in itself sufficient to exemplify the pervading spirit of its society, not one of whose members gave grudgingly, but with unhesitating and cheerful alacrity.

Thence I repaired to the "Blue Grass Country," the garden spot of Kentucky, and to the city of Lexington, the reputation of whose beautiful women has reached from sea to sea and from pole to pole, and the name of whose hero, Henry Clay, has made the heart of our nation throb with exultant pride. I was also a stranger there, yet I resolutely repaired to the Broadway, its principal hotel, trusting to the hospitality of its citizens. Nor did I "count without a host," for Mr. Lindsey, the proprietor, received me with courtly cordiality, installing us in an elegant suite of rooms upon the parlor floor, assigning us a servant in constant attendance, and urging us to feel at home. At breakfast the succeeding morning he greeted us with the pleasant tidings that he had already sold sixteen volumes of my book, after which he came to our apartment with a huge market basket, which he insisted upon filling with books, adding that I was too delicate to go out with them myself. This was a second time filled and emptied, and before dinner there was placed in my hands the proceeds of the sale of one hundred books.

My companion, amazed at his success, begged of him to let her know the secret, whereupon he said, laughingly: "Well, you see, I am a Democrat and a Free Mason. I talked politics to one, gave the society sign to another, and mixed a little religion with all. So I could not fail to succeed."

I could but feel, however, in spite of his jest, that his innate goodness was the Midas like touch, and that he bore in his own heart the "philosopher's stone," transforming all into gold.

It did not become necessary for me to appear in the streets of Lexington, yet I reaped a rich harvest of gain, and, above all, found a mine of wealth in the warm, true, loving, chivalric souls. Nor did the kindness cease at the fountain-head, for the little ones of Mr. Lindsey's family, laden with bead work, walked the streets of the city, trafficking for my benefit, returning with little hands empty of trinkets, but filled with money.

To crown all this kindness I was only allowed, upon leaving, to pay half the usual price for board, receiving letters of introduction to the Capital House, of Frankfort, whose proprietor extended the same liberality of terms, and whose citizens kindly and freely patronized me.

Going to Paris, I received so many favors that I never think of Kentucky and its noble sons and daughters without a thrill of loving gratitude.

Mr. Lindsey requested me to write to him upon my return, and, after the lapse of a long time, I did so, receiving a reply bearing the painful tidings that, by security debts, he had been bereft of all his earthly possessions, but was hopeful of regaining all. Surely such noble souls should not be left in the cloud while so many sordid, selfish natures sail upon a sea of success.


"Hope like the glimmering taper's light,
Adorns and cheers the way;
And still as darker grows the night,
Emits a cheerful ray."

Upon our return from Kentucky we were received by motherly Mrs Dean, with her ever warm welcome; but after the usual greeting a mischievous smile was seen lurking on her face, and she archly told us that she had a very attractive addition to her family, in the persons of two bachelor boarders. This served but as a pastime of the moment, and I gave it little further thought, until I was presented to Mr. Arms, a gentleman of medium height, head of noble mould and fine poise, dark hair and luxuriant beard, large brown eyes expressive and scintillating, quiet, unobtrusive manner and somewhat low voice.

Methinks that I can trace a meaning smile upon the faces of some of my readers at the detailed description of one they deem too blind to see. Not so, there is a strange mysterious masonry in human souls, and while

"Few are the hearts, whence one same touch,
Bids the sweet fountain flow,"

an indescribable consciousness of mutual interest came with this meeting; and while I little dreamed that this stranger would in after time stand by my side in the nearest and dearest relation of life, even that of a husband; his face, his form, his voice, his soul were all to me an open volume, which by that inner sight, I read in every minute detail, and then and there were all these photographed upon my heart.

Before I had taken my next leave of Chicago I had passed through all the phases of doubt, in which I deeply questioned my own heart, seeking there the solution of why I had inspired an interest in this stranger. Ever since my sickness in Philadelphia I had been a comparative invalid, devoting much of my time to the restoration of health, and above all the recovery of that sight which was still so dear to me, and so hard to relinquish without a struggle. So with my depleted strength, moderate means and somewhat darkened hopes, I seemed to myself a very unattractive object. Be this as it may, while no formal engagement bound us, we parted as acknowledged lovers.

Miss Rogers entered into business for herself, and I went unattended to Ypsilanti, Michigan, to be under the charge of a physician, who was to test the effect of electrical treatment as a means of restoration to sight. While he was deeply imbued with interest in my case, and gave me every care and attention while I remained under his roof, he was unfortunately wedded to one whose cold, unsympathetic suspicious nature made a pandemonium for all within the circle of her baleful influence. Of such unions Watts has truly said:

Logs of green wood that quench the coals,
Are married just like sordid souls;
With osiers for a bend.

To her I am indebted for many a dark and tearful hour, when not only my heart, but my eyes, needed perfect repose.

But beside this thorn-tree in the home garden bloomed for me, and for all, a beautiful flower, in the person of her niece, Josie McMath, who, with her loving, gentle touch, toned down the inequalities and smiled away the frowns.

She and I became fast friends, and afterward freely exchanged confidences, telling to each other a mutual tale of girlish hope and trustful affection.

During my stay in Ypsilanti I received a letter from Rachel Weaver, who had been bereft of her mother and had lost every means of support. She earnestly desired to return to me; and as the letter brought with it the magnetism of a former attachment, I wrote to her to come to me.

Finding the prospect of recovery through my present treatment hopeless, I went to Ionia, Michigan, repairing to the house of Dr. Baird, where I awaited tidings of Rachel Weaver, and whom I met at Detroit, when we returned to Chicago, where I was met by Mr. Arms, and who, soon as an opportunity offered, rehearsed to me the workings of his own mind during my absence.

He told me he had been seriously thinking over the matter, and after carefully reviewing his own feelings he could arrive at but one conclusion, viz, that I had become necessary to his happiness, and that he hoped for a mutual plan for speedy union.

He owned a farm in Iowa, which he proposed to sell, and invest the proceeds in a home in Chicago.

He also begged a promise that I would never make another attempt to recover my sight, which gave me an assurance that my blindness was no barrier to his love.

With a strange flutter of emotion my heart responded to his sweet assurances, and, as a weary child confidingly rests upon its mother's breast, so did my tired soul trustingly repose in the safe haven of his manly love, and cast its anchor there! safe amid the lowering clouds of life, serene amid its surging seas and wildest waves; for arching all was the Iris of bright-hued hope.


"Visions come and go;
Shapes of resplendent beauty round me throng;
From angels' lips I seem to hear the flow
Of soft and holy song."
"'Tis nothing now—
When heaven is opening on my sightless eyes,
When airs from paradise refresh my brow,
That earth in darkness lies."

Leaving Chicago I traveled via Michigan Southern Railroad to the little town of Jonesville, Michigan, the home of my childhood and the scene of so many fond and sad recollections.

Stopping at the village hotel for some preparation, I wended my way to the little cemetery. There was a picture in memory of a green hill-side slope, which, whenever the dark funeral day was recalled, formed a vivid and prominent feature of the scene; and so, upon that day, I found within the little "city of the silent" the identical hill-side, but, with the most scrutinizing search, failed to find the sacred mound holding the most hallowed form of the home group, and over which were shed the bitter tears of childhood's grief, more poignant and more lasting than we usually attribute to that period of life.

In the hope of eliciting some information I entered a cottage near by, which I found inhabited by aged people; but as they had been residents only seven years, and twenty-four years had elapsed since my mother was laid to rest, they could give me no light or aid, save the simple suggestion that there were a number of graves covered by the undergrowth of shrubbery, and perchance hers might be one of them. Accepting the possibility I found the one I sought, which could not fail to be recognized, for strange to say, time had dealt so gently that the slender picket fence was undecayed by his "effacing; lingers," and the name painted upon the little wooden head-board was distinctly visible. Grouped in quadrangular growth were four little trees, gracefully arching in a bowery drapery over the grave, as if nature in strange sympathy with the mourners left behind had offered this tribute to the noble mother. How vividly came back again the long lost childhood home, and as the wind sighed through the leafy boughs, seemed to sob a sad requiem for the dead. There was a little song I had learned in the Institution, and had so often sang, when unknown to those around me every chord in my sad heart seemed

"As harp-strings broken asunder,
By music they throbbed to express."

Then the sweet, sad words come back in memory,

"I hear the soft winds sighing,
Through every bush and tree;
Where my dear mother's lying,
Away from love and me.
Tears from mine eyes are weeping,
And sorrow shades my brow;
Long time has she been sleeping—
I have no mother now."

After a long, lingering look, I turned sadly away, going to the little marble yard in the vicinity, and seeking the proper person, I communicated to him the desire for a head and foot-stone for the grave, together with marble corner stones to support an iron chain for an enclosure, asking him for an estimate of the cost.

Looking at me with almost tearful emotion, he said, when the blind girl, after the lapse of twenty-four years, comes back to offer a tribute to the memory of her mother, the result of her own unaided earnings, I can but be generous, and offered to do all for half the usual price. Knowing instinctively that I could trust him, I left all in his hands, and have never had occasion to feel that I had misplaced my confidence.

Before leaving the village I visited a clothing store which had formerly been the tin shop in which my father worked; and again I was a child, my little form perched upon the wooden work-bench, and my ears soothed by the melody of my father's song, for ever as he sat at his daily labor he lent it the charm of his sweet voice.

Strange to say, there was no one there who knew the "blind girl." All my mother's friends had vanished, and "they were all gone, the dear familiar faces." I fondly bade adieu to Jonesville with the consciousness of having performed a sad duty, and proceeded with my avocation, with my wonted success, until we reached Toledo, Ohio, where Miss Weaver was attacked with a serious illness which kept me in constant attendance upon her for several weeks.

Her physician assuring me that she would be unable to resume her duties for some time longer, we decided it best for all to send her East. Procuring her a ticket, and placing her under kind protection, I sent her to her friends in New York.

I supplied her place with a lady I found in my boarding house, and who I regret to record was in strange contrast with my former companions. Going to Pittsburg we stopped at the Merchants' Hotel, near the depot, where, after a singularly short time, she was visited by a gentleman whom she represented to be a cousin, and while their whispered conversation in my room (a place where I deemed it expedient for them to meet) aroused some suspicion in my mind, I hushed all thought of wrong and hoped for the best.

She further stated that she had an uncle in Alleghany city, and thither she went to spend the Sunday, leaving me in the hotel unattended; and from subsequent revelations I must fain believe the time was devoted to the so-called cousin.

Upon her return on Monday she suddenly declared her intention of leaving me, adding that she cared not what became of me. I calmly awaited a lull in the excitement of this announcement, and told her kindly that if she would remain with, me another week I would take her to her mother in Ohio, and leave her in her hands, but she haughtily and peremptorily declined, and so left me alone, and, as she supposed, uncared for.

But I was so confident of protection that I felt not even a rankling pang at the cruel injustice she had done me, but quietly waited until assured she was gone, when I left my room, groped my way through the unfamiliar hall and knocked at the first door I found, which fortunately proved to be that of a lady named Harris. In as few words as possible I told her the story of my desertion, and had sympathy and congratulation from all in the house at my escape from one who had seemed to them so coarse and unsympathetic.

The clerk of the hotel, being a brother of Mr. Loughery, my old time teacher, it was thought best to appeal to him. He met me with an unmistakable expression of sorrow on his face, and as soon as he could command language to do so, communicated the tidings of the sudden demise of his brother in Greensburg, Pa., he having fallen dead in the street. As he was about leaving, assistance from that source became impossible; yet, overwhelmed as he was with this crushing sorrow, he urged me to accompany him to the funeral, an invitation I could not accept, for a renewal of the sad memories of my instructor and friend would have been more than I could bear, so I bade him adieu, and committed myself to the tender mercy of Mrs. Harris, who kindly accompanied me to the post office and depot, and started me safely toward Chicago, a letter being received which I knew to be from Mr. Arms, from whom I had been awaiting tidings for three, anxious, weary weeks.

With a consciousness of some impending cloud, yet unable to read the dear pen tracery, I never before so deeply felt the blight of blindness, for the contents were too sacred for the desecration of stranger's sight.

So all through that weary journey, softened as it was by the unremitting kindness of all the railroad officials and attendants, I carried a crushing weight of anxiety and suspense, until I reached Chicago, and dear Mrs. Dean, who at once revealed to my waiting heart the contents of the letter.

Mr. Arms was in Indiana, and very ill at the time of writing (three weeks previous) and earnestly desired my presence. The weary hours of night dragged their slow lengths away, and the morning found me speeding on as fast as steam could carry me, toward Indiana, yet all too slow for my fears and forebodings.

I found him scarcely able to be carried to the post of duty, where, at the mill being built under his superintendence, he watched the progress of the work.

'Tis needless to say how joyous was my welcome and how soon the invalid gave signs of convalescence, under the influence of my long hoped for presence.


"We strive to read, as we may best,
This city, like an ancient palimpsest,
To bring to light upon the blotted page
The mournful record of an earlier age,
That, pale and half-effaced, lies hidden away
Beneath the fresher writings of to-day."

After spending a fortnight with the invalid, in which "the golden hours on angel's wings" sped on and away, bringing a returning glow of health to his cheeks, strength to his steps and hope to his heart, so with renewed resolution I started upon my mission, first going to Pecatonica to visit my brother William and family, and to complete my plans for travel.

Soon after my arrival I was introduced by my sister-in-law to Miss Hattie Hudson, and by that inward sympathy which unites all kindred natures into one, and the strange recognition of soul with soul, we were at once friends.

She was indeed

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command."

One who, aside from her physical attractions, possessed all the charms of inner grace and beauty, idealizing and spiritualizing her nature.

We at once also agreed that she should remain with me, and with such rare companionship I started East. Stopped at the beautiful city of Cleveland, so rural and yet so metropolitan in its characteristics, where, following fast upon the din of business and the rush of trade, steals the sweet murmur of waters, the "wave of woods" and flow of fountains, the shaded park and perfumed pasture.

Here, aside from the cheer of business success, my heart was gladdened by a meeting with my old friend, Mrs. Bigelow, and little Willie, the whilom blind boy I had met in New York city, and toward whom I had been drawn by that "touch of nature" which "makes the whole world kin."

He was now an elegant, educated gentleman, who, among his many accomplishments, numbered that of music, a science he had so thoroughly mastered, and with the "concord of sweet sounds" he helped us all to while away many an otherwise weary hour.

I visited the various places of note upon the New York Central Railway, thoroughly and successfully canvassing all, and reaching New York city, was received by my uncle Henry Deems with such a welcome as only a noble, soulful man can extend. After a short, sweet respite from care, we turned toward New England, the truly classic ground of America, every foot of whose "sacred soil" has been trod by pilgrim feet and hallowed by their hearts' devotion.

Went to Plymouth, Massachusetts, and spent almost an entire day at Pilgrim Hall in researches and study of its musty and time-worn relics.

It was against the rules to open the cases containing these treasures of the past to spectators, all of whom were forced to look at them through doors of glass, even as the bereft ones are ofttimes allowed to look at loved lineaments only through the lid of a closed casket; but the gentleman in charge made mine an exceptional case, and, to use his own language, as my sight lay in the sense of feeling, I should certainly touch these relics.

All the interest of varied historical association was imparted to me, and my fingers allowed to rest upon everything. I closed this day, so rich in research, with gratitude to him for his thoughtful kindness.

There was in process of erection a monument upon Plymouth Hock, and I stood upon that granite shrine, where first knelt the Pilgrim Fathers, and pictured in my mind's eye the landing of the Mayflower and the grouping of her freight of human souls, majestically towering above them all the stalwart form of Miles Standish, with his "muscles and sinews of iron," and close by the lithe, clinging, delicate form of

"That beautiful rose of love
That bloomed for him by the wayside,
And was the first to die
Of all who came in the Mayflower."

These and all their attendants passed through my fancy as they knelt upon Plymouth Rock, and with the surging sea for a symphony, sent up their first song of praise and deliverance, and in that hour of reverie there was to me, indeed,

"A rapture by the lonely shore;
A society where none intrudes.
By the deep sea—and music in its roar."

Then again I moved away in almost rapt entrancement, and soon stood in the old cemetery beside the moss-grown memorial stones which had stood amid the flight of over two centuries, and emotions deep and strange struggled in my breast, sealed by that golden, sacred silence which sanctifies the unutterable.

Prominent among other objects there, was the resting-place of the Judsons, to whose memory a suitable tomb had been erected.

Going to Boston I spent three delightful weeks at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Little, a dear old couple who had been married long enough to have celebrated their "Golden Wedding." The old gentleman was wont to say, that these fifty years were all links in the "honey-moon," but that he had not as yet reached the end of the first "honey-moon." So these two old lovers, like "John Anderson my Joe," and his devoted companion, had climbed the hill and were standing "thegither at its foot" in happy contentment, looking toward the golden sunset and catching the gleam of the light beyond.

I of course visited "Boston Common," "Bunker Hill Monument," "Old South Church," the museums and galleries of painting, rare collections of statuary, and even heard the "Great Organ." These localities are all fraught with interest, but too familiar to tourists to require description or comment; but I cannot leave the readers of this chapter without a tribute of praise to the high attainments of this "Athens of America," and a word of gratitude for their kindness. I found not the cold, phlegmatic nature which had been depicted as that of the Yankee, nor did I see the tight purse-grip so often attributed to them, for I have nowhere met warmer hearts and more generous patronage than there, and indeed all New England was pervaded by an equal spirit of liberality and kindness. Lowell and the other manufacturing towns I visited were to me objects of wonderful interest, the music of whose looms and shuttles, belts and wheels, engines and flame, will ever come in vivid variety amid the many voiced memories of life and its mystic music.


"There is an old belief that in the embers
Of all things, their primordial form exists;
And cunning Alchemists could recreate
The rose, with all its members,
From its own ashes—but without the bloom,
Without the least perfume.
Ah me! what wonder-working, occult science
Can from the ashes of our hearts
Once more the rose of youth restore?
What craft of alchemy can bid defiance
To time, and change; and for a single hour,
Renew this phantom flower?"

Taking New Hampshire in my route, I was pained to find the season too far advanced to admit a trip to White Mountains, and among the great objects of interest I must of necessity omit this "Noblest Roman of them all," and pass silently by the grandeur of this rugged mountain scenery.

I went to Waterbury, Vermont, the birth-place of Mr. Arms, and, after a short rest at the hotel, walked through the meadow, and crossed the clear trout-stream he had so often pictured to me as most prominent among the reminiscences of his boyhood. Going to the homestead now hallowed to me as his birth-place, I was kindly received by the widow of his brother, who needed only the knowledge of my acquaintance with her friends in the West to place me upon a familiar footing, and I became an earnest, attentive listener to her well rendered rehearsal of the pranks of his urchin-hood. So was this day marked as memorable in the calendar of life. From Waterbury I went to Burlington, and thence to Montpelier, and finding the Legislature in session the sale of my books was greatly enhanced by the liberal patronage of its members; and here as elsewhere I had reason to to thank our national convocations.

The rigor of the approaching New England winter warned me of the necessity for going South. While on the Hudson River Railroad I was accosted by a gentleman who asked me if I could read the raised letters, and learning that I could, he begged me to accept a copy of the Bible in that style of lettering; I of course did so, and have this volume still in my possession.

Going to Chicago I found Mr. Arms established in business, which gave me an additional hope for future happiness, and 'tis needless to say,

"I built myself a castle
So stately, grand and fair;
I built myself a castle,
A castle in the air."

Delicate lungs and irritating cough, sent me still further South, and I reluctantly left Chicago and all I held so dear.


"There is a special Providence
In the fall of a sparrow."
"There is a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them as we will."

I have never had occasion so especially to note the over-ruling majesty of a supreme power as in my next journey, the circumstances of which I am about to relate.

I went via Indianapolis, Ind., and Louisville, Ky., to Memphis, Tenn. The latter place rivals its sister cities in generous patronage, for, although the whole southern country was so thoroughly devastated, I met with success throughout its length and breadth.

I was luxuriously entertained at the Southern Hotel of Memphis and, as I had been over most of the railroad routes, I felt anxious to go to New Orleans by water, and for that purpose sought the general agent of the river line of steamers, anticipating the same liberality which had characterized the railroads in granting passes.

I was most haughtily received by this official, rudely addressed, and decidedly and irrevocably denied a pass.

Nothing daunted, I walked to the levee, where lay the steamer Platte Valley, almost ready to leave, and besought Hattie, who was ever my counselor, to pay our passage, and, in spite of repulse, enjoy the river scenery. In her judgment it seemed better not to do so, but to use our railroad passes, as usual. I cheerfully accepted her decision. The Platte Valley started on her trip with brilliant prospects for a safe and successful passage, but seven miles below Memphis she sank in the deep waters of the Mississippi. Many of her passengers, especially the female portion, were taking supper in the lower cabin, and, having no means of escape, perished. Hence I had reason to be thankful to Hattie's decision, to the agent's rude rebuff, and to that over ruling power which ofttimes, in our blindness, we fail to discern.

At Chattanooga I, of course, visited the National Cemetery, where lie the ashes of so many fallen heroes. Ascended Lookout Mountain to the scene of the "Battle in the Clouds," and I could almost evoke the presence of General Joe Hooker, with his once grand proportions and noble mien, so deservedly famed as The Hero of Lookout Mountain. I afterward ascended another hill, which, although a pigmy in comparison with the Leviathan Lookout, would, in the monotony of our prairie country, be ranked as a mountain. It was upon its top were constructed the government water works, and upon which my brother William was employed for two years, occupying as a residence during that time a little cabin on the height, which was plainly perceptible from the window of my hotel quarters, but which I desired to visit in person, a source of real pleasure, perhaps enhanced by the obstacles I had to surmount in the ascent.

At Vicksburg, Miss., I was followed by the same tidal wave of success, in spite of the sad stringency of the times and the cruel effects of war.

While there a gentleman took us in his carriage to the earthworks constructed by the soldiers as a fortification, taking great pains to explain all to me, and allowed me to use the usual sense of feeling, which so often served in lieu of sight.

At Jackson, Miss., I was a guest of the same hotel in which lived General Beauregard, who was Superintendent of the Jackson and New Orleans Railway, and who, aside from other acts of kindness and civility, freely tendered me a pass over his road.

My stay at the "Crescent City" was not only marked by great business success, but the three weeks of sight-seeing was a "continued feast."

Although it was now the middle of January, flowery spring "seemed lingering in the lap of winter." The perfume of the violet, the scent of the rose, the gladness of the sun-beam and the brightness of the skies will ever linger in memory, while the geniality and goodness of its people will, in the "dimness of distance," glimmer like a soft love-light in the life of the blind girl.

I visited the French market, and drank a cup of the famed and fragrant Mocha; went to its cemeteries, which, in their flowery beauty, robbed death of its terrors; took a drive upon the shell road to Lake Pontchartrain; walked in Jackson Square; and, indeed, visited all localities of note in and around the city.

Should my curious readers wish to know how I could enjoy and describe all these, the answer will be found in my companion and friend, Hattie, who, with her wonderful adaptation and ingenuity, added to her remarkable descriptive powers, vividly pictured all to me, and, through an unwritten, indescribable language known only to ourselves, it became a system of mental telegraphy and soul language.

There is in Europe a blind man, whose name I cannot recall, who is led from Court to Court and from palace to palace by a frail young girl, and between these there exists the same mystic yet unerring language. What this little fairy is to him such was Hattie Hudson to me, or, to use the language of another:

"She was my sight;
The ocean to the river of my thoughts,
Which terminated all."


"Devotion wafts the mind above,
But Heaven itself descends in love;
A feeling from the Godhead caught.
To wean from earth each sordid thought;
A ray of him who formed the whole,
A glory circling round the soul."

Leaving New Orleans with the fervid fire which the warm hearts of its people had kindled still burning in my breast, and the many memories of its fragrance and sunlight, and beauty, forever embalmed and enshrined in my heart, I crossed in one of the great gulf steamers to Mobile, the home of the celebrated Madame Le Verte; but, as her continued travels call her so often away from the city in which she so gracefully and so heartfully dispensed the hospitalities of home-life, and opened wide her doors to the stranger, I was not privileged to meet her; nor can I note many of the manifold celebrities of the city. I can only say I found it as beautiful as a dream; its skies of sweet Italian softness; its waters clear and pure as "Pyerian Springs;" its winds gentle as the whisper of an Angel; its flowers gorgeous in tint and redolent with fragrance; the spirits of its people attuned to harmony with their beautiful surroundings, and overflowing with generous sentiment.

Without the slightest intimation upon my own part, I was presented with passes over the Mobile and Ohio Railway, by which I went to Cairo, and thence by the magnet, which so often drew my spirit toward the pole to Chicago.

After a brief respite and rest I went to Minnesota, in whose life-giving climate I spent the summer. Passing over the oft-told tale of financial success, I must address myself to those who—

"Love the haunts of nature,
Love the sunshine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest,
Love the wind among the branches
And the rushing of great rivers
Through their palisades and pine trees;
And the thunder of the mountains,
Whose innumerable echoes
Flap like eagles in their eyries."

To these I must revert to the many beauteous haunts and hidden retreats of nature, whose varied phases of quiet sweetness and sublime grandeur are heightened and intensified by the charm of legend and of song.

I visited the falls of "Minne-ha-ha," and could almost fancy the silvery song and light laughter of the Indian girl in the happy purling music of the waterfall, and, as it glided off into the gentler murmur of the stream, below, I could imagine the still sadder song of the spirit speeding to rest in

"The Islands of the Blessed,
To the Land of the Hereafter."

Minneapolis and St. Paul were visited, but they are all too celebrated to need note.

Back again to the "Garden City," and to the one who had so patiently waited for the sunshine of success and the consummation of our plans for the future; but, as "the best made plans of mice and men aft gang aglee," we found ourselves no nearer the goal. One day he said to me: "Mary, we have waited to be richer, but have still grown poorer; so is it not best that, in defiance of our apparently adverse fate, we unite our interests and our lives?" So hand in hand we resolved to share the joys and sorrows of life, each catching the burden of the old refrain—

"Thy smile could make a summer
Where darkness else would be."

We repaired to the house of Dr. O.H. Tiffany, and, in the presence of a few friends, were quietly married, after which we made an unostentatious wedding trip to Wisconsin to visit some of his family friends.

With them all the "wonder grew" why it was that, among the many smiles hitherto lavished upon him from beautiful eyes, he should have chosen the blind girl. His reiterated assertion of faith in the purity and unselfishness of the life, and the inner light of the soul, found in them a ready acceptance of his choice, and they warmly extended to her all the confidence and affection of kindred hearts.


"To know, to esteem, to love, and then to part,
Makes up life's tale to many a feeling heart."

A short time after our marriage Mr. Arms was offered a contract to superintend the construction of a mill at Woodbine, Iowa, which it seemed best for him to accept; and finding there were no comfortable accommodations for a lady in that place, he left me in a boarding house in Chicago, with Hattie for a companion. It was indeed hard for us to part so soon, and the pang was rendered more bitter by the fact of his impaired health, for he had never entirely recovered from the effects of the malarial fever contracted in a miasmatic district in Indiana.

After his departure time hung so heavily upon my hands, my present aimless, carefree life being in such striking contrast to the activity and excitement of travel, that I secretly resolved, as separation was inevitable, to resume my old life, and thus be of assistance to my husband. Unknown to him I wrote to my publishers for a fresh supply of books, and started for Michigan, the State which held within its boundaries the first scenes of sorrow my young life had known, when, amid helpless and hopeless hours of persecution, my girlhood seemed rayless and forsaken, but when kind friends had come in the hour of need, and helpful hands had lifted me from the dark depths. From there I wrote to Mr. Arms, communicating to him my intention to travel. He sent me a touching reply, saying he had never intended me to battle with the outside world again, but, if I deemed it best, it was perhaps well.

I had cherished a desire to visit the place in which I lived with the family of Ruthven, for then I could look above and beyond the clouds of early days, and discern the many golden gleams and rosy rays, the many halcyon hours of happiness and hope. So, after the spirit has passed through the purifying fires of persecution, it can calmly look back with a triumphant soul song. But these old scenes were in places so remote and inaccessible that I was forced to forego the pleasure of visiting them; but in many other places I found the old familiar landmarks gone, and the transformations of time had placed in their stead forms and faces new and strange.


"A generous friendship no cold medium knows,
Burns with one love, with one resentment glows."

After remaining in Michigan until late in the winter, we crossed over to Canada via the Grand Trunk Railway. Our first stopping place was at Saint Mary's, where at the depot we found a nice sleigh awaiting us with, all the necessary appurtenances for comfort, in the way of robes and blankets. Deposited at the hotel in safety, we handed the driver seventy-five cents and were astonished at having fifty cents returned. Supposing there was some mistake, we demurred, when he said, "My charge is two York shillings or twenty-five cents United States money." Surely we thought the spirit of Yankee greed has not yet penetrated the Provinces, when two women, three trunks, satchels, &c., can be comfortably transported for so small a sum. At the hotel we were at once ushered into a warm and comfortable suite of rooms, a pleasant contrast to the usual season of weary waiting for a room. Indeed during our entire stay in the town there was not one omission of attention to our comfort.

At Port Hope we were guests of Mr. and Mrs. Mackey, of the Mackey House, and received from them such kindness as we could scarce expect from old friends. Just here let me say that I had heard so many sneering allusions to the character of the "Canucks," that I was quite unprepared for the universal polish, elegance, cordiality and kindness of the Canadians.

We went from Port Hope to Toronto, the home of the celebrated Canadian Oculist, Doctor Roseborough, whose fame had been heralded in every portion of the Provinces I had visited. My past experience had so disgusted me with eye surgeons that for one week I had daily passed his house, instinctively avoiding an entrance. One day, however, I quite as instinctively sought an interview with the Doctor, impelled by some strange impulse I could not well define. I was familiarly but courteously greeted with these words, "You have been in the city an entire week, and yet have not called to see me." In reply I frankly confessed that I avoided upon principle the members of his branch of the surgical profession.

His subtle magnetism would soon have dispelled all feeling of repulsion; and before I was conscious of the degree of confidence he inspired, I found myself almost persuaded to accept his cordial invitation to tea. The only barrier I could interpose was want of acquaintance with his wife, and that obstacle was soon removed. We found her a most intelligent and charming person, and her mother, Mrs. Reeves, who was present, a dignified, stately English lady of "the old regime."

In a few moments after our meeting all her reserve vanished, and she impulsively and almost tearfully drew near. She told in trembling tones of a blind sister who had passed away some time before, and while she had come in contact with so many who had resorted to her son-in-law for treatment, she had never before met one who resembled her sister, while in me she seemed to have found her counterpart.

This became at once a bond between us, and throwing off all her usual reserve, she insisted upon having us leave the hotel and spend the remainder of the time of our stay with her. So pronounced was her character and so peremptory her demand, there was no room for refusal, and when in a succeeding conversation with her son I expressed some compunction at our stay, I was at once silenced by the remark that his mother was a woman of marked idiosyncracies, and when she so distinguished an individual as to make them a guest the decision was final, and I must not wound her by an expression of possible impropriety. It is needless to say I left this family with deep regret, carrying letters from Doctor Roseborough; and in my visits to the various places en route to Montreal I found these credentials of great service.

On arriving at Montreal we were handsomely domiciled at St. Lawrence Hall. Our room was large and airy, and our bed stood in one of those quaint old alcoves so peculiar to the English bed-chamber; while the table d'hote, with its savory roast beef, plumb pudding, etc., was equally characteristic of British comfort.

This was during the blustering month of March, and all who have visited that city at the season in which it becomes necessary to cut away the ice from the streets will remember the pitfalls and realize how difficult it would be for the blind, even with the kindest and most careful attendance, to avoid danger. I escaped without any greater mishap than a fall into one of these excavations, attended by a wetting of my feet, as well as a thorough soaking of five books and their consequent loss. I had, however, four weeks of successful canvassing, and during that time the condition of the streets had quite improved.

As my payments were made in the current coin of Canada, and I had the advantage of easy access to the States, I exchanged my silver at a premium of thirty-five per cent, and my gold at forty per cent., thus greatly enhancing my profits. In this connection I must acknowledge the kindness of the residents of Montreal, as well as their more than liberal patronage, which I will ever gratefully remember.

Returning to Toronto I rejoined my friends, and, after another short season with them, I went to Ottawa, the delightful Capital of Ontario, then Canada West, arriving there about two days after the news of the assassination of D'Arcy McGee, his household being in mourning, and the whole community convulsed and sobbing in responsive sorrow.

This martyred man seemed to have had a singular premonition of death, which came foreshadowed in a dream. He was visiting some intimate lady friends, and after dinner threw himself upon a lounge for a short siesta, when, suddenly springing up from a disturbed slumber, he exclaimed: "I believe I am going to be murdered!" Whereupon he related his dream. He said he thought himself in a little boat, floating upon a stream, and accompanied by two men, who, in spite of his convulsive efforts to near the shore, persistently allowed him to float down the stream to the falls below, over which his boat was madly hurled, when, by his imaginary fall, he was awakened with a strange and premonitory dread in his heart. His devoted wife survived him but a short time, and was found dead at her bedside in the attitude of prayer, where, as her spirit was wafted away upon the wings of devotion, her face was left placid and smiling in its last sleep.

"So united were they in life,
And in death were not divided."


"Howe'er it be, it seems to me
'Tis only noble to be good,
Since hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood."

The various localities in Ottawa being so familiar to so many readers and tourists, I will not dwell upon them at length, but suffice it to say I visited the various Government Departments, and could not fail to be deeply impressed by the truly elegant manners and courtly bearing of the officials.

In one of these Departments I found an elderly gentleman, slightly afflicted with deafness. According to the etiquette of their business regulations I was received in standing attitude, and in the few moments' interview were condensed the thoughts and feelings of years. He bought my book, for which he paid two dollars and a half in gold, and, as he bade me good-bye, he stooped and kissed my forehead with the stately grace of a cavalier of the Crusades, which act of emotional deference was heightened by the hot tears which fell from his eyes and dropped upon my cheeks, and the fervor of his repeated—"God bless you, my child."

At Hamilton we called at the Mute and Blind Asylums, which were then combined in one, where we were received with great kindness, every possible attention being lavished upon us to heighten our interest and render our visit enjoyable. Going to Buffalo we had a social, cozy visit with an aunt of Hattie's, after which we proceeded to Niagara Falls.

It is no wonder that, as a nation, we are proud of Niagara, which, in grandeur and sublimity, rivals any waterfall of note in the world. Taking a carriage we drove to the Canada side, where are so many localities of historical interest, and where, at certain points, are found the finest views of the falls. I remained in the carriage while Hattie went under the dashing, roaring, maddening sheet of water, which feat, as well as the usual one of a trip in the Maid of the Mist, seems necessary, in its apparent peril, to a full appreciation of the awful and stupendous grandeur of this phenomenon of nature.

I walked over Suspension Bridge in order to realize its construction through the sense of feeling, and our driver seemed much amused at my manner of seeing. Dismissing our carriage, we walked over Goat Island, in order to better take in the diversified beauty. The old man at the bridge, in consideration of my affliction, refused to accept the usual fee; so hard-hearted as they seem, in their spirit of gain, they have still some vulnerable point, some avenue left open to the heart, thus confirming the humanitarian sentiment, that no nature is utterly depraved.

Entering into conversation with the old bridge-tender, I was amused and surprised at his fund of anecdote and wealth of wit. Among other playful jests he declared he could define the exact condition of heart in each individual who crossed over, as accurately as we note the mercury in the barometer for atmospheric probabilities, even going so far as to say that he could guess the "Yes" or "No," and consequently the engagement or non-engagement of each returning couple.

We followed the meandering paths and shaded seclusions, where tree and flower, rock and stream make up the fairy realm, and crowned all by standing in the tower on Table Rock, our hearts awed and reverent and our lips inaudibly whispering "Be still, and know that I am God."

Leaving by the Great Western Railway we stopped at London, Canada, where Hattie had friends, and where I found a letter from my husband, who had returned from Woodbine, and being about to establish himself for a time in Milwaukee, where he was to build a mill, he desired me to return at once and accompany him. Without delay we sped on in the lightning train to Chicago, my impatient heart keeping time with the winged flight of the cars.


"And the night shall be filled with music,
And the thoughts that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as quietly steal away."

Our hearts beating with high hopes and expectant joys, we once more settled down to happiness in Milwaukee. A joyful trio were we, my husband, Hattie and myself. Our location in the Lake House, then one of the most popular little hotels in the city, augured well for a pleasant sojourn.

Mrs. Towle, the proprietress, was one who had deeply drank of the cup of sorrow, the first draught coming from the hand of one who had vowed her his love and protection, and who, after twenty-five years of wedded life, deserted her. When, with apparent penitence, he returned to her, he was received to her forgiving heart, and then came the draining of the bitter dregs in a second desertion.

With her two children as her only dower, she patiently took up the burden of life, and bravely bore all, supporting and educating her two daughters, and never losing dignity or caste.

No more delightful summer resort could be found than Milwaukee, familiarly known as the "Cream City," from the light straw or creamy tint of the brick, which forms so large a part in the architecture of that city, and gives an air of charming cleanliness to the buildings. This shade is said by chemists to be the result of the want of the usual element of iron in the clay of which it is made, and so curious is it to strangers that it has become a familiar saying that few people leave Milwaukee without carrying away "a brick in their hats," this being doubtless in part a jesting allusion to the apparently all-pervading spirit of the gay Gambrinus apparent there and the numberless manufactories of the foaming lager. Yet methinks this is no longer a more striking characteristic there than elsewhere, in spite of the predominant German element.

The word "Milwaukee" signifies rich land, and the truthful significance of the appellation is amply testified by the rare flowers, green gardens, fertile fields and towering forests in and around it, all of which are the outgrowth of its soil of rich alluvial loam.

Milwaukee is a city whose animus is in striking contrast to the daring, dashing spirit of Chicago, but its substantial wealth, cash basis, and slow, careful, steady progress, have led it on to sure success, so well attested by the quiet and substantial elegance of its business buildings, the palatial proportions and exquisite finish of its private dwellings, with their appropriate appointments of cultivated conservatories, gorgeous gardens and rare works of art. The well stored libraries evince an advanced degree of cultivation, and the literary coteries a prevailing element of the dilletante spirit, while the plain, rich habiliments, and the elegant turnouts with liveried attendants, indicate a degree of fashion and style unknown in many larger cities; and their manufactories and business houses suggest great mercantile advancement, their elevators and shipping a high order of commercial greatness.

Their harbor is one of the finest in the world, and by travelers is said to resemble that of the beautiful Naples. Indeed, the extended view from the drive upon Prospect Street is without a rival. Beautiful Boulevardes were then in quite advanced process of construction, and in time must rank among the most shaded, flowery walks and drives in the world.

Swiftly sped the summer hours in fair Milwaukee, with its gay gladiolas and blue skies, its crystal waters and grand old forests, until it ceased to be a wonder why so many health and pleasure seekers made it a resort, and that it became, during the warm season, a fashionable watering place.

One of our most frequent rendezvous was upon the lake shore, where, in a sweet secluded spot, far away from the throng which resorted there, a rough log for a seat, we were wont to sit for hours, listening to the music of the bands upon the excursion boats as they came and went with their scores of pleasure seekers, and the still more harmonious melody of the waves as they rose and fell at our feet in low, soft, musical murmurs.

Among the many attractions of Milwaukee is that of one of the several noble institutions erected by our Government and known as National Soldiers' Homes.

It is located four miles west of the city, and is accessible both by Elizabeth Street and Grand Avenue, two of the most delightful drives of Milwaukee.

Its eight hundred acres are beautifully enclosed and finely cultivated, being laid out by one of its former chaplains, according to the most artistic rules of landscape gardening; every coil and curve of avenue being a line of beauty, and its fifteen miles of drive startling the eye with its grouping of lake and garden, bridge and stream, fern-clad ravines and sunny heights.

Amid its dense groves are fairy pavilions, in which its maimed and scarred veterans discourse sweet music by a silver cornet band, without one grating sound or discordant note.

Without the rigid discipline of active array life, these veterans have sufficient military discipline for comfort and order, and one cannot fail to remark the systematic precision which characterizes the performance of their daily duties.

I cannot say all I should like to say in regard to these institutions, but suffice it to say that I found many sympathizing and some old friends among the blind, and was glad to learn that these soldiers, as a class, ranked among the most cultivated inmates.

I cannot close my chapter upon this subject without alluding to the magnanimous generosity of the Milwaukeeans in their donation of one hundred thousand dollars to the National Home Fund, the proceeds of a Sanitary Fair, in which white hands and deft fingers, faithfully and patriotically wrought, for the benefit of the disabled soldiers, and few cities could boast of a nobler donation. I must also allude to the high appreciation in which the Homes are held by foreign dignitaries.

Miss Emily Faithful, the fair amanuensis and confidential friend of Queen Victoria, while visiting America in an official capacity, spent a day in socially visiting and carefully inspecting the Soldiers' Home of Milwaukee. Astonished and entertained she pronounced it the most pleasurable day she had spent in this country.

The Grand Duke Alexis left upon its register the only autograph written in person in a public place, bestowing upon the institution the most extravagant encomiums, both himself and his suite of traveled and titled gentlemen pronouncing it a wonder and a marvel!

The Reverend Doctor Smythe, of Dublin, Ireland, when in attendance upon the Evangelical Alliance, visited the Soldiers' Home of Dayton, Ohio. Examining its magnificent libraries, seventy thousand dollar chapel and its hospital, the finest in the world, he was spell-bound. Going to its music hall and listening to its band, inhaling the perfume of its conservatories, visiting its grottoes, bowers and springs, rowing on its lakes, seeing its aviaries with birds of all varieties of plumage and song, and driving in its parks inhabited by buffalo, elk, antelope and over five hundred deer; he exclaimed with evident fervor, "In the Old Country, libraries, conservatories, bands and parks are for the nobility; in the new world they are for the soldiery." And what nobler compliment could he have paid to our country and its institutions?


"Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been;
A sound that makes us linger; yet farewell."

The summer being ended, we visited the friends of Mr. Arms in Wisconsin, after which he went to Grinnell, Iowa, in pursuit of his usual avocation. My own delicate health made it necessary for me to be again winging my way southward. Going to Atlanta, Ga., and making that my headquarters, I visited with marked success all the towns of importance on the various railroad routes diverging from this centre. I then made Macon another headquarters, after which I canvassed the greater part of the State.

The forests were filled with flowering shrubs and trailing vines, the towering trees hung with the wild, weird drapery of the southern moss, and the mocking birds sang their sweet songs from "early morn 'til dewy eve." These scenes "vibrate in memory" with quivering, throbbing power, and come back like odors exhaled from fading flowers or "music when soft voices die."

Selma, Alabama, became my third headquarters, where I boarded with Mrs. Cooke, a lovely woman of the purely southern type, who, before the great conflict, was a millionaire, and was afterward forced for her own support to convert a large mansion into a huge boarding house, which, with its hundred guests, was a cheerful, happy home; permeated as it was by the sunshine she diffused, and lighted by the fairy face of her lovely daughter, who was named for her native State, Alabama.

As in the aboriginal tongue this signifies "here we rest," and it became to us a name deeply fraught with significance, for in this pure untainted heart we found "rest! sweet rest!"

"En route" to Rome I met with my usual good fortune in finding another friend in a lady resident of the country, who fondly urged me to leave the hotel and make my home with her, where she lavished upon me every luxury and kindness. Her husband was the only man in that region of country who voted for Abraham Lincoln; and when General Sherman made his "March to the Sea," she concealed none of her stores or treasures, but went to him and asked protection for her property and home, when a guard was immediately furnished her by the commander.

She afterward married an officer of this guard, in consequence of which she was disowned by her family and associates, but in the noble and sterling qualities of her husband found ample compensation as well as a subsequent reconciliation with friends.


"'Tis a little thing
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drained by fervid lips,
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarian juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours."

In order to reach Montgomery I took passage in one of the high-pressure steamers of the Alabama river, and during the two days and nights of the trip I was surrounded by a throng of sympathizing, interested passengers, whose tender tones and gentle touch was as a cool, refreshing draught to parched lips, a sweet morsel to the tongue, for human hearts ever hunger and thirst for affection. How utterly unendurable would be this life, with its desert wastes and hot siroccos, but for the sweet, verdant spots dotting the sandy sea, whence spring the "fountains of perpetual peace" and issue the healing waters.

These loving ones surrounded me as I sat busily occupied with my bead work, and not only delighted and entertained with their curious questions and familiar chat, but freely bought my books and fifty dollars worth of baskets, while they would doubtless have doubled the amount had not this exhausted my little store.

As we steamed in sight of Montgomery a gentleman came into the cabin and requested me to make for him eight of the handsomest bead baskets before we landed; and, seeing an amused and incredulous smile upon my face, he said: "You work so dexterously and so rapidly that I did not realize that my demand was unreasonable." Explaining to him that it would require eight hours of the closest application to accomplish that amount of work, he apologized and left me. Nor did this specimen of the "genus homo" evince any unusual ignorance of woman's work, whose endless routine and diversified drudgery ofttimes require the patience of a Job and the wisdom of a Solomon. In the labyrinth of domestic entanglement more is needed than the silken clue of Ariadne, and the vexed question of domestic economy requires the unerring skill of the diplomatist, the subtle tact of the politician, and the sure strength of the statesman. The "Poet of Poets" has shown his appreciation of the character and life of woman in the following lines:

From woman's eyes this doctrine I derive;
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academies,
That show, contain and nourish all the world.

After a pleasant and successful visit to Montgomery we went via the Mobile Railroad to Evergreen, a little town fitly named from its deeply shaded evergreen surroundings. We reached this little hamlet at two o'clock in the morning, and those who are familiar with the cold and penetrating dampness of a southern night, even in mid-summer, could realize our condition and desire for rest and warmth, and know something of our disappointment at finding the one poor little hotel of the town without a vacant room. Seeking the office for a resting place, we found the case equally hopeless, for congregated within its narrow limits were men, women and children, every one of whom was stretched in various attitudes upon the floor, as peacefully enfolded in the arms of Morpheus, and, perchance, as sweetly dreaming as if resting upon beds of down and pillowed upon fine linen and gossamer lace.

Sleep is indeed to such "tired nature's sweet restorer," and to those whose healthy bodies and unambitious natures know no perturbation it is balmy and refreshing.

Turning from the unconscious, slumbering group for one friendly face, we were greeted by Major Lanier, of the Confederate Army, whose manner and tone not only betokened the gentleman, but whose acts of kindness evinced the true and chivalrous heart so characteristic of the southern character. After failing in repeated efforts to find us a room, he gave us his blankets and great coat, and all through the dreary watches of the night fed the fire with wood, which with one hand he chopped, while with the other he fought off the rabid attacks of fierce and barking dogs, which persistently assailed him. Had we been distinguished ladies, or had there been any probability of the gallant major being praised, complimented, or in any way preferred for this act of gallantry, it might have been less appreciated, but it was an act of purely chivalrous courtesy to two strange ladies in humble position, and his only reward was our poor thanks and the approval of his own generous heart. It must have had its comic side, too, to see a major of the regular Confederate service, who had done battle on the field where glory was to be won, groping in the dismal dark of the night and running the risk of being severely hurt, possibly of being killed, by dogs, practicing war with one hand, and dispensing a noble if not an ostentatious charity with the other.

We had been promised the room opening into the office as soon as it was vacated, and at the first streak of coming dawn the Major stationed himself near the door, listening for the slightest sound; and when from the carefully guarded chamber the faintest rustle came he would jocularly exclaim: "Ladies, prospects are brightening!" and so he helped us to while away the weary hours until we secured the promised room and bed, where we rested until noon.

When we arose from this refreshing rest we found that the session of court had brought this throng, and we were soon surrounded with visitors, who kept us constantly conversing and almost incessantly weaving baskets for their amusement. These people not only bought large stores of my work, but their talk sent crowds of people from far and near, all of whom made purchases of some kind. Such was the interest of every member of the bar and every attendant upon court that the four days I spent there completely exhausted me, physically and mentally.

Finding there were no other important towns beyond Evergreen, I returned to Montgomery and repaired to Savannah, Georgia, where I was treated with the most genial generosity, and should have been repaid for a trip to that place in a visit to its cemetery, whose reputation has been spread throughout the length and breadth of our land, and whose strange, sad beauty is so infinitely beyond the conceptions of imagination, but which—

"To be remembered
Needs but to be seen."

Its grounds are densely grown with trees of live oak, whose huge and spreading branches, seeming to bear the size and strength of a century's growth; with the dark, drooping moss, which, as it mingles its weird, fantastic drapery with the bending, swaying, weeping willow, seems like a pall for the graves hidden in its sombre shades; while the millions of birds which dwell therein lull their warbling notes to the measure of a low funeral song; and every sound of Nature's many-voiced music seems to murmur a requiem for the dead. As I sat subdued and listening, the low, rustling sound of the wind seemed as a sigh of sorrow escaping the breast of the bereaved, and I could picture in the far away land of Palestine that sacred spot which had so often been described to me, even the "Church of the Holy Sepulchre."

This most benevolent city of Georgia, without solicitation, presented me passes to Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Fla. The former was at that time quite an unimportant place, but has since become a popular resort.

While in Tallahassee I met with great sympathy and kindness from Governor Rood, who bought a book and handed me five dollars. When change was tendered to him he quietly and respectfully declined, and said with his usual delicacy that it was worth that much to him.

The Sheriff of the county was also very generous. Wishing to present me with ten dollars, and fearing to wound me by so doing, he ordered that amount of bead-work.

Tallahassee was certainly the most quiet Capital City I had ever visited, resting in its placid loveliness apparently undisturbed by the usual wrangle of legislation.

We returned via Live Oaks, at which place we encountered one of those severe thunderstorms known only to tropical lands, and in which the angry "war of elements" strikes terror to the hearts of those unschooled to it. All through its thundering and lightning, its wind and torrent, I was in such a state of nervous excitement, that when the last lurid light faded, the last crash was echoed by a low reverberating moan and died away, I gave one deep sigh of intense relief and sank exhausted from the reaction.


"I lay upon the headland heights, and listened
To the incessant moaning of the sea
In caverns under me,
And watched the waves that tossed,
And fled, and glistened;
Until the rolling meadows of amethyst
Melted away in mist."

My visit to Charleston combined little of eventful note, and this city is to well known as a seaport to require a detailed description. There, as in all places in close proximity to the ocean, I was spell-bound amid the ceaseless ebb and flow, the endless melody of the waves glowing and scintillating with myriad gem-like hues from the amethyst, the emerald and the diamond, to the many-hued opal, its varied and changing beauty bearing all the brilliant glory of the fabled dolphin, born in its depths.

In this sea-girt city I found the home of Mrs. Glover, and above all her hallowed presence there. She is an accomplished lady, and once wrote an attractive novel, more for pastime than from any literary aspirations.

Vernon, the hero of her story of Vernon Grove, was blind, and as this depiction of character was so much more true to nature than the pen-pictures of other gifted delineators, even that of the shrewd searcher of the human heart, Wilkie Collins, that she had won the sympathy and interest of all at the Baltimore Institution, at which, in former years, she had been so cheerfully greeted.

Vernon possessed none of the melancholy, inanimate, suspicious characteristics supposed by many to belong of necessity to the blind, but was a brilliant, cheerful, high-minded person, who filled every position in life with dignity, accepted every sorrow and disappointment with resignation, in every struggle was a lion-hearted hero, and in every contest a conqueror.

This gifted lady was a sister of Mrs. Bowen, of Baltimore, who, as well as her husband, was a warm, true friend to the blind, and ever joyously hailed as a guest in the institution.

After traveling through the Carolinas I went to Richmond, Virginia, the Rome of America, and like that ancient city built upon seven hills, while in its patrician pride and family loyalty it possessed much of the essence of the old Roman spirit.

My visit there was during the most fervid heat of the summer solstice, when through the sultry days all living creatures are panting and breathless, yet withal the stay of three weeks' duration passed away with delightful rapidity, and time stole upon us and stole from us almost imperceptibly.

Leaving Richmond for White Sulphur Springs, I stopped at all important intervening points. At Staunton I devoted an entire day to the inspection of the Institution for the Blind, and in pleasant acceptance of hospitalities dispensed both by inmates and officials.

Arriving at White Sulphur after dark, we found the mountain air so cold that we could almost imagine ourselves suddenly transported from the Equator to the Pole, and were as thoroughly chilled as one unacclimated would be from so great and sudden a transition.

The mammoth hotel of this watering place, comfortably seated in its dining-hall twelve hundred guests, and all its appointments were in equally grand proportion. We occupied, from choice, one of the cozy little cottages, nestling like a dove-cot in some bowery shade, with its patch of green-sward and flower-garden in front and purling brook behind, holding the double charm of rural simplicity and home-like air. Hattie led me through every path and grove, nook and glen of this sweet seclusion, this valley embosomed in mountains, and my thoughts reverted to the days when the belles and beaux of our American court sought these sylvan shades; when Washington and the successive Chief Magistrates of the Great Republic had gracefully glided through the stately minuet and invested this spot with a now classic interest.

Prominent among the visitors was the leonine General Lee, a Colossus in person and in mind. In spirit brave as a true hero, but in manner gentle as a woman. In the sweet solace of sympathy his heart went out to the blind girl, and assumed the tangible form of solid favors, for by his personal efforts under the magic influence and royal mandate of his imperial power many a little volume was appropriated that would have been otherwise unnoticed.

George Peabody was also a guest, but in this, his last visit to his native country, he was too ill and prostrate to receive friends. I felt for him a strong personal sympathy for his beneficence to my native city, to which he ever acknowledged himself indebted for his first business success; and in which the pure, white marble structure, with its magnificent library and other appointments, so well known as "The Peabody Institute," stands as a monument of his munificence.

Returning to Richmond, we took the James River route to Baltimore, a trip fraught with varied interest.

At Yorktown, that city of eld, we landed to take in a cargo of freight, not neglecting the usual store of oysters, of which we had at supper a sumptuous feast and it was from no fickle epicurean fancy that all pronounced these delicious bivalves the finest in the world, for, certainly, never before or since have we partaken of them with such rare relish and absolute gusto.


"Sweet is the hour that brings us home,
Where all will spring to meet us;
Where hands are striving as we come,
To be the first to greet us.
When the world has spent its frowns and wrath,
And care been sorely pressing;
'Tis sweet to turn from our roving path,
And find a fireside blessing;
Ah, joyfully dear is the homeward track,
If we are but sure of a welcome back!"

Home again in dear old Baltimore, where over my cradle was sung my mother's first lullaby, and where so many localities were invested with the charm of loved association. I of course visited the Institution for the Blind, which would not, in its many changes, have seemed at all like home but for the music of a familiar voice and the presence of dear Miss Bond, who still with loving dignity presided as matron, throned in the majesty of noble humanity, and crowned with purity and goodness.

Dr. Fisher, Mr. Trust and Mr. Newcomer still faithfully held their positions as Directors, and cordially welcomed me home. Mr. Morrison, the new Superintendent, and his most estimable wife, although they had never seen me, brought me near to them by the bond of sympathetic kindness, and seemed not like strangers but friends.

It seemed singular to those who had known little Mary Day to have her go back to them a married woman, and indeed, for the moment, time seemed to have gone backward in its flight; the dignity of the matron was forgotten, and I was a child again, even little Mary Day. I felt glad of an assurance from Miss Bond, that so fondly had my name been cherished, even by those in the institution who had never met me, that it was regarded as a "household word," and that enshrined in the most sacred niche of the temple of love was the image of Mary L. Day. As a testimony of this continued affection I was fondly urged to remain in the institution while in the city, but, as I had so many resident relatives, I declined.

My cousin, William Heald, who had by his kindness infused light into some of my darkest hours, had won a lovely woman for a wife, and certainly no one more richly deserved such a consummation. Cousin Sammy Heald had also married his fair fiance, of the West, who in her sweet purity of character, beauty of person and a life fragrant and blossoming with good deeds, could justly be called a "prairie flower." He had been ordained a Methodist minister, and was winning true laurels in his little charge in Iowa, to which conference he belonged. He had chosen his proper vocation, for as a preacher he was "Native, and to the manor born," for when a wee boy, he had written and declaimed many a sermon, and had his mimic audience been a real one these efforts would have produced electrical effect.

Among the many changes in my Baltimore circle was the vacant chair at the fireside, once filled by my uncle Jacob Day, whose memory and whose life was pervaded by the odor of true sanctity. It could truly be said of him at the sunset of a beautiful life, that

"Each silver hair, each wrinkle there,
Records some good deed done;
Some flower cast along the way,
Some spark from love's bright sun."

He had been a great leader in the Sabbath School movement, and a prominent feature of the funeral cortege was a procession of his pupils in pure white raiment, who, in token of their love and bereavement, strewed his grave with flowers.

I cannot close my home chapter without an expression of exultant pride for my classmates who have done so nobly in their various vocations. Two had entered the literary ranks as book-writers, and had met with marked success in the acceptance and sale of their works; three stood high as teachers; one earned a good living by tuning pianos; several were engaged in various departments of the institution; and two ranked high as musicians, which profession has seemed an especial field for the blind.

To use the musical measure of poetic prose as rendered by Mr. Artman, one of the most renowned blind authors—"There is a world to which night brings no gloom, no sadness, no impediments; fills no yawning chasm and hides from the traveler no pitfall. It is the world of sound. Silence is its night, the only darkness of which the blind have any knowledge. In it every attribute of Nature has a voice; the beautiful, the grand, the sublime, have each a language, and to me, whose heart is in tune, every sound has a peculiar significance. Sounds fill the soul, while light fills the eye only. 'In the varied strains of warbling melody,' as it winds in its graceful meanderings to the deep recesses of his soul, or of the rich and boundless harmony, as it swells and rolls its pompous tide around him, he finds a solace and a compensation for the absent joys of sight."

And so I close with a blessing upon the members of my class, and may the God of light and love illumine their paths, and glorify their lives, is my earnest, heartfelt prayer.


"The prayer of Ajax was for light;
Through all that dark and desperate fight,
The blackness of that noonday night,
He asked but the return of sight,
To see his foeman's face.
"Let our unceasing, earnest prayer
Be, too, for light—for strength to bear
Our portion of the weight of care,
That crushes into dumb despair
One half the human race."

From Baltimore I went to Westminster, Maryland, to visit my cousin, Charles Henniman, and my stay there was characterized by all the joy of sweet reunion and eager acceptance of hospitalities so lavishly bestowed. It was with mingled emotions of pleasure and pain I greeted my old friend, Carrie Fringer. In person she was of a peculiar type of beauty, a face regular in features as a Madonna, beaming with the soft, love-light of rare, sweet eyes, in whose depths were imprisoned not only an intense brightness, but the still deeper glow of a soul of love and truth. Curls of soft brown hair fell upon her symmetrical shoulders and softened the face they framed into an almost spiritual sweetness. From an affliction in her childhood she had almost ever since been unable to walk, and indeed none of the beautiful limbs were available for voluntary motion. Thus deprived of more than half of life's joy, its sweet activity, many would have lapsed into a morbid, nervous condition, over which we might justly have thrown the mantle of charity, but this dear friend was so lovely and chastened in her affliction, that she seemed almost a Deity in her attributes of tender love and patient self-abnegation, united to a heroic endurance of pain with which she was daily, hourly and momently tortured. Surely

"The good are better made by ill,
As odors crushed are sweeter still."

Going to Washington I accompanied an excursion down the Potomac to Mount Vernon, that sacred spot whose mention sends a thrill of patriotic pride through every American heart, hallowed as it is by memories of George Washington. So I became one of the zealous pilgrim throng who wended their way to this our Mecca, dear to us as that sacred place in the old world to the most devout worshiper of the Prophet Mahomet.

Reaching our destination we first repaired to the tomb, and with bowed and uncovered heads all reverently gazed upon the mausoleum of departed greatness, and turned to the mansion, each department of which had its own peculiar charm.

Prominent among other relics were his war-equipments, the paraphernalia of Revolutionary times; and as we ever associate him with his character as general, these were especially significant from the sword so often wielded with masterly power, to the little canteen, from which, after long and weary marches, he refreshed his parched lips.

In his bed-chamber, with its antique air and quaint garniture, there stood a bedstead, the fac-simile of the one upon which he died. Here we lingered long and lovingly, and turned to another department, in one corner of which stood a harpsichord, once belonging to his niece, Miss Lewis. In fancy I could see her fairy fingers as they swept in "waves of grace" over its strings, and with the "concord of sweet sounds" ministered to a circle of distinguished listeners. I could not resist the impulse to pass my hands over the long neglected strings, and recalled the sentiment of the old song,

"As a sweet lute that lingers
In silence alone;
Unswept by light fingers.
Scarce murmurs a tone;
My own heart resembles,
This lute, light and free,
'Til o'er its chord trembles
Sweet memories of thee."

The garden still remained as arranged by his taste and dictation, and at one corner of the house the magnolia tree, planted by his own hand, still bloomed in fragrant beauty.

In the yard was the old well, with "its moss-covered, iron-bound bucket," and at the door the gray-haired negro, the inevitable servant of "Massa Washington," who will doubtless, like a wandering Jew, out live all time, and for centuries to come remain an attaché of our country's father.

Several gentlemen present evinced and expressed great surprise that a blind woman should go to see Mount Vernon, yet I very much doubt if any eyes really saw more than my own. When we reached the boat, each gentleman carried in his hand a cane cut from the woods of Mount Vernon, and one and all returned to Washington with the consciousness of having spent a pleasant and profitable day.

We soon left for Lynchburg, Virginia, after which we visited the towns en route to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the latter place we had a very enjoyable visit to the home of Parson Brownlow. He was absent in attendance upon the Legislature, but his daughter gracefully and cordially dispensed the hospitalities of their home, and did everything within the bounds of her warm, sympathetic intelligence to heighten the pleasure and interest of our visit.

Back again to Chicago, we were welcomed by Mr. Arms, whom we found engaged in erecting machinery in the Gowan Marble Works, the largest of the kind in the North-west. Resting in the sweet haven of home, we passed the winter in this sanctum.


"I love not man the less, but nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal."

Renewed and refreshed from our long winter rest, with the migration of the birds we winged our way westward, alighting in many a lovely locality in the flourishing State of Iowa, whose soft undulations of prairies were now swelling in billows of gorgeous green, and touched with the varied tints of flowery bloom.

Our last resting place was in Council Bluffs, so celebrated for the grandeur of its location at the foot of the beetling bluffs of the Missouri River, and for its flourishing and progressive spirit, aside from which it holds a place in our historic annals dating back to aboriginal days. When this century was in its early infancy, and the shadowy dawn of our young nation was still wrapt in the mists which enshrouded its first struggling efforts; when the little far-away fur station of Astoria, near the whispering waves of the Pacific coast, held not the mellowing memories of time or the living light with which the genius of an Irving has since invested it; when the great explorers, Lewis and Clarke, were leaving their foot-prints on the land bordering the Columbia River, they held a council with the Red Man at Kanesville, Iowa, ever since known as "Council Bluffs."

Thence we went to Omaha, which is one of the most flourishing places in Nebraska, and from the improvised post-office of early days, the "plug" hat of Mr. Jones, its first post-master, has grown the large distributing office of the department.

It was also a military post and winter garrison for our troops in transitu, its cheerful barracks, well-kept roads and clean parade ground converting it into a favorite drive and walk, where resort many strangers to witness the dress parade of "The Boys in Blue."

The Platte River Valley is well known to most of my readers from its romantic association with the struggles of the vast army of emigrants, who not only braved the dangers of its uncertain fords and deceitful quicksands, but the tomahawk and scalp knife, ofttimes leaving a nameless grave beside its waters; and, were it not for a laughable incident in this connection, I would pass it by unnoticed.

There are so many heroes of the Don Quixote school, who are so brave in fighting wind-mills, who, in time of peace, are "soldiers armed with resolution," but in the real conflict what Shakspeare designates as "soldiers and afeard." There was in our train a young prig, who "played the braggart with his tongue," telling of his brave exploits, like a very Othello recounting the "dangers he passed," ending with a defiant show of how he should act in the event of an attack from marauding Indians, to which the trains were at that time so subject, after which he fell into a profound slumber, resting upon his imaginary laurels. While he slept the train had changed conductors, and it became necessary to see his ticket. This new official passing by, and finding himself unable to arouse the snoring sleeper by ordinary means, gave him a lusty shake, whereupon our hero gave a hideous yell of "Indians! Indians!" his lips quivering and his frame palsied with fear. The sound was so startling that the affrighted passengers imagined themselves for the moment in the merciless grasp of a band of Red Men.

The conductor gave this quaking coward another energetic shake and an imperious demand for "your ticket, sir!" and the quondam man of war "smoothed his wrinkled front," and humbly subsided into a semblance of sleep, while the conductor was no doubt astonished at the loud laughter that followed a brief silence, during which the passengers recovered their composure, and realized the full ludicrousness of the incident. In my experience in life I have met a great many people who were ready to tell what they would have done "had they been there;" but this priggish gascon was the first I had ever seen put to the test, and I believe him to be a fair sample of that smart class who could, if you take their words for it, have done better on any given occasion than those whom the occasion found "there."

Emerging from the Platte Valley, we realized the fact that we were fairly on our way to the far West, ready to take in with insatiable avidity all the immensity and grandeur of our territorial scenery.

Arriving at Cheyenne, we were surprised to find a comfortable hotel-omnibus in waiting, and most of the concomitants of a metropolis, notwithstanding the oft-expressed surprise and fear of friends at the daring venture of two unprotected women in going alone to this lawless and God-forsaken country.

Alas for the demoralizing influence of so-called civilization! While in the elegant counting-rooms of polished millionaires in more eastern localities we had occasionally met with insults and snubs; in this place of reputed "roughs" we received not one rebuff, and were greeted not merely with respect, but with unbounded generosity. While we found rough diamonds, they were diamonds nevertheless.

Over this city has since swept the tidal wave of reform, and a great temperance awakening evoked by one of the great workers in that movement, Mr. Page, who, with gentle yet royal mandate, has said to the many "troubled waters," with their sad wrecks of human souls—"peace! be still!"

We find it vain to depict by our feeble word-painting the many-hued, many-voiced phases nature assumes in this almost boundless domain, and the yet untold, undeveloped depths of our territorial resources. Mountains looming up in imperial grandeur, their snow-crowned summits melting into cloud and sky; weird cañons, in which the whispered words of worship from a myriad devotees seem to echo and re-echo through their dark depths; giant trees:

"The murmuring pines and hemlock,
Bearded with moss and in garments of green,
Indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of Eld,
With voices sad and prophetic."

Among the many military posts Fort Bridger, named for the famous trapper and guide of oft-written and oft-told fame, is also renowned as one of the posts of our gallant frontier officer, Albert Sydney Johnston, who won his first laurels amid the first Mormon troubles, and gallantly fell at Shiloh early in the Civil War.

Many of the most romantic places have been named for some fair maiden of the pioneer families, as Maggie's Creek, Susan's Valley, etc., while one of the most noted and poetic spots is known as "The Maiden's Grave," the once rude resting place of a gentle girl, whose remains were left there by her mourning friends on their way to their home on the Pacific Slope. It was afterwards found by a party of graders on the railway, and these rough but sympathetic men erected a fitting mausoleum of solid masonry, surmounted by a pure white cross of stone, whose symmetrical proportions are prominently visible to every traveler upon the Union Pacific Railroad.

One of the most interesting objects to me was the "Thousand Mile Tree," whose towering height I could imagine and long to behold as described to me by my companion and friend, its strange isolation sending a peculiar thrill of loneliness through the heart of one who was fifteen hundred miles from home. This old tree, through some strange freak of nature, stood a solitary sentinel, a guide-post of nature to tell the traveler he was a thousand miles from Omaha.

As we neared Weber River our well known and popular conductor came into the cars, and in a voice of deep, rich melody, sang the words of the then favorite song:

"Yes, we will gather at the river.
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the Saints at the river,
That flows by the throne of God."

The passengers, as we neared the kingdom of the Saints, catching the magnetism of his song, joined in the sweet refrain until it swelled into a soaring, reverberating harmony.

We reached Ogden City just as the sun was setting in royal hues, and repaired at once to the White House, the only gentile hotel in the place.


"Westward the star of Empire takes its way;
The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring-is the last."

Our first emotion upon our introduction to Utah was one of fear and foreboding, for our landlord seemed so assured that we should meet with no success, selfishness being the established character of the Mormons, who never allowed their hearts to go out in sympathy to any one outside of their own church or community.

Far away from home, "a stranger in a strange land," felt like those old-time wanderers who sat them down by the "waters of Babylon," and hanging their harps upon the willow, sang sad songs and wept bitter tears.

I gathered sufficient courage to call upon the editor of the daily paper, and his gentlemanly reception was very reassuring. He gave me a lengthy and commendatory notice, and this emanating from a man with five wives gave me a more charitable sentiment than I had formerly maintained toward Mormon institutions, and it likewise gave me courage and a better opinion as to my prospects. We remained there two days, and met with such unexpected success that we turned in a more hopeful mood toward Salt Lake City.

On the road to that city is a celebrated sulphur spring, whose presence is indicated for miles before it is reached by somewhat infernal fumes. A woman in the car, overcome by the unpleasant odor, exclaimed, in evident disgust: "Is that the way the Mormons smell?" She seemed so impressed with the nearness of his Satanic Majesty, whom she intimately associated with Mormondom, that it recalled the somewhat vulgar story of the "Teuton," who, in nearing the Virginia White Sulphur Springs, with the same fumes in his nostrils, cried out: "Mein Gott! pe shure, hell is not more as a mile off!"

Arriving at Salt Lake City at the close of a beautiful day, the western sky gleaming with the royally gorgeous hues of a clear, bright sunset, while the delightful surroundings and stimulating atmosphere lured us to walk from the depot.

Salt Lake being at that time a city of twenty thousand souls, and this being prior to the opening of the mines, it was probably in the hey-day of its beauty, and could boast of but one saloon, whereas they are now very numerous. Its broad, regular avenues were shaded with trees of such immense growth as are known only in our western lands, the coolness and shade of whose leafy, spreading branches invitingly appeal to the passer-by. Streams of limpid, crystal water, born in the pure mountain snows, gurgle down each street, and, in their beautiful borders of nature's green enamel, impart an almost marvelous beauty to the city.

The twenty-third of July being the twenty-third anniversary of the founding of the "City of the Saints," I had the pleasure of going to their Temple and listening to the earnest oratory of their representative men, and among them the "Prophet" himself. George Francis Train being also a visitor in the city, gave a characteristic oration, in which he rehearsed the pilgrimage of this people, their persecution, privations and pains before reaching their haven, which seems, in its rare beauty, an almost magical city, rising up in the wilderness as a lovely refuge, for, after all, what magic is so potent as industry and perseverance, and how much of both of these elements must have been brought to bear in the accomplishment of so much in the short space of twenty-three years.

The Honorable George Cocannon, the able editor of their daily paper, representative in Congress, and one of their distinguished elders, gave me a telling editorial, which, from its influential source, benefited me very greatly, and could not fail to facilitate my sales.

We called at the residence of Brigham Young, and he kindly gave us a half hour of his valuable time, a favor much appreciated, and one which threw great additional light upon their institutions.

We visited their public schools, found the system of graded departments, high schools, etc., very similar to our own, and all in an equally flourishing condition. My companion was peculiarly attracted by the uncommon beauty of the pupils, never having seen in an equal number of children so much personal fascination. I also visited the public market, where a man in one of the stalls bought a book, remarking at the same time that he supposed he ought to buy four, as he had that number of wives. A bystander asked if this did not sound very strangely in the ears of one so unaccustomed to a plurality of wives. I quickly responded that the men of Utah must have large hearts to be capable of taking in four wives, or even more, when our men had scarce courage to marry one. My reply evidently touched some responsive chord, for all at once bought books. Their system of co-operative trade ofttimes leaves them destitute of ready cash, but all who had money gave me the most liberal patronage.

There is a peculiar feature of Salt Lake society which is truly worthy of note, and that is the fact that even in social gatherings they open and close with prayer.

Thus, with the highest respect and gratitude for its citizens, I left Salt Lake and returned to Ogden, where I hoped for a new supply of books.

Finding neither letters nor books, and board being four dollars per day, I began to feel symptoms of the "blues." Going to the landlord and stating the case, he bade me have no fear, for no more would be demanded of me than I was able to pay; and cheered by this unexpected kindness, I resolved to patiently wait the issue of events. The next day being election, it was strange to witness the procession of women voters wending their way to the polls; but here, as in Salt Lake, the utmost order and quiet prevailed, nor was bolt or bar necessary for protection at night, when we were permitted to rest in sweet security from harm.

On going to the express office we were approached by a gentleman, who, pointing to me, handed Hattie an envelope with the simple words, "If you please;" few indeed, but fraught with mystery to us, our only solution being that the envelope contained election tickets, and we were supposed voters.

With a sense of relief we found the books at the express office, and we took that opportunity to open the mysterious package, in which we found five dollars. Describing the gentleman to the express agent, he said he was a clerk in an eating house near by, a bachelor, and very liberal. Certainly this act spoke nobly for the fraternity of bachelors, who are supposed to go about armed with a coat of mail, especially invulnerable in the region of the heart, while this unsolicited kindness unquestionably indicated a large degree of tenderness of nature.

We sent him a note of acknowledgment, which we felt to be but a feeble expression of our gratitude, and, as "all seemed to work together for our good," we left Utah with a benediction in our hearts and a silent but no less earnest prayer on our lips, and turned toward the setting sun.


"The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed,
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown."

Leaving Ogden we followed the line of the Central Pacific Railroad, making no stops until we reached Elko, Nevada. It was the county seat of Elko county, and, although at that time a place of comparatively small size and population, it had an air of business activity known only to localities alive with the excitement of railroad traffic. The mammoth depot and freight-house gave it an air of importance; the pine trade, then so active, and the busy stage-line to the neighboring, warm, mineral springs and mines of purest silver, imparted to it an additional business activity.

We were delightfully entertained by Mr. Treet, the gentlemanly proprietor of the Railroad House, and were presented by him with a letter of introduction to Mrs. Van Every, of Sacramento. Thus did so many kind hands smooth down the inequalities incident to a life of travel, and pleasantly pave the way to so many warm friendships.

On arriving at Sacramento on August 5th, a day of intense, almost stifling heat, we went at once to Mrs. Van Every, who kept the most elegant boarding house in the city, whose spacious apartments seemed filled with the breath of Paradise, which added a grateful welcome to our travel-tired bodies. Mrs. Van Every's mien of pure and native dignity, her voice of silvery sweetness, gave the charm of a welcome and ease to her greeting; and without delay we presented our letter, which was the "open sesame" to her heart.

We were at once assigned to a nice, clean and even luxurious apartment, and after some real rest and quiet we sauntered out, as usual seeking the most prominent editors, and found two, both of whom did us full justice in the way of editorial notices of our presence and mission.

One day, almost at the close of a two weeks' canvassing tour, we entered the office of the Honorable N. Green Curtis, who, at the first glance, declined to give us his patronage, but after a short conversation, in which he learned that I was a native of Baltimore,

"A moment o'er his face
The tablet of unutterable thought was traced,
And then, it faded as it came,"

he instantly arose, and, as if impelled by some new and life-giving impulse, he took from my hand a book, and left in its stead a five dollar bill, saying in hurried words, I never refused to assist a Southerner.

Thus the memories of our native land are balmy with recollections of childhood, and cling to us through a lifetime of sorrow and change. The humblest Scottish shepherd boy can never forget that

"'Twas yonder on the Grampian hills
His father fed his flock."

Judge Curtis afterward revealed the fact that he was a native of South Carolina, and the mere mention of the sunny land of his boyhood gave to each latent sympathy new life and power. It was also probable that he was not at first aware of my affliction, for he added the remark that he could not refuse a favor to a blind person. When we were leaving his office he arose and inquired if I needed aid in any other way; stated that he was a widower and without other ties, hence had no claims upon his purse, and hoped I would feel as free to ask as he was to give.

I replied that I was doing too well in my legitimate business to require direct pecuniary aid, and unless he could assist me in securing railroad passes I had no requests to make.

How kindly he did this was manifest from the fact that I afterward received from Ex-Governor Stanford, who was President of the Central Pacific Road, a yearly pass, and with this introduction the favor was readily extended by all the railroads on the coast.

A few evenings before I left Sacramento Mrs. Van Every, from her ever overflowing goodness, improvised an entertainment for my pleasure and benefit. It became necessary to initiate Hattie into the secret, but I remained in blissful ignorance until one evening I received a not unusual summons to go down to the drawing rooms, when I found myself the centre of a charmed circle of the elite of Sacramento, the easy flow of whose conversation was laden with love and sympathy for me, and then was revealed the fact that each invited guest had received a card, upon which Mrs. Van Every had traced the words "for the benefit of the blind lady."

"Music with its golden tongue was there," and the halls resounded with melody, which, with love's sacred inspiration, is sweet as Apollo's lute.

Among the gathered guests was Mr. Charles Cummings and lady, Mr. Cummings being one of the officers of the Central Pacific Railroad, of whom I shall speak hereafter. A most sumptuous supper was served, each choice viand being the result of Mrs. Van Every's culinary lore, which the most epicurean taste could not but relish.

The light-winged hours brought all unconsciously the time for parting, and the beauty and chivalry of Sacramento, left laden with books and baskets which had been spirited from my own room and tastefully disposed in the parlors; and each good night was blended with a kind wish and gentle benediction.

Mrs. Van Every, and her sister, Mrs. Fulger, who lived with her, were ladies of the noblest representative type of the Society of Friends, of which my life already held such blessed memories. In general society, with deferential etiquette, they adopted the usual form of speech, but in the privacy of the home circle they used the "plain language" of their own organization, hence it became to me doubly musical in its sacred character.

Before starting again upon our travels, we made Sacramento our home, to which we could turn for rest in our wanderings.


"And this our life—exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."

We next visited San Jose, one of the most romantically, beautiful towns in California, which would require the subtle gift of genius, a touch of poetic fire, and, above all, the fullness and richness of descriptive power, to enable me to give any adequate conception of its charms. It was almost a fairy realm, with its fields of waving grain, then golden with the glow of the harvest season; trees laden with fruitage, and vineyards drooping with their ripe, purple clusters.

One of the prominent attractions of the place was the residence of General Negley, nestling in the centre of extended grounds, combining the richly, blending beauties of nature and art. Groves and streams, rustic bridges and flowing fountains, shrubby labyrinths and flowery dells, were grouped in happiest harmony. Received by the General with the genial hospitality which should characterize the presiding spirit of such an Eden, dispensing itself in so many pleasant ways, we were led from house to garden, and from vineyard to wine press, where all were temptingly lured to taste the freshly pressed grape juice.

It was a novel sight to those accustomed only to white or negro labor, to see the efficient corps of Chinese employees who had proven themselves such valuable servants. It is with some degree of trepidation that I follow a desire which impels me to describe a bunch of grapes I saw in this vineyard. I must beg my readers to free me from any taint of the spirit of the renowned Baron Munchausen, whose intensely magnifying vision threw its impress upon all objects, but, without the faintest degree of exaggeration, I can say, that while I am no Lilliputian in size, I stood, holding with great difficulty, the weight of a single bunch of grapes in my extended hand, while the other end of it rested upon the ground, nor would I dare to tell this grape story unless many of my readers were familiar with the mammoth fruits of California.

After this delightful visit we took the horse car to Santa Clara, and certainly the world cannot boast of a public route so redolent with beauty as this. Both sides of the road are shaded with trees of almost a century's growth; for this "Alameda" was planted by the Jesuit Fathers in 1799. These left the vines and olives of their native Spain, and planted upon the soil of their new home this grove, which was, doubtless, intended as a sacred haunt, never dreaming that its sanctity would be invaded by the sacrilegious sounds of modern civilization, and, above all, by the rumble of the horse car.

All along this beauteous line of shade, musical with the melody of birds, are elegant villas, evidently the abodes of wealth and fashion.

Back again to Sacramento, we met Mr. Charles Cummings, who gave us a general pass over the various stage routes of that portion of the State, and we at once went to Stockton by rail, where we took the stage for the celebrated Calevaros trees. So stupendous appeared every tree upon the route, that a score of times we fancied ourselves nearing the world famed giants, but how did these monsters dwindle into comparative insignificance when we found the real grove.

After this tedious, tiresome stage ride, it was indeed a luxury to find ourselves safely ensconced in the large, elegant hotel in the midst of the Calevaros, the season being quite advanced, and in consequence the hotel less crowded. This being one of the few places in the State in which we found cool water, we luxuriated in draught after draught of this crystal, ice-cold beverage, and no fabled fountain of rejuvenating power could have been more exhilarating.

Next morning, in eager anxiety, we took an early look at the great trees, all of which are named for some person of distinction. We stood first beside General Grant, and, as Hattie laid her hand upon the side of the hero, she bade me start around him and see what a distance it would be to find her again. When I was upon the opposite side I felt quite isolated and lonely, and when I regained her companionship it seemed to have been after a long separation. We next took a reverent look at the "Mother of the Forest," which is eighty-seven feet in circumference and four hundred feet in height, and we must confess that these proportions made her look quite like an Amazon. The "Father of the Forest" was quite prostrate, his huge bulk, as he lay upon the ground, seeming that of a fallen hero. Thus in the vegetable as in the animal world, the female has the greater power of endurance. Man, in spite of his conceded superiority of physical strength and supposed mental supremacy, bows before the tornado of life, while woman ofttimes stands erect and fearless amid the storms and winds of years.

The heart of the Father had been bored out, and the hollow converted into a drive, admitting a horse and rider for eighty-seven feet, and allowing them room to turn and go back. I had the pleasure of taking this novel ride, allowing my horse to be led.

Many of my readers have seen, and most of them have heard of the novel dancing-hall in the heart of one of these denizens of the forest, which admits four quadrilles upon its floors, and can imagine the romance of "tripping the light fantastic toe" amid such surroundings. Another tree had been sawed into tablets, upon which each visitor left a name or record. The day previous to our visit, a little boy of eight years old had visited the grove. When his bright eyes rested for a time upon the tablet, his little fingers grasped a piece of chalk, and he readily wrote: "And God said, let there be a Big Tree, and there was a Big Tree."

We looked admiringly upon the "Twin Trees" named for Ingomar and Parthenia, and perhaps like these lovers of old, embodied "two hearts that beat as one." During our three days visit we left no tree unexamined, each one being fraught with individuality, and each in living language addressing our hearts in its own characteristic sentiment.

These veterans varied in age from twelve hundred to twenty-five thousand years, and for their accumulated cycles commanded veneration.

After fully satisfying our love of sight seeing, and taking time to fully contemplate the beauty and sublimity of the wonders, we returned by way of Sonora and Columbia to our temporary home in Sacramento, not only satisfied but highly gratified by our tour.


"Dared I but say a prophecy,
As sang the holy men of old,
Of rock-built cities yet to be
Along these shining shores of gold,
Crowding athirst into the sea;
What wondrous marvels might be told!
Enough to know that empire here
Shall burn her loftiest, brightest star;
Here art and eloquence shall reign
As o'er the wolf-reared realm of old;
Here learned and famous from afar,
To pay their noble court, shall come,
And shall not seek or see in vain,
But look on all with wonder dumb."

Once more away from Sacramento we visited Marysville, which is a beautiful brick town, laid out with great regularity and width of street, each house nestling in flower-garden and shade, and is a place of extensive manufactures and trade. We went from there to Colusa, where I reaped a rich harvest of gain. Indeed I never found a people more lavish in the expenditure of money, seeming to value it only for the good it dispensed.

Leaving Colusa, elated with the success we had met, we journeyed to Marysville in a very happy state of mind that was doomed to undergo a severe reverse on our arrival. When we started there were three hundred dollars in "hard money" in my trunk, and when we arrived in Marysville my heart sank within me and I could feel the blood leave the surface and my face grow deadly cold when I learned that my trunk, which we had seen stowed in the "boot" of the stage on starting, was not there on our arrival. After a few moments, in which I considered what should be done, I went to the stage agent, who telegraphed back to Colusa, and, after an hour of deep and painful suspense, the answer came back that the trunk was safe. By some singular omission the straps of the boot had not all been buckled and my trunk had fallen out. It was picked up by some honest farmer, who, believing that it belonged to a passenger in the stage, had sent it to the office. The next morning it came to me, and I was amply compensated for the delay in the kindness of the agent, who not only expressed great regret for the mishap, but voluntarily defrayed all extra expense incurred.

We next visited Chico, at that time the terminus of the Central Pacific Railway, where I hoped to meet Elder Hobart, the friend I had so loved in my childhood. After some search I found his daughter, from whom I was pained to learn that he had closed his earthly pilgrimage but a short time before. My pain was not for him who rested from such faithful labors, but for those bereft. The daughter, although married, forgot not the friend of early days; and I accepted with alacrity her invitation to visit her house, where we had a season fraught with pleasant reminiscence.

We took the stage here for Red Bluff, the rain pouring in torrents and the night dark as Erebus, it being the beginning of the regular rainy season of this country. During the night we reached the Sacramento River, which we could almost have imagined to be the Styx, with the sombre Charon for a ferry-man, for we soon learned that we were obliged to cross upon a flat boat. The wind was blowing in so fierce a gale that the boatmen could not near the shore, and called upon the passengers for assistance. All the gentlemen responded but one passenger, who, although a man, was not gentle, settled himself upon the back seat and declared he would not pay his passage and work it too. All attempts of the ladies to shame him into activity were useless. He could not be induced to leave his snuggery, and even as we talked he was lustily snoring. So do some selfish natures smoothly slip through the emergencies of life, leaving to others the responsibilities and exertion; and this man I was afterwards told was a professional humorist, actually a humorous writer for the press, and I must accept this as one of his jokes.

After three weary hours we drifted to the shore, and next day went to Red Bluff, a wild, uncanny place, but abounding in wealth and replete with generous hearts, of whose bounty I was a rich recipient.

Thence we went to Shasta, where Mr. Hudson, a cousin of Hattie, had rooms in readiness for us at the American Hotel. The meeting of the cousins, after a separation of nineteen years, was a joyous one, their animated conversation keeping time with the quick, impetuous throbbing of their hearts. The pleasure of our day there was also much enhanced by the sprightly—even brilliant conversation of the hotel proprietress, Mrs. Green, whose three-score years and ten were worn as gracefully as many a maiden's sweet sixteen.

As a protracted rain seemed inevitable, and all business possibilities were precluded, we assented to Mr. Hudson's proposition to visit his bachelor quarters in the country, which we found to be one of the most romantic, sylvan shades imaginable, with its little three roomed-cot embowered in vines and running roses, then in full bloom, and after the storm, radiant in color, freighted with perfume and sparkling with liquid gems. Alone he had occupied this secluded spot for nineteen years, and in his isolation—

"Had made him friends of mountains;
With the stars and the quick spirits of the Universe,
He held his dialogues,
And they did teach to him
The magic of their mysteries."

He was as familiar as a hunter, with every trail in the vicinity, and he took us through every romantic, winding path, one of which led us to an elevation commanding a view of Mount Shasta, the highest peak of the Coast Range.

Reluctantly we left this "pleasure dome," which, although less stately than that "in Xanadu of Kubla Kahn," held all the fairy charms of a bright Eutopia; and with the vain regrets which all must feel who leave some fancy realm for the cold regions of reality, we took the stage route for Weaversville, forty miles farther up the mountain heights, whose crests were now white with snow, and the road in many places running within six inches of the ragged chasms, thousands of feet in depth.

Our stage was drawn by four horses, and, at one time, the snow accumulated around the foot of one of the leaders until it formed a huge ball, and with this impediment he was partially precipitated over the edge of a precipice. This noble animal exhibited more presence of mind than would have characterized many human beings under similar circumstances, and, with great judgment, gradually extricated the foot from its snowy burden, and resumed his journey, but not before the face of every passenger was blanched with terror.

After a few days at Weaversville, we returned to Sacramento, feeling that we had enjoyed a pleasant and profitable trip.


"A man he seems of cheerful yesterdays,
And confident to-morrows."

We made a trip to San Francisco at a time when life seemed a continued carnival season, for there winter is the most delightful portion of the year. We rented apartments in a delightful New England family, named Collins. This, at that time, was the most comfortable way of living, for in no part of the United States did restaurants furnish such good and liberal fare at such reasonable rates. The characteristic cheerfulness of California became intensified in San Francisco, where every face looked radiant and happy as if all who entered the Golden Gate found a City of the Sun.

We had so often asked the reason of this, and were as often told that "it was all owing to the climate." We finally concluded that the climate carried an unusual weight of responsibility; indeed, according to Joaquin Miller, among "the first families of the Sierras," every unusual phenomenon of nature, whether it came in the form of a fascinating widow, a spooney man, a premature birth, or a fish with gold in its stomach, was all owing to "this glorious climate of Californy."

Although San Francisco is pervaded by the business activity of a great commercial metropolis, it is not possessed of the spirit of excessive drudgery in the hot pursuit of the "almighty dollar" which prevails in many other places. Every Saturday afternoon there is a lull in the labor routine, business being entirely suspended, and the fashionable promenades, Montgomery and Kearney Streets, are thronged with pleasure seekers; husbands and wives, lovers and sweethearts, happy children, gay colors and brilliant equipages.

Among the beautiful resorts is that of the Woodward Gardens, with zoological and floral departments, parks, lakes, dancing halls and skating rink. A friend kindly accompanied us to the Cliff House, a delightful resort upon the beach, about six miles from the city, and too well known to require description.

We remained in San Francisco about three months and a half, became every day more fascinated with its charms, and would fain have rested longer under the spell, but duty called us to many places on the coast, among them the floral Oakland, a perfect bijou garden and grove, and, like Alemeda, a beautiful, suburban home for the merchant princes of San Francisco.

We visited San Rafael and Santa Cruz, the Newport of California. At the former place there was an incident, which, although of a personal nature, we mention as illustrative of the magnanimous character of the Californian, prone to err, but ever ready to confess a wrong. We entered the office of the County Clerk and offered him a book. Without removing his feet from the counter, upon which they were elevated at an angle of forty-five degrees, he threw down a dollar and bade us "go along."

We "stood not upon the order of our going," but went, taking care to leave the dollar. A bystander said to me: "Take it! he is rich!" I quietly assured him that I never accepted money without rendering an honest equivalent, and as I left I heard the ejaculation: "She's plucky, isn't she." On entering a livery stable on the opposite side of the street, a gentleman took the proffered book and opened to a page containing the name of Aunt Nancy Lee. With an exclamation of surprise he said: "I have an aunt of that name." This led to further conversation and a better acquaintance, the person really proving to be his aunt. While we were talking, the four gentlemen from the office of the County Clerk came in, and I being introduced in a new light they each bought a book, and the clerk made an ample apology for his abruptness, which I readily accepted as an "amende honorable."

We went to Santa Barbara by steamer and greatly enjoyed the sail. Finding no pier upon our arrival, we had to descend an almost perpendicular ladder to a small boat. In this apparently perilous process, the boatmen were actively assisted by Captain Johnson, whose mellow toned voice softened and cheered the transit. In the descent, a woman dropped her baby into the water, and, although it was quickly rescued by the seamen, her continued screams even after its safe delivery quite intimidated me, but with the usual sure-footedness of the blind, I went down with so much ease that I was greatly complimented by the astonished captain. Our skiff-ride to shore was a pleasant episode, and the romance was much heightened by the floating sea plants around us, which could be easily touched with our hands. There were no good hotels in Santa Barbara, but we were comfortably accommodated in a private family. The climate is finer there than in any locality in the State, the thermometer most of the time standing at seventy degrees, hence it is so greatly sought by consumptives.

It was to me a delightful pastime to spend an occasional hour with the fishermen on the coast, who are so happy to impart any information regarding their own calling, and from whom I learned many a valuable lesson.

From Santa Barbara we went down the coast to a little railroad landing and took the train bound inland; after leaving the beach the road passes through dense, fragrant orange-groves and rich, fruitful vineyards. A ride of twenty-five miles brought us to Los Angeles, a town with the same beautiful surroundings. It was, at that time, a quaint, old, dilapidated Spanish place, with an air of shabby gentility, but the subsequent tide of immigration and trade has doubtless transformed it. We returned to the coast and took the steamer to San Diego, which, with its arid, sandy waste, has little to recommend it to the visitor, save its truly, palatial hotel, which must have been built in anticipation of the many projected railways diverging from this point.

While there, our hearts were rejoiced by a meeting with Dr. Baird and his wife, a pleasure known only to those who, exiled from home, see a "dear familiar face."


"All that's bright must fade,
The brightest, still the fleetest;
All that's sweet was made,
But to be lost, when sweetest."

We returned to Sacramento with minds refreshed and spirits brightened by the delightful scenes through which we had passed during our coast trip. My life seemed to have received new radiance, and all things wore the bright "couleur de rose," when one day there seemed something in Hattie's touching tone which, like the "shadow of coming" events, sent through my heart a strange, premonitory thrill of sadness. She paused as if for prayerful preparation, ere she said: "Mary, I have something sad, something terrible to tell you, and I wish to prepare you to bear it with patience, even as I for five months have borne the burden with silent submission." She then carefully, calmly, quietly revealed to me the fact that there was feeding upon her dear life one of those horrible vampires of human disease—a cancer, which was slowly but surely drawing her nearer the close. Suddenly all brightness and beauty died out for me, while cloud and gloom gathered around me, deep, dark and impenetrable; for so had Hattie entwined herself about my heart, that to my darkened days there seemed for me no light, no life without her. Surely—

"Sorrows come not single spies,
But in battalions,"

And while I felt myself overwhelmed by this one deep grief in quick succession came another. One morning while at our breakfast, and without the slightest preparation, tidings was brought to me that Chicago was destroyed by fire.

My husband had just completed our new home, a comfortable resting place, with lovely garden and pleasant surroundings, and thither I had hoped ere long to go and rest from my labors. Daily, as the diagrams of the fire reached us, we traced upon them the loved site of our home, as in the burnt district.

All telegraphic and mail communication being cut off, we could receive no direct news, and in the intensity and terror of suspense pictured our home desolated, and friends perished in the horrible holocaust.

Feeling that a resumption of our life of labor was inevitable, we parted with the dear Sacramento friends, who had so kindly clung to us for fourteen months, with many a sigh and tear, and went to all the towns of importance between that place and Reno, Nevada, at which point we took the stage for Virginia City, and reached it after two weeks of inexpressible agony, during which time food had scarce passed our lips or sleep visited our eyes. On our arrival we were overjoyed to find awaiting us seven letters from home. Oh the eternity that elapsed before the seals could be tremulously broken! and the halcyon sweetness of relief of the happy tidings of friends in safety and health. Although the fire-fiend had swept his destructive wings over the property within a hundred yards of our home, through a sudden shifting of the wind its course had been changed, thus saving us from what would have seemed to me ruin. Gratefully we resumed our business and remained for seven weeks in Virginia City and vicinity, where we had most abundant success, for in spite of rock and ledge, sand and tornado, the country abounds in full purses and warm hearts.

At Carson City we found an United States Mint, where a gentleman designated Saturday afternoon, when the machinery was stopped, as a proper time to give us the benefit of a full examination, allowing me to touch everything, and giving a satisfactory explanation of the "modus operandi" of money making.

We went to Battle Mountain, where we took the stage for Austin, ninety miles distant. We had nine passengers and twelve hundred weight of bullion in the bottom of the stage, together with innumerable satchels, umbrellas and brown-paper parcels. In this cramped position we traveled from one o'clock in the afternoon until nine o'clock the next morning, an infliction that was only rendered endurable by having a relay of horses every fifteen miles, and being permitted to rest upon terra firma during the changes.

At Austin we unexpectedly met in the family of the hotel proprietor friends of Hattie, from Illinois. The kind host proved to me a "Good Samaritan," for finding myself unable to walk he carried me in his arms to the hotel, and safely entrusted me to the ministering care of his kind family.

Desiring to cross over the country to Eureka, and the stage not venturing to the eminence upon which stood our hotel, we were obliged to go to the express office to take passage, where we were shocked at the sight of three maudlin men in an advanced stage of inebriety, throwing showers of silver money upon the ground, and ostentatiously allowing the crowd to gather it up; while we were still more shocked to find that they were to be inside passengers, and our only companions.

With these three men and their "fade mecum," "the whiskey bottle," we started on our journey that bleak, winter morning. Two of them soon became so beastly drunk that their bottle fell out of the stage door and was lost beyond recovery. Their companion remained for a time sufficiently sober to prevent them from falling upon us in their constant oscillations, but, by the time they had reached the convalescent stage, he became so nauseated that it was necessary to hold his head out of the window for relief, and, finally yielding to the soporific influence of his drams, he laid himself at full length upon our feet.

Meantime a most gentlemanly person, of whose presence we were at first ignorant, would occasionally descend from the stage top, look at us compassionately, ask if anything was wanted, and take leave. At one of his calls I asked him if we were not near our dining place, when, much to our discomfort, he informed us of the impossibility of finding anything to eat on the road. We had provided no lunch, and, having partaken of a meagre and untimely breakfast, were fast becoming exhausted. He politely offered to share with us his store of provisions, and at the next stopping place escorted us to the rude log cabin with the air of a Knight Errant, took off our rubbers, placed them before the fire, and after other indescribable and delicate attentions opened his basket and spread before us a lunch of truly, royal viands, which, in spite of our rude surroundings, was eaten with unrivalled relish.

Arriving at Eureka, we stopped at the Parker House, in which Mr. Hinckley, the proprietor, made every exertion to secure our comfort. It had rained for a week, and the streets were in such a horrible condition that we were filled with forebodings of failure. Quite unexpectedly we again encountered our cavalier, who insisted upon lifting us over the deep mud of the crossings, placing us entirely at ease by the assurance that it was the custom of the country, after which he offered his assistance in the sale of books, and, going into a faro bank, he sold twelve copies at a dollar and a half apiece.

We described this gallant gentleman to Mr. Hinckley, who informed us that he was Pete Fryer, the most noted gambler of the Pacific coast, whose unrivalled success and universal popularity were in a great degree owing to his sobriety, his elegant presence and polished manner.

Our next move was to Gold Point, where we spent a day. We met there a Virginia physician with whom we had a long and interesting conversation. We were boarders at the same hotel, and at the tea table he came over to Hattie, and placing in her hand a ten dollar gold piece, said it was for the blind lady, and he wished her to buy with it a keepsake. We went to Palisades in a mud-wagon, the only means of transportation at our disposal, and we found it highly appropriate, the mud being over the hubs of the wheels.

In this primitive style we reached our destination upon Christmas Eve, weary and homesick; yet our Christmas dinner in this insignificant town was choice and recherche, the quality and variety of the wines being worthy of the cellar of a connoisseur. Our business success here was greater than in many larger towns.

We visited the places en route to Ogden, and on our arrival there found snow almost two feet deep, and hundreds anxiously waiting for the arrival of the Union Pacific train, which had not been in for two weeks. The hotels were so intensely crowded that we were forced to wade through snow over our knees for half a day to find a comfortable place to stay, and were very thankful for a third rate boarding house.

The next day, when almost in despair, we heard in the distance the welcome sound of a locomotive whistle. The gentlemen rushed to the depot and soon bore us the pleasant tidings that the train would leave in two hours and a half. We hurriedly gathered together our baggage and sufficient supplies for a week, arriving at the train just in time to secure a section in the sleeping-car. Hoping for no more delay, we started, but ere long found ourselves landed in a snow bank, with five trains ahead of us, in the same predicament. A three-days stand-still of this kind, with its trying tedium, can be imagined only by those who have been similarly situated, and its tedium is equaled by nothing but an Ohio River sand bar imprisonment on a stern wheel steamer.

My sensibilities had quite a reawakening jog from an incidental abrasure, received by coming in contact with one of the acute angles in the person of Miss Susan B. Anthony, who honored us with her distinguished presence. She was in company with the family of the Honorable Mr. Sargent, United States Senator from California. This gentleman evinced great native delicacy in his quiet, unobtrusive attentions. Miss Susan had been very impatient at the long delay, and constantly berated the male sex and their inadequacy to great emergencies, and was offered by the complimented parties the privilege of engineering the train, an honor she respectfully declined. One day I was saluted by a voice, not sweetly feminine in tone, while an impetuous hand pitched, at me one of my own books. The voice asked:

"Were you ever in Michigan? Are you married? I knew a blind woman there who had five children, and they were all deaf and dumb! I think Congress ought to pass a law to prevent these people from marrying and bringing such creatures into the world!"

These burning words came with the fierce force of the tornado and the horrible heat of the simoon. So abruptly had she taken her leave, that she was beyond hearing before I could sufficiently recover to reply. Words I would have spoken burned upon my lips, and emotions welled up from the depths of an affection as deep, true and unfathomable as ever struggled in such a heart as that of Susan B. Anthony.

Long did I dwell upon the cruel words, wondering if they could have emanated from a woman who advocated the inviolable rights and bewailed the deep wrongs of her own sex, or if Congress had the power to exclude the blind from loving and following the holiest impulses of their natures, like other human beings!

After our extrication we sped on to Sherman, the highest of the mountain towns, and the Railroad Company treated us to a dinner, which, although poor, was much relished, after our protracted dieting. After leaving Laramie we had another delay of two days' length, after which we went via Cheyenne to Omaha, rejoicing, and after eleven days of weary travel felt ourselves really homeward bound.


"'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark,
Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw
Near home;
'Tis sweet to know there is an eye
Will mark our coming, and look brighter
When we come."

We reached home in mid-winter, and found a scene of indescribable desolation, the fire having devastated so many familiar spots in the city's approach; depots in ashes and entire streets a wide waste. Finding no one to meet us, with the longed-for, loving welcome, we were tortured with fear, and went at once to Mr. Arms' place of business, where we learned that he was at home and sick. Thither we hurriedly wended our way, and, although we found the invalid unable to leave his bed, we thought it sweet to find ourselves in this our first home, which, having been reared in my absence, seemed like a magic castle bridging over the sad separation.

My husband soon convalesced and we began to lay plans for furnishing our new abode. I still suffered from a cold upon my lungs contracted from the long exposure on the plains, and it fell to the lot of Hattie to assist Mr. Arms in the selection of our household goods. She had become eyes and hands for me, and I never so fully realized how the touch of sympathy could blend two tastes in one, for every article met my entire approval. I will not dwell upon the joys of our new home; but well has the poet said—

"Each man's chimney is his golden mile stone,
Is the central point from which
He measures every distance
Through the gateway of the world
Around him.
"We may build more splendid habitations,
Fill our rooms with paintings
And with sculpture;
But we cannot buy with gold
The old association."

In every Paradise since the first Eden the inevitable trail of the serpent has been over all, and too often it comes in its halcyon hours. Insidiously and surely came the stealthy trail of our serpent in the declining health of my husband, and the impending danger to the dear life of Hattie.

I took her to every physician who made her disease a specialty, going far and near to consult them, each one of whom would shake their heads in despair, yet all seeming willing to undertake her case. But to me she was too precious to be submitted to experimental treatment. Finally the fame of Dr. Kingsley reached us. He was known as the Great American Cancer Doctor, and we went at once to his cure, in Rome, New York.

The same ominous shade came with his examination, and he too failed to promise a cure. Passing through the wards of his hospitals, with their agonizing and appalling scenes, the shrieks of pain ringing like death-knells in our ears, decided us, neither of us being willing she should submit to a fate so fraught with fearful contingencies.

We were stopping with a family named Crawford, who were friends of Hattie, and whose unremitting kindness will be a life-long memory.

We returned to them in deep despair, when we heard of Mr. Golly, a neighboring farmer, who was performing almost miraculous cures, and we at once took the stage and went to him.

A few moments conversation inspired us with confidence in the man, whose frank face was an index to his character, and whose sympathetic soul breathed through every intonation of his gentle voice.

He advised her to remain for treatment, assuring her, that if she was unable to pay, it would cost her nothing.

We were willing to remunerate if certain of cure, and, knowing the dread uncertainty of the case, this noble man revealed in his offer his true magnanimity. I remained with her two months, when home demands became imperative, and I longingly left one who, through nine years of close and dear relationship had become a life link hard to sever.

With undying gratitude to good Mr. Golly, I left her confided to his fatherly care, knowing he could not prove recreant to the trust.


"There was a time when meadow,
Grove and stream,
The earth and every common sight
To me did seem
Appareled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it has been of yore,
Turn where soe'r I may,
By night or day,
The things that I have seen
I now can see no more."

Upon our return to Chicago I found my husband so ill that he yielded to the advice of his physician to go to the Mineral Springs of St. Louis, and there being a heavy drain upon our finances, I felt it necessary to resume my travels. Disagreeable as was the task, it was tolerable only for its benefit to loved ones.

Ida, the young daughter of my favorite brother, had just graduated, her laurels still green and her heart full of girlish enthusiasm. With the sanction of her parents she kindly consented to accompany me. Kindred ties are deep and strong, and her society was like a ray of sunshine in my clouded pathway.

Mr. Keep, the Manager of the North-western Railway, presented us with a general pass, and we started for the Lake Superior country, first visiting many of the beautiful towns of Wisconsin, among which was Peshtigo, then but partially rebuilt from its recent ravages from fire. In canvassing we called at the house of Mrs. Armstrong, who kept a book, and asked us to call in the afternoon for the money.

During the day her little daughter had become so interested in the "story of the blind girl," that she insisted upon going out to buy her a dress, which she presented in person. Little Nellie's gift of simple calico was as precious to me as if of silken texture and Tyrion dye, and "waxed rich" with the royalty of sympathy and love.

We visited Escanaba, a beautiful summer resort upon Lake Michigan, spending a delightful week in the elegant hotel, which rests in the shaded seclusion of park and garden, and gaining renewed health and vigor.

We had a short, sweet stay at Marquette, saw the "Isle of Yellow Sands" with its luring light, the "Pictured Rocks" bearing the tracery of the Divine Artist, and all the well-known beauties of Lake Superior.

On our way to Ishpenming we were presented with tickets to the concert of "Blind Tom," the musical prodigy and whilom slave boy, through whose God-given talent the former master had amassed quite a fortune.

We heard his improvised and memorized melodies, and were struck with awe and wonder.

After the concert we went to the Commercial Hotel, where I was suddenly and violently attacked with a congestive chill, in which emergency Mrs. Newett, the landlady, proved a ministering angel, her thorough knowledge of the disease and prompt devoted attendance no doubt saving my life.

We next visited L'Anse, the terminus of the Marquette Railroad, and found a delightful hotel, bearing the euphonious name of Lake Linden House, suggestive of the beautiful grounds gracefully sloping to the edge of the lake, whose "wide waste of waters" seemed a "sapphire sea" set with emerald gems, from one of which verdant spots gleaming in the picturesque distance rose the symmetrical spire of a cathedral, whose cross stood out like a beautiful "bas relief" from the violet background; and the solemn voice of the convent bell told the hour when orisons arose like holy incense to the skies. A fitting resort for the student, and the recluse was this secluded spot, where nature opened her fairest page, and beauty planted her altars on earth, in air and sky, and where "devotion wafts the mind above."

We crossed in the steamer to Houghton, beautifully located upon a winding stream, and we were pleasantly entertained at the Butterfield House.

We remained some time, lingering among the towns in its vicinity, and returned home improved in health and finances.

Before settling down for the winter I resolved to visit a few towns in the vicinity of Chicago, and among them Sycamore, where there was an unexpected episode in my hitherto eventful career, a touching incident and "words fitly spoken," which the good book says are as "apples of gold in pictures of silver."

My husband having once been engaged in business at Sycamore, I was in constant expectation of meeting some of his old associates; hence, was not so much surprised when, upon entering a store, a gentleman stepped down from his desk, and warmly grasping both of my hands, exclaimed: "I know you." I quickly and inquiringly responded, you are perhaps a friend of my husband? Oh no, he replied, I do not know your husband, but I have great reason to remember you, for you were the cause of my salvation!

Moved and wondering, I tried in vain to recall the time when I could have been an humble agent in the hands of the Heavenly Father, even to the salvation of a human soul.

Shakspeare has said that—

"Ofttimes to win us to our harm
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence."

And why should not the same "honest trifles" win us to good.

He then explained to me that eight years previous he was in Burlington, Wisconsin, having wandered far from the fold in which a patient, loving, Christian mother had faithfully tended her flock, teaching them the wisdom of divine truth and loving lessons of duty to God and man.

He had entered a saloon and sat down to a card-table with a congenial companion, when suddenly lifting his eyes a lady stood beside him offering him a little book, and something in the expression of that face riveted his attention and penetrated the depths of his soul, inspiring resolves new and strange. While years had passed since that time, he had never forgotten the lineaments which had changed the whole tenor of his life. Both his companion and himself bought books, threw down their cards, and from his own assurance he has never since been tempted to indulge in a game.

The next winter he made his peace with God and became a consistent and steadfast member of the Congregational Church.

The following spring he was married to one who was in every way fitted to minister to his higher impulses and lead him to a holier life, and while he has ever since been actively engaged in every good "word and work," he is especially engrossed with Sabbath School duties, in which field he has planted many a seed, from which has been reaped richest harvests and fairest fruitage.

Their cozy, little home, is a fair and faithful mirror, reflecting the unostentatious, goodness, purity and love which characterizes every act of their private lives, whose peaceful, even tenor is indicated in the tasteful apartments, pervaded with purity and touched with the delicate tracery of taste. Fair flowers grace almost every nook of this truly Eden-home, and its bright blooming garden is a fitting type of their lives, blossoming with goodness and fragrant with the incense of holiness.

It is not strange that these dear people seemed to me like loved relations; our meeting like a reunion with some pure spirits with whom my heart had held communion in other days, their voices coming to me like some sweet strain of unforgotten music.

I left them, feeling grateful that my little book had been the humble instrument of so much good, and was happy in the thought that it had been so thoroughly read and discussed in the little Sabbath School, that I had many warm friends in Sycamore.

Before I left he pleadingly besought me never to pass by a saloon in my canvassing tours, for I little knew the good my presence might bring about. I have faithfully followed his advice, ever buoyed by the hope of some equally happy result, and never having met with an indignity or repulse, this class of people ranking among my most generous patrons.

As from every event in life we gather some golden lesson of wisdom, from this I learned to—

"Think nought a trifle
Though it small appear
Small sands make up the mountain,
Moments make the year,
And trifles life!"


"While, O, my heart! as white sails shiver,
And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide;
How hard to follow with lips that quiver,
That moving speck on the far-off side!
Farther, farther—I see it—I know it—
My eyes brim over, it melts away,
Only my heart, to my heart shall show it,
As I walk desolate day by day."

At home for the winter, I was joined by my husband, who had entered into business, and constant tidings of Hattie's convalescence cheered me. Ida being obliged to visit home, I was left in entire charge of my house, daily bewailing the fatal effects of inexperience, when, as ever, a friend was furnished me in the hour of need. Mrs. Leavitt, my neighbor "over the way," was a lady of great personal attraction, whose beautiful head was crowned with the glory of prematurely white hair. She ministered to me in so many ways. In reading or conversation her melodious voice lent a charm to the most ordinary theme. Nor did she deem it degrading to enter the domestic realm, and there as everywhere she reigned a queen.

The flutter of a handkerchief at the window blind was my "signal of distress," and when my "Ship of State" seemed sinking amid the breakers of domestic storms, her strong arm ever saved. When, the dread emergency of dinner demanded more skill than my amateur art supplied, she came to the rescue, and as she presided in the kitchen, teaching to compound some savoury sauce or delicate dish, the process was interlarded with some sage sentiment from Bacon and other profound philosophers; while, like Joe's practical sermon over the "plum pudding" came her comments "My dear! knowledge is power," thus deeply impressing me with the potency of her presence even in the culinary department.

Hence from this dear friend I received not only the "fullness of knowledge," but the richness of affection also. She finally drifted away from me to the sunny, flowery land of Florida, whence sweet memories are wafted to me through her love-laden letters, under whose sentiment there flows the same deep under-current of thought.

In the dreary month of January, Hattie came with the snow drifts, bringing with her presence a bright sun-ray, for she was buoyant with the hope of health, and I rejoicing that her life could be lengthened, perhaps saved, hence the winter passed in mapping out plans for the future. But, with the early spring, the dread disease reappeared with such intensity that I felt her doom to be irrevocably sealed, while "hope fled and mercy sighed." Prompted by a hope of enhancing her interest, I accompanied her to Morrison, Illinois, where she was awaited by two loving sisters, who, together with their noble husbands, so tenderly cared for her that it in some degree appeased the sad reluctance of giving her into other hands.

Mr. Arms' health had now become so seriously impaired that he had determined to seek the benefit of the Hot Springs of Arkansas, and, after he left, I secured the services of Miss Josie Tyson as traveling companion, and started for the lead mining regions of Wisconsin, making Mineral Point my headquarters. This town is the shipping-place for the ore, and I was surprised to find it with several thousand inhabitants—abounding in wealth and greatly advanced in culture, while it became afterward endeared to me by the extreme kindness of its people. My little jaunts from this place by private conveyance made a pleasant variety in the monotony of travel, after which we visited Mendota and South Western Iowa, where we spent a delightful summer.

We returned to Morrison the day before Thanksgiving, and I lingered two weeks with Hattie. Surely "blessings brighten as they take their flight," and with us the sadly, blissful moments flew all too fast, both silently impressed that it might be our last communion. In my absence her delicate and refined taste had designed a gold ring which she had made as a parting gift. As she placed it upon my finger she leaned her head upon my shoulder and wept bitterly, telling me in tenderest tones her sorrow at leaving one who so much needed her, pleading with me to have patience to bear the separation. These tears from fountains deep and pure must have been as potent at the throne of grace as the one so graphically described by Sterne; even that of the Recording Angel, who, in the bright Empyrean, dropped a tear upon the word left by the Accusing Spirit "and blotted it out forever."

Physicians agreeing that she might live at least a year, I yielded to her persuasion to go South for the benefit of my own health, and—

"In silence we parted, for neither could speak;
But the trembling lip and the fast fading cheek
To both were betraying what neither could tell;
How deep was the pang of that silent farewell."

After a short season devoted to the arrangement of home matters, I started South via the Chicago and Alton Railroad. At Dwight, Illinois, we stopped at the McPherson House, where we had a delightful suite of rooms. The proprietor had attained to the years allotted to man, yet was so wonderfully preserved that he seemed a stalwart man of fifty. He spent an evening in our parlor, feasting us with the richness of his reminiscence. He had served in both the regular army and navy, his travels leading him to lands afar, and his naval service landing him at almost every port in the world, yet he had never carried a more dangerous weapon than a penknife, always having been unharmed and unmolested. His creed consisted of six words, viz.: "Deal mercifully, walk humbly before God." These "articles of faith," simple as the "new commandment" which Christ gave to his disciples, I give unto you, and beautiful as the "Golden Rule" of Confucius, were certainly in my own case carried out both "in the letter and the spirit;" for he at first peremptorily refused any remuneration for our elegant accommodations, but, finding me inexorable, very reluctantly consented to accept half pay.

The weather grew so cold, and the times so dull, we did not halt again until we reached St. Louis, where we both had relatives and friends who helped us to while away the holiday hours. While there we visited the Institution for the Blind, our pleasure being much enhanced by the rare music we heard and the polite attention of Professor Workman, the Superintendent.

The Superintendent of the Iron Mountain Railway presented us with a pass, jocularly remarking that it was equal to an eighty dollar New Year's gift.

Mr. C.C. Anderson, of Adams' express, upon the strength of our old Baltimore acquaintance, gave me letters of introduction, which afterward proved of infinite value.


"With the fingers of the blind
We are groping here to find
What the hieroglyphics mean
Of the unseen in the seen.
What the thought which underlies
Nature's masking and disguise,
What it is that hides beneath
Blight and bloom, and birth and death."

We left St. Louis with its noble depot and stupendous bridge, and reaching Iron Mountain we seemed to have emerged from dense darkness into dazzling light. Going to the clean, elegant hotel, our faces, covered with St. Louis soot, were in such grim contrast with our sunny surroundings, that we had to go through an elaborate course of ablution before we could feel ourselves presentable. Iron Mountain is a monster mass of iron, one of the largest and purest of the kind in the world. In 1836 it was bought for the insignificant sum of six hundred dollars, and now its worth is incalculable.

Being unwilling to brave mud and small towns, we made no stops until we reached Little Rock, Arkansas, where, at the untimely hour of three o'clock in the morning, we went to the Central House, the only hotel which had survived their recent fires, and which we found so crowded that even the doors were closed against us.

Our party of five went out in quest of shelter, the night pervaded by "the blackness of darkness," and the rain pouring in torrents. One of the gentlemen was a member of the Legislature, and quite an invalid. Growing faint from exhaustion, he fell into a mud hole, and was fairly immersed in its slimy depths. After a long search we finally found a poor refuge and an execrable bed, but in the morning were favored in securing comfortable private accommodations.

While at Little Rock we visited all the State institutions, and among them that for the blind. After ten days of business success, we went to all the towns on the Arkansas River, and were charmed with its scenery, for while the classical meander, it winds in graceful beauty through forests which, although too low and ragged to please the eye, clothe a country otherwise picturesque in character. A strange peculiarity of the Arkansas River is that of the emerald green color which deeply tinges its crystal clearness, a fact which I found no one able to explain satisfactorily.

Fort Smith is nominally at the head of river navigation, but is really accessible by steamer only during a very small portion of the year, when the water is at an unusually high stage. It is beautifully located, and has a main street known as "The Avenue," which is between two and three hundred feet in width. This avenue is a great business centre, and at almost all times a scene of animated interest, while at its head stand prominently a cathedral and a convent.

The swift passing panorama of the avenue is ofttimes varied by a picturesque group of Chocktaws or Cherokees, with grotesque costume, this place being their principal rendezvous. Just at the edge of the town is a National Cemetery of great natural beauty, with but little of the stiff regularity which usually characterizes such places.

We found a great lack of educational advantages throughout the entire State of Arkansas, there being no public schools, and the private ones few in number and poor in character; but it has never been my good fortune to meet kinder hearts than were encountered among the masses.

At Arkadelphia we had a regular Arkansas deluge, and the first class hotel of this flourishing town of two thousand souls would indeed have been a poor ark for Father Noah and his family. Its walls were lathed but not plastered, and from our apartment we had an extended view of the entire floor.

Our furniture consisted of two wooden chairs, a box turned upside down for a toilet-stand, a rickety bedstead, with unmusical creak, a tumble-down lounge, and dismal, but genuine tallow dip. In these quarters we spent four days, during which time the rain poured with unremitting constancy.

In the parlor of the same edifice was an elegant piano, and magnificently dressed ladies, and our constant amazement was, how, in this strange country, extremes could so amicably meet.

I found in Arkadelphia two blind gentlemen, who were prosperous merchants; and to me, this spoke volumes for a community who would so generously sustain the afflicted rather than allow them the condescension of beggary.

We next visited Hope, a town of three thousand inhabitants, yet having numbered but three years of existence; and while these people are considered so slow in progression, this fact indicated a considerable degree of Yankee go-a-head activity. This town is one of the important cotton markets of the State, which branch of trade imparts an additional business activity.

We turned toward Hot Springs, the Baden of America, and when within twenty miles of this wonderful place we encountered a throng of that class of human pests known as "hotel runners," thick as bees, and more stingingly annoying, for they especially abounded in low jests and ribald stories which grate so harshly upon sensitive ears. It would certainly be an act of philanthropy, both to the hotels and their patrons, to take some measure for the suppression of this nuisance.

The approach to Hot Springs, and the first glimpse of the stream, smoking as if its bed rested upon some subterranean fire, are in themselves awe-inspiring. The valley is narrowed to the limits of three hundred feet, and the road winds gracefully around the base of the mountain, upon whose top the cold spring furnishes a better beverage than iced champagne; while close by its side bubbles the boiling spring, in which eggs can be cooked to perfection; and with a little seasoning of salt and pepper, the most luscious soup can be improvized, while the boiling water au naturale can be drunk in copious, life-giving draughts.

The hotels are ranged upon either side of the road, and have all the necessary bathing appointments. Among the many novelties to a stranger was the process of dressing chicken, which was their staple article of food. The hot stream was the only necessary cauldron for the scalding process, while the feathers were thrown into the swift current, and rapidly carried away by the natural sewerage, a decidedly labor-saving process, and somewhat characteristic of the locality and its native cooks.

The various forms of treatment consist of hot, cold, vapor and mud baths, and have been so often described that a repetition would be monotonous; their efficacy being almost unfailing, except in cases of pulmonary disease, in which they would soon prove fatal. One who has ever enjoyed these baths will always long for the luxury years after leaving them behind.

We reluctantly left this valley, teeming with rich quarries of valuable stone and various ores, luscious fruits, and the trifling drawbacks of rattlesnakes, centipedes and tarantulas, and went to Texaskana, which is located at the junction of the three States of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, hence its name.

It is a great railroad centre, and it is very curious to visit the depot amid the rushing thousands who daily pass through this place on their way to Texas. It is a wildly romantic place, built upon a clearing of forty acres without any decided plan, streets running at random very much like the old cowpaths of Manhattan, and houses grouped in picturesque confusion. Finding the main hotel crowded, the proprietor manifested an unheard-of disinterestedness in a two hours search to find us suitable accommodations elsewhere, an act of magnanimity worthy of especial note and remembrance.


"Oh, ever thus from childhood's hour,
I've seen my fondest hopes decay;
I never loved a tree, or flower,
But it was first to fade away.
I never nursed a dear gazelle,
To glad me with its soft black eye,
But when it came to know me well
And love me, it was sure to die."

We reached Jefferson, Texas, when the excitement was rife over the murder of Bessie Moore, the terrible details of which sent a thrill of horror over the entire United States. It rained during the several days of our stay there; but thanks to the earnest endeavors of Mrs. Frazer, of the Frazer House, I did very well in my business. Many of the fairest portions of the town had been laid waste by the destructive ravages of incendiary fires, and had never been rebuilt.

Marshall is one of the most enterprising towns in the State, being a great railroad centre, and settled almost exclusively by Northern people.

We had a most delightful visit to Shreveport, Louisiana: It lies at the head of Red River navigation, and is the port of entry for New Orleans steamers, being a place of great wealth and equal generosity. The editors worked with great zest to aid me, and among the many people I met very few failed to buy books. The genial skies and bright sunshine made it hard to realize that it was the winter season; and I shall ever revert to its warm-hearted people not only with pleasure but with gratitude.

At Longview—in the dilapidated prison-like room of my hotel, I received tidings of the death and burial of Hattie. My surroundings were in such sad accord with my feelings, that I wondered if the sun would ever shine, or the flowers bloom again, so much light went out with her dear life.

At Longview we took a branch of the International Railroad to Palestine—Mr. Smith, the Vice-President of the road, not only largely patronizing me, but presenting me with a six months' pass and the assurance that if I ever again visited the State a letter addressed to him would ensure a repetition of the favor.

Thence we went to Galveston, where Mr. Arms had been for three months trying the efficacy of sea-bathing. This city is beautifully located upon a fertile island in Galveston Bay. The streets are lined upon either side with oleander trees, which, arching over at the top, form a very bower of bloom, while every breath of the clear bright air is balmy with the odor of orange blossoms.

The Mesquite trees, with attenuated leaves and gracefully drooping pods, adorn all the parks of the city, the beans forming a delicious dish either cooked or raw.

No wonder Texas is called "The Happy Hunting Ground," for the five delightful weeks we spent in Galveston seemed like a dream of Paradise. Its many pleasures were varied by sailing and bathing, every morning finding us upon the pure, white beach, where the waves whispered the sweetest melodies.

We went back to Houston in the month of bloom, and no "vale of Cashmere" could have been more beautiful in its "feast of roses."

The street car ran to the depot, and we found in it but one passenger, a gentleman who carried a rose in his hand. Noticing at once that I was blind, he arose and said to me, "Although you cannot see the beautiful flowers you can inhale their sweetness," at the same time asking me to accept the rose. His delicate kindness and urbane manner struck a deep chord in my heart, and I never think of Houston without recalling the gentle touch and tone.

I must not omit to mention an act of generosity upon the part of the railroad office at Galveston. Leaving there I had paid fare to Houston, and the agent refunded five dollars, adding that I should never be allowed to pay railroad fare.

After remaining two weeks at Houston I took the Sunset Route to San Antonia, and stopped at the Central House on the main plaza. This is the oldest town in Texas, and is called "The Stone City," its antique buildings and narrow winding streets giving it a quaint, time-worn air.

San Antonia River rises from a low spring, four miles distant from the city, and gracefully winds through its streets, and is here and there spanned by beautiful rustic bridges.

The "City Gardens" are one block distant from the main plaza, and are located upon an island of great natural beauty, romantically approached by a floating bridge. The air is cool and refreshing from the river breeze, fair flowers, bloom and sweet voiced birds rival the musical instruments which lead the merry feet of the dancers.

A mile from the city are the San Pedro Springs, a lovely park often acres in area, where springs flow out into crystal purling streams, forming islands, lakes, and ponds white and fragrant with their lily bloom, while shining green lizards and other reptiles peep curiously out from the rocks and glide away into the stream.

Just across the main plaza stands the old Spanish cathedral, with its musical chime of bells sending out on the perfumed air melodies sweet as vesper songs.

We went to the old Alamo, felt the antique cannon used by the Mexicans, were shown the room in which Bowie died and the spot where fell the brave Colonel Crockett, who, with his handful of men, so gallantly held the citadel, at which time he was taken alive, together with five other prisoners, and ordered by Santa Anna to be killed.

Just before the fatal sword-thrust, which ended a life so fraught with daring and danger, he sprang like a tiger at the throat of Santa Anna, his face wearing even in death this expression of fiendish, scowling hatred.

San Antonia being the great market for the frontier, is a place of great business activity. While there I was struck with amazement to see a dirty, ragged man mounted upon a jaded, dilapidated horse, a very Sancho Panza and Rezinante, smilingly asking alms of the passer-by.

I had often heard of, but never before saw a veritable "beggar on horseback."


"Light, warmth, and sprouting greenness,
And o'er all
Blue, stainless, steel-bright ether
Raining down
Tranquility upon the deep hushed town
The freshening meadow and the hillside brown."

We went from San Antonio to Austin, the capital of Texas, where I had a delightful interview with Governor Hubbard, who, although much engrossed with the cares of State, seemed for the time to lay them all aside, and gave me his undivided attention. Certainly if "all the world's a stage, and men and women merely players," this versatile gentleman appeared as well in the role of courtier as in that of the statesman.

The Government Buildings are of finished architectural art, and stand amid cultivated grounds, upon a commanding eminence. At the State House door is a monument to the memory of Colonel David Crockett and the brave companions who foil with him at St. Alamo.

The public Institutions of Austin are a credit to "The Lone Star" State, especially that for the Blind, at which I spent a day, and was charmingly entertained by Dr. Raney and his accomplished wife. The matron also dispensed hospitalities with so much true dignity and grace, and I never visited an institution in which the inmates were so pre-eminently refined, its sixty-five pupils numbering so many accomplishments.

In response to a solicitation from Dr. Raney I addressed the school. This was done through a social chat, in which the little group circled close around me, and while I never so longed for "the poetry of speech" to render the deep emotion of my heart, I really believe no elocutionist, with all "the charm of delivery," could have had a more attentive audience.

Waco is known as the Athens of Texas, and among its many Institutions of Learning is the Baptist University, open to both sexes. It is under the charge of Doctor Burlison, who extended to me an invitation to meet the school at their chapel exercises.

The "sweet hour of prayer" being over, he disposed of many of my books and baskets among the pupils. This gentleman was deeply engrossed with the educational interests of the State, and had traveled over its length and breadth to enhance its prosperity, being more especially engaged in the public school system. The next day twenty-five of the young lady pupils, chaperoned by their teachers, called upon me at the McLennan House. They were all characterized by discreet and lady-like deportment, and as there was a fine toned piano in the parlor, there was no lack of artistic music. We had also an equally kind reception from the Reverend Mr. Wright and lady of the Methodist College.

Waco is on the Brazos River, which is spanned by a graceful suspension bridge, the pride of the town. During my visit they held their celebrated fete known as "The Maifest," which lasted two days, and the gay and fantastic procession in which all professions and trades were represented made it almost as gorgeous as a carnival.

From Waco we went to Dallas, which is located upon Trinity River, and is the Metropolis of Northern Texas. There was little to note in my stay there, except the amusingly antagonistic reasons assigned by two men for not giving me their patronage. Their business houses were upon the same side of one street, and not very remote from each other. One refused because my book was not sufficiently religious in its tone, and the other because he saw the name of the Lord upon one of its pages. It was plainly evident in both cases that the name of the "Almighty Dollar" as its price was the most probable impediment.

It was now the last of May, and the intense heat induced me to go northward; indeed those who hope to enjoy a visit in that part of Texas must go at some time between the months of September and May, for during the remainder of the year the inhabitants do nothing but "try to keep cool."

We stopped over one train at the beautiful town of Sherman, and then hurried on to St. Louis, where I found my old friend Mrs. Anderson, who, having visited Baltimore the previous summer, had learned all the particulars of the death of the beloved Superintendant of our Institution during my life there.

Mr. Charles H. Keener was the son of Christian Keener, the founder of Greenmount Cemetery of Baltimore, a sweet resting place which could fitly receive the appellation given their cemeteries by the Turks—"A City of the Living." He was the brother of Bishop J.C. Keener, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, who is quite celebrated as a Divine. His life was characterized by a succession of shining acts of self-sacrifice and affection, and his nature, so quiet and unobtrusive, shrunk so sensitively from ostentation, that greatness must have been "thrust upon him" ere he held a name emblazoned upon the roll of fame. His character in contrast with publicly great men has been most graphically told by the German poet, who sang—

"One on earth in silence wrought,
And his grave in silence sought;
But the younger, brighter form,
Passed in battle, and in storm."

As the Superintendent of our Institution, he held the hearts of every inmate. His younger brother, in a letter of response to some queries, said—"He was an Engineer in the United States Navy during the War of the Rebellion, a devoted son, a true patriot, and an earnest Christian man." He was afterward stationed on the "Island of Navassa," one of the West India Group, within one hundred miles of Cuba, and was acting as Superintendent of a Phosphate Company which owned, and worked the Island. He had been there during eighteen months, when, in September, 1872, the yellow fever broke out in the Island. After several weeks' resistance he, too, succumbed to this terrible scourge, and, after a six days' illness, died on the 9th of November, 1872.

His brother also feelingly makes mention of his last letter, written upon the day of his attack, as "a marvel of calm resignation." It runs thus: "I am fast getting ready to be counted among the sick. When you know I am really dead write to—(here follow the names of many friends) and tell them to meet me in Heaven. One by one we are passing over, why should we hesitate? why should I with no one to care for? Surely I have seen trouble enough in this life! May I feel as little dread of dying at the last moment as I do now."

His last words were addressed to his second officer, who had been addicted to dissipation, but who had pledged himself to reform. As he was carried out to look upon the sea which he loved so well, he said: "Mawson, remember your pledge," when his head immediately dropped and he entered into the life eternal.

So did the life of this good man pass gently away while he was still in the prime of manhood. He was carried to beautiful Greenmount for burial, near the city in which his name will be coupled with loving memories for long years to come.


"Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress trees!
Who hopeless lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned in hours of faith
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever Lord of Death,
And love can never lose its own!"

A short time after our return home, Miss Tyson, having become weary of traveling, I accompanied her to Morrison, and after spending a few days there left her with friends and went alone to Pecatonica, when Ida again accompanied me in my travels. On my return I stopped at Winnebago, Illinois, to visit the hallowed spot in which Hattie lay buried. As I approached the cemetery mingled memories of her beautiful life came surging through my soul, and a deep silent awe stole over me. I sent my friends away to another part of the grounds that I might be entirely alone with my dead, and as I knelt in the stillness of that sacred hour I felt that the grave held only the precious clay, and that the sweet spirit-presence was there trying to comfort me as it had always done in earth-life, while, as the soft sound of the June wind stole through the trembling evergreen near by, it seemed to whisper a sweet song, whose burden sighed—

Love will dream and faith will trust,
Since he who knows our needs is just;
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.

As I turned away I felt the strong ray of sunshine which fell upon her grave, and rested there a halo and a promise!

Our first stop going Westward was at Kansas City, and as it was the first of August we found the colored people out in a well-filled procession, celebrating this, one of their great Emancipation days. Ida having seen very few colored people during her life was furnished an amusing entertainment. We also visited Lawrence, which is so marked in Kansas annals, and Topeka, the capital, but as my experience in this State differs so materially from that in any other (not making sufficient through my sales to cover expenses), I will hurriedly pass it by.

We took the sleeping car at Topeka, but, as a "washout" had destroyed the track for some distance, I left the train with the other passengers, and walked with precision over culverts and places of danger with ofttimes only a narrow plank for my track. A gentleman who kindly led me smilingly said this was indeed "walking by faith," and it was true blind eyes never have aught but faith "as a lamp to their feet and a guide to their path."

After leaving Salina there was nothing to be seen but a blank, desolate plain, as monotonous as a silent, sailless sea, grimly varied by an occasional station, with a few "dugouts" for houses. The mail on this train was most unceremoniously delivered by being thrown from the cars, and it was very amusing to witness the confusion and rush for its contents, for the love-laden and business-burdened missives are as dear to these people as to the most cultured members of society.

The frequent recurrence of the little sand-hill communities, known as prairie dog cities, was of novel interest to us, and the habits of these creatures a curious study. They build their sand-hill habitations as skillfully as the beaver erects his dam, and are so untiring in following their instinct of self-preservation that they stand as constant sentinels at the entrance of their homes, and in any case of danger play to such perfection the role of "the artful dodger" that they are never caught.

It is a singular fact that these animals are very rarely killed, and if by chance some "unlucky dog" should lose his life he is hurried out of sight by his devoted companions with so much celerity that his body is never found.

Fifty miles before reaching Denver the snow crowned tops of Gray's and James' Peaks are clearly revealed, while from one point alone will Pike's Peak allow the traveler a glimpse of his glorious grandeur. We were told that the former mountains were more frequently visible at a distance of one hundred miles. We neared Denver just as the sun was sinking, enthroned in purple and amber and gold, with a faint, delicate rosy flush tinging the edge of the more royal hues. Its truly Italian beauty was so vividly pictured to me by Ida, that I could almost realize the regal splendor of a Colorado sunset. Completely tired out and covered with alkaline dust, we were grateful for the rest and comfort afforded by the elegant Wentworth House.

We spent a week in Denver, fraught with interest, for while it is a city destitute of the charm of historical associations and musty memories, which add so much interest to most foreign cities and many American localities, it so abounds in youthful life with its warm and bounding currents, its vim and vigor, that it teems with varying attractions. Its broad avenues, softened by shade, its stately residences and mammoth business blocks, render it as imposing as many old cities, and indicate but little of its real primitive struggles for life, and the dangerous aggressions of the "Red Man;" its truly western pluck having ranked these among the things that were.

The elliptical basin in which Denver is built, sloping north and east, gives it a picturesque and extended view; the mountains losing themselves in one direction in the now historic "Black Hills," and in the other merging into the "Spanish Peaks" and "Sangre de Christo Range," so named from a natural symbol of the Christian faith, a snowy cross grandly gleaming in the distance.

Taking the Colorado Central Railway we went through the Clear Creek Cañon, with its rich and fertile fields to Golden, so beautifully sheltered in the valley at the base of the mountain, and whose air was more life-giving to me than that of any other portion of Colorado. In the vicinity of this little Eden we climbed a rock seven hundred feet high, and while two laborious hours were occupied in the ascent, we were amply recompensed when we stood upon the smooth rock which crowned its summit, where the merry picnicers pause amid their pastimes, absorbed in the sublimity of their surroundings, for while they are basking in the soft sunlight the sound of the distant thundering and lightning in the mountain tops recalls the story of Sinai, where the multitude below stood silent and breathless, and from the roar of Heaven's artillery above issued the written tables of stone.

From this our lofty site the clear ether of the intervening fourteen miles revealed the city of Denver looming up like a lonely vision.

Turning toward the "Gold Centres," whose wealth, if the half were told, would seem as fabulous as an "Arabian Nights Story," we visited "Central City" and "Black Hawk,", which are so close together that it has been facetiously said "It is impossible for a citizen to tell where he lives without going out doors and looking at some landmark."

These two places are really built upon foundations of gold, and many of the houses constructed of gold-bearing quartz.

The depot at Black Hawk might justly be denominated "Porter's Folly," for this magnificent structure was built by a reckless miner for a quartz-mill, at an expenditure of one hundred thousand dollars, and the miner was General Fitz John Porter.

At Central City we stopped at the Teller House, and received marked kindness from Mr. Bush, the proprietor. Mr. Rhodes, editor of the daily paper, aided me greatly in his well-written notices, and invited us to dine at his house, where we were delightfully entertained by himself and his accomplished wife.

We crossed the country by stage to Idaho Springs, over a region not only grand and diversified in scenery, but rich in mineral wealth, the road winding through intricate mountain heights and wild cañons. The springs are the chief resort of this portion of Colorado, and, aside from their wildly beautiful surroundings, furnish great facilities for the exhilarating hot soda baths and swimming bath-houses, in which elegantly costumed bathers of both sexes hold high carnival.

The hotel was quite romantically situated near a meandering creek, which murmured by its side and made my pleasant room upon the ground floor musical with its rippling flow. Days of dreamy beauty, and nights of cool, invigorating rest, render this a watering place of remarkable attraction.

Georgetown stands next in size to Denver, and is an outgrowth of the rich mining wealth with which it is environed. Indeed, it seemed as if some geni had touched all around it with a magic wand. Silver-ore was strewn in rich profusion, piled like cord-wood in huge masses at every step; was talked of in the street, the hotel, and the home, until it seemed as if we thought, ate, and breathed silver.

At the beautiful town of Boulder we stopped at the prominent and luxurious hotel known as the American House, and after a short stay took the stage for Caribon, then the most elevated town in the State, standing considerably over nine thousand feet above the sea-level. A romantic and ever-ascending ride of a day's length was required to reach this eyrie, and at noon-day the driver allowed us to stop for our dinner, when our wayside inn was improvized from the sheltering shade of grand old trees, our table a rock, our chairs the same.

No ambrosia could have been sweeter to the gods than was our sylvan feast, with the appetite induced by mountain air and exercise; no nectar finer than the crystal draught, dipped from the little stream; no orchestra more musical than its varied tones. Although it was yet September, there was a severe snow-storm, and, the next day, when it had subsided, a party went out to pick raspberries, which were sweet and delicious in flavor, while beside the deep snow-banks bloomed flowers as beautiful as the rarest exotics.

Ladies are so vigorous in that country that they think nothing of a walk of many miles, but the intensely rarefied air of the mountains made my own respiration very difficult.

We returned to Denver, where our few days' visit was all too short, for it was with painful reluctance we yielded to the demands of business interest, and left a city which to us was fraught with so much pleasure, and went to Colorado Springs, a place of five thousand inhabitants, and one of the most stirring towns in the State. It is very level, being symmetrically laid out in broad and shaded streets, and derives its name from the fact of being the station from which tourists take the stage for the springs at Manitou, six miles distant. It is also the point from which pleasure parties daily leave for Pike's Peak.

One of the main features of interest in our visit to Colorado Springs, was the presence of the great "Man of the Period," over whom the stupendous heart of Barnum throbbed with exultant pride, and scientists waxed wondering and eloquent. This august personage, who was no other than the since sensational "Stone Man of Colorado," was lying in state, in all the majesty of his marbleized grandeur, and was the magnet toward which throngs of wonder-seekers were irresistibly drawn, all of whom, as if entering the presence chamber of the King of Terrors, seemed awed by this silent "representative of the dead past," and with hushed voices and bated breath, lingered over the lineaments of one, which, if it had been known at that time was not a real petrifaction, would perhaps have excited only feelings of ridicule and words of derision. We were willing to be humbugged with the rest for the sacred emotions experienced under the silent potency of this phenomenon of the nineteenth century; nor can we even in the light of subsequent revelations deny the fact that he was "fearfully and wonderfully made."

We next visited Pueblo, where this giant was exhumed, but were not at all pleased with the town or its surroundings, and suffered greatly from thirst rather than drink the offensive water for which the residents are so heavily taxed. It was so apparently poisonous in odor, that if it had been in the malarious climate of Chicago, instead of the exhilarating atmosphere of Colorado, all would have died from its effects.

We have never visited a State which held such diversified interest as that of Colorado, a fitting resort for the invalid, the pleasure seeker, artist, scientist or poet. No place but some haunt of the Muses could boast the ethereal beauty of a "Glen Eyrie," and no wonder the "Garden of the Gods" is supposed to have once been the abode of "Great Jove himself," and that there fair Venus bathed her beauteous form, and girdled with the fabled "Cestus," held her court amid the immortal beauties of the sacred spot.

We came through Kansas via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, meeting with no better success than that which marked our former trip in that region of country, and could only conclude, that while their crops were at that time large and lucrative, the grasshopper raid had taught them a lesson of economy which they were rigidly observing.

Before returning home we visited the only surviving sister of my mother, who lived in Salsbury, Missouri, and who not having heard from me since the Chicago fire, concluded that I might have perished in its flames. She and her husband were both over seventy years old, and strange to say, were like so many of the old people I have met in my travels, that my readers might suppose my heroes and heroines had found the "fabled fountain" and secured immortal youth. Be this as it may, it could certainly be said of her husband, as of the father of Evangeline:

"Stalwart and stately of form
Was the man of seventy summers;
Hearty and hale was he
As an oak that is covered with snow-flakes."

I had a delightful visit of two days with this aged couple, during which my aunt rehearsed to me many incidents in the early life of my mother, and presented me with a lock of her hair, which, as a memento, is ever magnetically associated with the "loved ones gone before."

Returning to Chicago, I found my husband, whose health was far worse than when I saw him in Galveston. This, together with a combination of surrounding circumstances, suggested the project of writing up "The World as I have found it," and I spent the greater part of the winter of 1877-8 in this work.

If it should appear to my friends and readers, that I found only the "sunny side" of life, and they should wonder why I so seldom saw the shadow, or received the thrust of unkindness, I can simply say that I was almost universally so well received, that the few cases of unkind treatment became the exception and not the rule, and these were generally so bitterly repented, and so amply amended, that I felt it would be an act of ingratitude to note them in my experiences.

Hoping that these last missives to my kind and noble patrons will be as well received as was the first humble effort of my girlhood—"Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl," I can only add in conclusion, that if any one of the patient followers of my wanderings has found aught of sufficient interest to while away the tedium of an otherwise weary hour, or gleaned from the dross a single "golden grain," I will be amply recompensed.


Throughout the entire length my unpretending offering my aim has been, as far as was compatible with a personal history, to make my pages interesting to the general public, but I cannot close without addressing some especial words to those, who, like myself, must be content to live with vision veiled from the world's transcendant beauties, and whose life-paths from a variety of causes seem ofttimes utterly rayless.

Blindness has been universally regarded as one of the most terrible afflictions of an adverse fate, nor can it be denied that it is one which requires a great amount of grace, and all the reason and judgment one can command, to bear the burden with any degree of patience, much less with perfect resignation.

It is so often the result of impaired health, while the severe test of maltreatment or even the most skillful treatment, tends to deplete the system and depress the spirits.

Again, the blind are in the majority of cases the children of poor parents, and subject to all the neglect and exposure incident to poverty, while, if they are born in affluence, they are so petted and pampered, in consequence of their affliction, that they become utterly dependent and useless, and contract habits that should be and which under other circumstances would be broken.

It is no more necessary for a blind child, with proper instruction and careful training, to become awkward and ungainly, than for one in full possession of all the senses, the drawback of blindness simply demanding a little more patience and perseverance to attain the ease and grace, which is as inevitable as in other children.

In all the category of first instructions for the period of childhood, from the muscular education by which a babe is taught to take its first tottering step or the voluntary movement necessary to grasp and hold an object, to the lisping language of love intoned in the first sweet prattle, the all-pervading spirit, from the first to the last lesson, is that of self-reliance. While blind children of wealth are waited upon until they become utterly incapable of helping themselves, and through a mistaken kindness are so constantly ministered to, they lapse into passive, pantomimic puppets, void of the vitality and sparkle which, by their natural endowments, is attainable.

I have made it a guiding rule, throughout my life, never to consider there was anything which, with the proper effort, I could not do, and my experience proves a confirmation of the fact that there were very few things I could not accomplish. I would fain impress this lesson upon my blind friends, feeling as I do that it would prove of untold service to them.

It is not at all necessary that the blind should so lose their dignity or individuality, as to allow themselves to be addressed in word or tone at all different from that directed to other people, and, as an illustration of this point, I may be pardoned for relating an incident of my school life.

A gentleman once called at our Institution in Baltimore, and, immediately after his introduction to a group of blind girls, of which I was one, he said: "Ladies, how would you manage to select a husband?"

Flaming with indignation, I impulsively replied: "Sir! We do not deal in such merchandise?" and smarting with a sense of the indignity, I immediately left his presence.

I was afterward called to account by our worthy Superintendent to whom the person in question preferred a complaint of rude treatment. Begging permission to explain the situation, I respectfully enquired of our official in case this same gentleman were thrown for the first time in the presence of an equal number of society ladies, who could see if it would be possible for him to address a similar remark to them, without being charged with rudeness and presumption, or if it were not even questionable whether he would dare to address them in such a way at all—and we, although blind, felt that we had the right to demand the same deference and respect. It is almost needless to say that I was fully exonerated from all blame, and honorably discharged from the presence of my interrogator.

In the course of my travels I am ofttimes asked if I desire my meals sent to my room, presupposing, as would be naturally inferred, the possibility of great awkwardness in my manner of eating; hence I invariably decline this offer of privacy, as there need be nothing in our manner of eating at all outre or disagreeable.

It is of course necessary to have a graceful attendant, and my first great care is to instruct my guide in all the phases of table ministration, which are more varied and important than is discernible to those who can see.

I also take great pains to instruct them in the art of walking with me properly; never allowing them to tell me how to proceed, but to give me a tacit understanding of their movements in order to direct my own, and this system in my own experience has been reduced to a science.

Many persons feel that it is far more sad and terrible to have once possessed sight, and afterward to become blind, than never to have seen at all, but I cannot agree with them, and will never cease to be grateful that until I was twelve years old, I could grasp, through sight, the unfolding beauties of nature and art, which are now so often reproduced that I can see all the manifold loveliness spread out before me, and for a season forget that I am blind. Those who are born in blindness, are, to a great extent, denied this pleasure, for it is almost impossible through the imagination to form any adequate conception of "things seen."

One of the most deplorable results of blindness is the fact that so many of its victims condescend to the degradation of beggary, thus bringing disgrace upon those who try to make an honorable living. I once had occasion to go into a prominent Express Office of Chicago upon important business of my own. The agent discovering that I was blind, and in evident anticipation of a draught upon his pocket, resorted to it and drew out fifty cents. After learning my business he manifested considerable embarrassment, and as slyly as possible deposited his money in its original place, and no doubt hoped the movement was not observed. Thus it so often becomes as apparent to us as to others, that the majority of people jump at the conclusion, that if one is blind, they must of necessity resort to begging, and I deeply regret that so many establish this belief by their conduct.

It has been to me a serious source of annoyance that so large a number of persons endeavor to impress upon my mind the idea that it is an act of charity to patronize me to the extent of the purchase of a single book, while just after me a strong man, with faculties unimpaired, a man amply able to do other work, may enter, and they buy from him anything he may have to sell without ever dreaming that it is a charity to do so.

But I am truly grateful to the majority of those with whom I come in business contact for their appreciation of my energy and enterprise, as they almost invariably consider mine a laudable way of making a living.

A great many blind persons offer as an excuse for inactivity that they have no capital to do with, but even this obstacle may be removed, as is so often the case with impediments in the paths of those who see.

In Marysville, California, I became acquainted with a gentleman who lost his sight in middle life, and exhausted all his means upon oculists and other measures intended to restore his eyes. Finding the case hopeless, and having a family dependent upon him for support, instead of sitting down in despair or resorting to begging, he went to a friend and borrowed two dollars and a half. With this he bought a basket, filled it with fruit and went out to sell it. This basket became the nucleus of an extensive business for some years after, and, at the time I met him, he was a highly respected citizen, possessing a comfortable home and a considerable bank account, though still holding a large fruit-stand as a permanent resource.

Another instance could be cited in the case of a young man of the same State who became suddenly blind, when some friend told him he had better go to San Francisco and hold out his hat, "for he would certainly do well." Wounded to the quick at such advice, he replied that, in case he accepted such a suggestion, he would solicit enough to buy a dose of strychnine and close out his business. Soon after an artist made him a proposition to travel for the sale of chromos in the interest of a gallery. He accepted it, and by that means soon became successful and independent.

We do not feel it necessary to work for the sympathy of the public, for we are already conscious of having that; but we do sincerely desire their respect, and, if freely extended, their patronage, as do any other class of people plying a legitimate vocation.

Among the throng with whom. I have come in contact in the course of canvassing, the vexed question, paramount in the minds of the majority, and one frequently addressed to me in person. It is: why I do not avail myself of an Institution for the Blind, or—as they almost universally dub it—an Asylum in which I will be taken care of for life, almost invariably adding that they are taxed for this purpose.

I desire here to correct an impression which, in the main, is utterly false. These institutions are (together with others) supported by the States in which they are located, and in so far as every property holder has a larger or smaller amount of State tax, they help to sustain the Institutions for the Blind among others. These State institutions are intended only for the education of the blind, and not for their support. For the purpose of education there are a certain number of years allotted to each pupil, according to their age at the time of admission. At the expiration of this term they have no alternative but to go back to the poor homes of their respective counties, more unfitted to endure their privations than before they were permitted a taste of a better mode of life, and no matter how sad their sacrifices, or how bitter their trials, they are never looked after by the Institutions in which they graduate.

In their new life, however high may be their excellence in music or any other accomplishment, or how great their effort to make them available, their surroundings are all against them, consequently they lapse into a condition even worse than before their education, because their enlightenment renders them more keenly sensitive to their affliction.

But I am thankful there are so many who have courage to rise above all these obstacles, and, with a heroism known only to those who have passed through the crucible, to become noble men and women.

Another question so often arising is, can the blind distinguish colors by the sense of feeling? To this my invariable answer has been, "I believe it to be an impossibility." Many insist upon the point that it is not only possible, but that they can substantiate it as a fact—having seen it with their own eyes.

This I have, of course, no right to dispute, but in illustration of the point in question, and in proof that one can be mistaken therein, I will cite an incident that occurred in the Baltimore Institution.

Three gentlemen visitors to that place having completed their inspection, were about taking leave, when they were attracted by "little Joe," a bright, intelligent boy pupil, and immediately asked him if he could distinguish colors in the above-mentioned way. The quick-witted little fellow assumed the serene dignity of a sage and calmly answered, "Of course I can," whereupon the gentlemen stood in a row and offered Joe the tempting bait of one dollar if he would tell each one the color of his pants. Two of them were dressed in broad cloth, and the other in a coarse, grey suit. The boy naturally inferred that the smooth, textured fabric was broad cloth, and would most probably be black, and being aware of the then prevailing style of grey business-suits, he, with great ease, hit the truth exactly.

They freely gave the promised dollar, and left fully satisfied that he did it by the sense of touch. As soon as the door was closed, the mischievous urchin exclaimed, "Golly, boys, suppose I hadn't guessed right?"

Upon this matter I can only say in conclusion, that I have met during my life many blind persons, and have made this question an especial study, while not one instance has come under my observation in which the blind could distinguish colors by touch. By a systematic method of arrangement, association, etc, as well as through a remarkable recollection of certain distinguishing characteristics in objects around us, we attain to that which serves us much the same purpose as distinction of color. Indeed, in this, as in all things, the blind must, of necessity, be very methodical in everything they undertake to do.

I sincerely hope that in my heterogeneous and apparently random remarks, I may have uttered some word of comfort to the blind, some hint which may truly aid them, some sentiment which may sustain, for my heart goes out to them in the sympathy of a common affliction.


Since closing my preceding article I have received from the author, who is one of the most distinguished blind writers, an essay Which I take great pleasure in introducing below, not only because of its eminent source, but from its confirmation of some of the points I have attempted to illustrate, and which, together with many original and suggestive thoughts, are given with the plenitude and the power of eloquent rendition.


This may be regarded by some as a paradoxical question; and yet it is not, if we accept the word see, in its fullest and broadest sense. Webster defines the verb see, as follows: "To perceive by mental vision; to form an adequate conception of; to discern; to distinguish; to understand; to comprehend." True, we do not see through the same medium that you do, who have perfect organs of sight, but we certainly perceive and comprehend the relation and condition of things about us. The Creator has so wisely made, and beautifully adjusted the external organs of sense, one to another, and each to all, that when one is lacking the others are made able, by greater exercise, to perform the functions of the missing one. For example, if one loses his hearing, sight is rendered keener, and the nerves acquire a sensitiveness almost painful. Dr. Kitto, who was deaf from twelve years of age, speaks of this peculiar sensitiveness as follows: "The drawing of furniture, as tables or chairs, over the floor, above or below me, the shutting of doors, and the feet of children at play, distress me far more than the same cause would do if I were in actual possession of my hearing.

"By being unattended by any circumstances or preliminaries, they startle dreadfully; and by the vibration being diffused from the feet over the whole body, they shake the whole nervous system in a way which even long use has not enabled me to bear."

In the same interesting article on percussion, he says: "A few days since, when I was seated with the back of my chair facing a chiffonier, the door of this receptacle was opened by some one, and swung back so as to touch my hair. The touch could not but have been slight, but to me the concussion was dreadful, and almost made me scream with the surprise and pain; the sensation being very similar to that which a heavy person feels on touching the ground, when he has jumped from a higher place than he ought. Even this concussion, to me so violent and distressing, had not been noticed by any one in the room but myself."

This physiological phenomenon is analagous to the sensation experienced by the blind on approaching any tall or broad object. We feel their presence when we are several yards from them. I have sometimes been startled by the sudden impression produced by a lamp-post, or tree when in fact it was a yard or more from me. The sensation is somewhat like receiving a smart blow in the face. I am frequently aware of passing a building while riding along a country road, and the proximity of trees, fences and other objects is quite perceptible.

This is not a latent sense, developed by circumstances, as some have supposed, but a wonderful acuteness of the nerves of the face, and more particularly of the nerves of the eye-lids. These phenomena may, I think, be explained in this way. When one of the superior senses is absent, the perceptive force that has watched at the eye, or listened at the ear, is now transferred to other nerves of sensation. In other words, a deaf person is all eyes, and extremely alive to tangible percussions, as will be seen in the case of Dr. Kitto and others. The blind are all ears and fingers, and certain of the inferior animals are all ears and heels; I am not sure but there is some neck in both cases. Since it has been shown that new perceptions and conditions have been developed in the absence of one or more of the superior senses, that the deaf are so keenly cognizant of vibration or jar, which is the father of sound; that the blind can feel the presence of objects at short distances, which is analogous to sight, it should not be thought strange that we make such frequent use of the word see, or that the deaf should make use of the word hear, and that these words are not without significance or import. Besides this there is a mental perception (doubtless through a magnetic medium,) of the presence or nearness of other minds. This accords with the experience of many persons. I have frequently entered rooms that I supposed to be unoccupied, judging from the silence that reigned, but on taking an inventory of my feelings I found a consciousness of some one's presence, and this I have done when not the slightest sound aroused my suspicions.

A little incident that occurred while I was a teacher in the New York Institution for the Blind will, perhaps, better illustrate this point.

I called one evening at the matron's room to ask her to read a letter which had just been handed me. Supposing it to be a confidential one, and wishing to make sure that no one else was in the room, I enquired of the matron if she was alone. On receiving an affirmative answer, I handed her the letter, requesting her to read it. But, feeling a consciousness that some other mind was present—a strange mind, with which I had no sympathy—I walked round to the other end of the table and placed my hand on a lady's shoulder, remarking to the matron that I felt sure there was some one in the room beside herself, and asked that the letter might be returned to me unopened.

From the long experience of this perception, or intuition, has grown the old adage, "The devil is always near at hand when you are talking about him." I am not sure that this magnetic condition is more largely developed in us than in those who see, but I am led to think it is for this reason, eyes are of paramount importance to those who have them, and we who have them not search for other media of communication. Mental presence is either inspiring and assuring, or depressing and embarrassing. I have observed that when in the presence of some people I have felt comfortable and assured, while in the presence of others I have felt diffident and uneasy, I allude here to persons with whom I had no previous acquaintance. Minds are felt in a ratio proportionate to their will-power. Shallow, conceited minds are not magnetic. I have been told by blind preachers, public lecturers and concert singers, that they always feel the difference between an intelligent and appreciative audience and one made up of coarse and uncultured people, and this consciousness they have felt before any demonstrations of applause or disapprobation were made. I have had many opportunities to experiment on my own feelings in relation to this magnetic influence or mental recognition. I was a concert singer in my younger days and could always tell whether I was singing to a large or small house, and whether my audience was in sympathy with me or not.

If it is argued that I gained this knowledge through the ear, and not through the magnetic medium that I suppose to exist, I will add other experiences that will be more convincing to the reader.

In pursuing my business as itinerant book-seller for many years, I have frequently called at offices when their occupants were out, and on entering have often said to my guide, "Oh, there is no one here, let us go, and call again." On the other hand I have often been conscious when entering a room that there was not only one mind but several minds present. If I should be asked to describe this consciousness, or mental recognition, I should not know what language to employ. These are some of the compensations which the blind receive for the great loss they have sustained. The sense of smell is ranked as the least important of all the senses, yet it is of great value to the blind. Through this avenue to the mind come many pleasurable sensations. By it we are aided in the selection of our food, in choosing ripe and healthful fruits, in detecting decomposition, dirt and filth, and in ascertaining much that eyes discover to those who have them. Without it flowers would have no attraction for us, and life would lack many of its pleasures. At the risk of being classed among dogs and vultures. I acknowledge that I am often guided by my olfactories in doing things that seem so very unaccountable to my friends.

In passing along the business streets my attention is continually attracted by the odors that issue from stores, shops, saloons, etc., and these peculiar smells often direct me to the very place I wish to find. From groceries come the odors of spices, fish, soaps, etc. From clothing and dry goods stores the smell of dye-stuffs. From drugs and medicines, the combined odor of many thousand volatile substances, such as perfumes, paints, and oils, asafaoetida, etc. From shoe stores comes the smell of leather; and from books and stationery the smell of printer's ink. Hotels, saloons and liquor stores, emit that unmistakable odor of alcohol, the prince of poisons. To me the smell of alcohol, wines, etc., has always, since my earliest recollection, been grateful and fascinating; and had I cultivated an appetite for strong drink, it would be as difficult for me to pass a liquor saloon as for a man whose eyes are tempted by a magnificent display of mirrors and bottles. I have often been made aware of open cellar doors by a damp, musty smell that commonly proceeds from underground rooms, and have, I think, been saved from falling by this odd warning. I should have fallen, however, only a few days ago, into one of these yawning horrors had it not been for my ever watchful wife who was providentially near and called to me in time to save me from injury. Some workmen were laying a patch of side-walk on Main street, in the town in which I reside, and had opened a cellar-way near which some of them were at work, but did not warn me, doubtless because they did not see me, for workmen are always very kind to me.

I am guided and governed more by the ear, however, than by either of the other organs of sense. If I wish to cross the street it tells me when teams are coming, how far they are away, at what rate of speed they are traveling, and when it will be safe to cross. If I find a group of men conversing, it tells me who they are. If I wish to enter a store, or any place, it tells me where the door is, if open, by the sounds that issue therefrom, but in this I have sometimes been misled by going to an open window, which always makes me feel awkward. Sound to me is as important as light is to the seeing, and brings to the mind a great many facts that are gathered through the eyes when sight is made the prime sense.

Much of my information, however, is received through the fingers. They are properly the organs of touch. Although this sense is distributed over the whole body, even to the mucous membrane that lines the mouth and covers the tongue. When the finger's ends have been hardened by labor, or from any cause, the lips and tongue are the most sensitive, and are often used in threading needles, stringing beads, etc, very innocent uses surely to put the tongue to. This sense of touch is of necessity cultivated by the blind until it often reaches a state of perfection seldom, if ever, found in the seeing. Of course its development is gradual, as is the growth of all the faculties. When I was quite a little child, and my fingers were soft, I could readily distinguish all the variety of flowers that grew in my sister's flower garden, and could call them by name. From touch I knew all the common fruits, from the peach with its velvet skin, to the strawberry in the meadow, for which I used to search diligently with my fingers, and sometimes find, as I remember, thistles, which were never quite to my taste. One thing among my childish sports and amusements, for they were limited, always gave great pleasure; and does even now. I loved to play along the brook or lake shore, to feel for smooth and odd shaped stones, for pretty shells, etc. Their beauty to me existed only in the great variety of shapes they presented, and in their smooth, pearly surfaces, as they never suggested to my mind any idea of color. Winter afforded me few opportunities for cultivating my love for the beautiful. Summer was my heaven, with its singing birds, its tinkling brooks and its fresh and delicious fruits.

I took great pleasure in examining, with my fingers, flowers, leaves and grasses, because their great variety of shape and texture fed an innate longing after something that I could not then comprehend.

When but an infant, I am told nothing amused me so well as a branch of green leaves.

My early boyhood was spent in rambling through the woods, hunting nuts, squirrels, chipmunks, etc., with other boys of my own age, in climbing trees, digging for wood-chucks, skating, coasting, and in performing all the feats common to boyhood, such as standing on my head, hopping, jumping, whistling, shouting, &c. I shall regret to have this page come under the eyes of my boys, for in noisy mischief they already exceed my most sanguine expectations, and need not a record of their father's boisterous childhood to encourage them.

This kind of life, however, has fitted me to enter upon a systematic course of study, which I did at the age of sixteen. I was received as a pupil of the New York Institution for the Blind in 1844. I entered in a good, healthy condition of body and mind. Found there boys and girls like myself, without sight, yet earnestly engaged in pursuing the various branches of English education. Many of them were like myself, full of life, fond of fun and mischief. Many laughable incidents and anecdotes characteristic of such an institution are fresh in my memory, which, I should be pleased to relate, did they illustrate the subject in hand. Here I found sight, which I had always supposed so necessary, somewhat at a discount. I discovered that books, slates, maps, globes, diagrams, &c., could be seen through the fingers, and that children could learn quite as rapidly in this way as with sight. I was not long, either, in discovering that the older pupils and graduates were intelligent, accomplished and refined; that they were treated more as equals by the officers, and that they were trotted out to show off the merits of the institution, while we young blockheads were kept in the background. This, I think, did much toward inspiring me with ambition. My progress at first was slow, having to learn how to use the appliances. My fingers must be trained, my memory disciplined and my habits of inattention corrected.

No effort was made, however, to take the mirthfulness out of me, and I doubt if anything could have succeeded in this. My first introduction to tangible literature was in placing my hand on a page of the Old Testament in embossed print. At first I could feel nothing like letters or any regular characters, only a roughness as though the paper had been badly wrinkled. A card was then placed in my hand on which the alphabet was printed in very large type, and my attention called to each letter. My fingers, then soft and supple, were not long in tracing the outlines of each character, and, my memory being naturally retentive, I was soon able to distinguish each letter, and give its name as my finger was placed on it. Another card was then given me in smaller type, which I mastered in the same way, and so on till I could read our smallest print.

I have been thus minute in describing the rudimentary process of finger training, that my readers may understand how it is possible for the fingers to be made useful to the blind. To show how quick is the perception through this avenue to the mind, it should be known that we cannot feel a whole word at once, but a single letter. And yet some of us are able to read more than a hundred words per minute, and to trace on raised maps boundary lines, rivers, mountain chains, lakes, straits, gulfs, bays, to find the location of towns, islands, &c.

It would seem that the fingers are capable of grasping almost everything that the eye embraces, though of course more slowly, and from the wonderful acuteness of which they are susceptible has grown the popular impression that the blind can feel colors. I have been asked this question many thousand times, and have invariably replied that we can no more feel colors than the deaf can see sounds or the dumb sing psalms. I am aware that it is stated by some eminent writers that the sense of touch in some persons has reached this perfection, but I have many reasons to doubt it. I have no personal object in contradicting this statement, other than to correct a popular error. Should be glad if it were true. It has been accounted for by scientific men upon this hypothesis: that colors differ in temperature, that red is warmer than yellow, and yellow warmer than green, and so on through the spectrum. That violet is a cold color as its rays are less refracted, that these differences are appreciable to delicate fingers. I have tried many experiments both with my own fingers and with persons at our several institutions, who, like myself, were born without sight, and, have never yet found one who could form the faintest idea of colors from impressions received through the fingers. Indeed there is nothing in tangible qualities that suggests color, except differences in texture. We may feel that a piece of broad-cloth has a harsh texture, and call it black, or a soft texture, and call it drab or brown. In this we may guess right, for it is only a guess after all. Wool buyers and dealers in cloth judge frequently of their quality by touch; and it is true that we who are without sight come to be very expert in judging of the quality of cloths, furs, &c. But, to one who has never seen light, there is no suggestion of color through finger perception.

Between sound and color there is a much closer analogy traceable, as both are the result of vibration. The same language is used to express the qualities of each.

We talk of harmony in sounds and harmony in colors, of lights and shades, of chromatics, blending, softness, sweetness, harshness, high, low, bright, dull, &c.

May not a grand anthem or chorus be to the mind of one who has never seen the light, what a fine picture is to one who has never heard sounds. I should not be surprised to hear that some blind Yankee or Frenchman has invented a telephone through which we can hear in the rippling brooks and bubbling fountains the color of their waters, in the song of birds the gorgeous tints of their plumage, and in the distant roar of Niagara, the mighty grandeur of its scenery. To an imaginative mind a well tuned, well voiced organ may be made to represent all the colors of the rainbow, from the faintest violet of the piccolo to the darkest crimson of the sub-bass. Some blind person on being asked what he supposed red to be like, answered "Like the sound of a trumpet." He might have said "Like a flame of fire." I once asked a blind boy, who had never seen light, if he could imagine a house on fire and how he supposed it would look. He answered, "If it was a big fire it would look like a thousand trumpets all blowing in a different key." I then asked him what a picture is like. "Like anything in shape you may wish to paint," he said, "but in color (if it is a fine picture) like one of Mozart's grand symphonies." I have many times asked my blind lady friends how they knew in what way to arrange their colors so as to make their fancy work look tasty and attractive. How they knew what colors blended and what were discordant, and I have often received this answer: "By associating the names of the seven primary colors with the seven sounds of the diatonic scale, placing red as No. 1 or key note, orange next, yellow next, then green, and so on to violet. Thus red will not blend with orange, being the first and second of the scale, but red and yellow harmonize better, being third in the scale, red and green still better, and so on to red and deep violet, which are sevenths in the scale and do not harmonize. Thus we get the tetrachord red, yellow, blue and violet, which may be represented by the flat seventh of the chord C." But I leave this theory for some one to elaborate or refute, who has seen color, and return to my institution life.

The ear and voice are also trained at these schools for the blind, and music is made one of the chief arts. Piano tuning is also taught in a practical way. If this business is not taught in all the institutions, it ought to be, for it comes fairly within the scope of our capabilities. And I will here say for the benefit of my brothers in the dark that I have been very successful as a piano tuner, and the business is a practical one for the blind. Any one with a good ear may learn to tune well, but no one should undertake to repair so delicate a piece of machinery as a piano action without long experience, mechanical ingenuity, great caution and good judgment, having had no opportunity to acquire the requisite skill.

It was not my intention at the outset to write a sketch of my own life, but to demonstrate by my own experience that the inferior senses may be made to perform many of the offices of sight. The eyes have some functions, however, which the ears and fingers cannot perform.

For example, if a piece of silk or woolen goods be handed me for examination the nerves of my fingers will tell me whether it is fine or coarse, whether it has a harsh or soft texture, whether it is highly finished or rough and uneven, but they bring me no intelligence of color.

I may pronounce the goods beautiful, because I find in it certain qualities that address themselves to my taste, but it is not beauty addressed to the eye. Light and color, to one who has never seen, is as inconceivable as music to the deaf. We may get some faint idea of what light is as a medium of communication, or why color pleases the eye as qualities of texture please the touch, but the conception is vague and unsatisfactory.

I have often had the remark made to me, "Well, if you have never seen, it is not so bad after all, you have less desire to see." This, I think, is a mistake and a poor consolation. Has the man who has never visited the great Niagara cataract, but has many times heard and read of its wonders, less desire to see it than one who has witnessed those grand displays of God's power in the flood? Has the boy who loves to read of travels and strange adventures less desire to see the glaciers of the Alps, the skies of Italy or the jungles of Southern Africa, than the traveler who described them? However well we may see with our mental vision, however well suited to our taste may be our surroundings, however pleasant may be our family relations, and however kind may be our companions, we cannot help that irrepressible desire to know what there is about light and color, about the indescribable beauty of a sunset, the splendor of an evening sky, the glory of a cloudless day, and the awful grandeur of a storm. There is yet one thing we greatly desire to know, which the fingers cannot grasp.

We are told in poetry and romance that the human face divine is the index of the spirit. That its ever changing lines express every mood of the mind and every emotion of the soul, from a smile of ineffable beauty to a midnight frown, from the sunshine of hope, and joy, and gladness, to clouds of wrath and hatred. That the spirit looks out through the eye and melts you with a beam of tenderness, or pierces your heart with a flash of electric love, or charms you by revealing in its crystal depths the pearl of purity, or transfixes you with a glance of displeasure. Is all this talk about sunlit faces and starlit eyes, fine sentiment only, or does the face really express feeling as unmistakably as we hear it in voices? To show that the deaf have as great a desire to hear the music of the human voice as we to see the language of the face, I quote from Dr. Kitto the following touching passages of personal history:

"Is there anything on earth so engaging to a parent as to catch the first lispings of his infant's tongue, or so interesting as to listen to its dear prattle, and trace its gradual mastery of speech? If there be any one thing arising out of my condition, which, more than another, fills my heart with grief, it is this: it is to see their blessed lips in motion and to hear them not, and to witness others moved to smiles and kisses by the sweet peculiarities of infantile speech which are incommunicable to me, and which pass by me like the idle wind."

Although there are but few experiments in common between the deaf and the blind, I am able to sympathize fully with this eminent deaf author in the intense desire he feels to hear the sweet voices of his children. There is no other object this side of heaven I so ardently wish to see as the faces of my family. A feeling sometimes comes over me akin, I fancy, to the impotent rage of a caged lion, who vainly tries to break his prison bars and gain his liberty. The moral certainty that I must finally leave this world of beauty without having enjoyed many of its highest blessings and purest delights often oppresses—so oppresses me, that I can only find relief in prayer for grace to say—"Thy will be done, O God." I hear the merry voices of my children, know their step, figure, contour of their heads and faces, and in my day dreams I see them around me, full of life and health, fun and frolic, and I know their little hearts are full of love for me; I know, too, God has given them to me as some compensation for other blessings he has withheld. Let me trust, then, in His great mercy, that in the far future I may see the faces of my dear ones in the light of eternity; of her who gave me birth, but whose fond look of affection and yearning tenderness I was never able to return; and the face of her who is now to me even more than a mother, who helps me to bear my many burdens with Christian patience and fidelity. Then, if I am permitted to behold the glorified face of Him who hath redeemed us, I shall rejoice that I have lived and suffered, and wept and wept, and prayed that I might dwell with Him forever.


Oh, holy light! thou art old as the look of God and eternal as God. The archangels were rocked in thy lap, and their infant smiles were brightened by thee! Creation is in thy memory. By thy touch the throne of Jehovah was set, and thy hand burnished the myriad stars that glitter in His crown. Worlds, new from His omnipotent hand, were sprinkled with beams from thy baptismal font. At thy golden urn pale Luna comes to fill her silver horn, and rounding thereat Saturn bathes his sky girt rings, Jupiter lights his waning moons, and Venus dips her queenly robes anew. Thy fountains are shoreless as the ocean of heavenly love; thy centre is everywhere, and thy boundary no power has marked. Thy beams gild the illimitable fields of space, and gladden the farthest verge of the universe. The glories of the Seventh Heaven are open to thy gaze, and thy glare is felt in the woes of the lowest Erebus. The sealed books of heaven by thee are read, and thine eyes like the Infinite can pierce the dark veil of the future, and glance backward through the mystic cycle of the past.

Thy touch gives the lily its whiteness, the rose its tint, and thy kindling ray makes the diamond's light. Thy beams are mighty as the power that binds the spheres. Thou canst change the sleety winds to soothing zephyrs, and thou canst melt the icy mountains of the poles to gentle rains and dewy vapors. The granite rocks of the hills are upturned by thee, volcanoes burst, islands sink and rise, rivers roll and oceans swell at thy look of command. And oh! thou monarch of the skies, bend now thy bow of millioned arrows, and pierce, if thou canst, this darkness that thrice twelve moons has bound me.

Burst now thy emerald gates, O Morn, and let thy dawnings come! Mine eyes roll in vain to find thee, and my soul is weary of this interminable gloom. The past comes back robed in a pall which makes all things dark. The present blotted out, and the future but a rayless, hopeless, loveless night of years, my heart is but the tomb of blighted hopes, and all the misery of feelings unemployed has settled on me. I am misfortune's child and sorrow long since marked me for her own.


(From Mrs. De Kroyft's forthcoming work, entitled "My Soul and I.")

Ah no! dark and empty and lonely as the world may be to us, no intelligent blind person could be found who would exchange hearing, and its attendant gift of speech, for a pair of the brightest eyes in the world; while, for myself, I have sometimes even wondered if, after all, it be, in the strictest sense of the word, a misfortune not to see.

All of our other senses are certainly not only immeasurably quickened, but is not our whole nature improved, and our immortal being greatly elevated through this darkest of human privations?

Just imagine for a moment a touch like Cynthia Bullock's, so exquisite as to feel with ease the notes, lines and spaces of ordinary printed music; then add to that a hearing that almost notes the budding of the flowers, and you will see how little one must possibly lack, even in the scale of pleasurable existence, while perception in us becomes verily a new sense. Indeed, what shade of thought or feeling ever escapes us? Almost quicker than a thing has been uttered we have felt or perceived it. What marvelous power, too, memory comes to possess, and how tenaciously she clings to everything, often astonishing even to ourselves; while imagination, that loftiest and most winged attribute of the soul, not only becomes more fleet, but literally turns creator, reproducing before our spirit eyes not only all that we have lost, clothed in the beautiful ideal, but unbars the gates to every new field of intellectual research, often enabling us to compete even more than successfully with those who see.

Alas! if there could be only a seat of learning for the blind, with all its lessons oral or in the form of lectures, as at most of the German Universities, what could we not achieve?

But, as it is, enough renowned have arisen from our ranks to prove that, while blindness fetters the hands and the feet, it verily adds wings to thought. Indeed, the world has but one Homer, who sits forever shrouded in darkness, the veiled god and father of song; and but one Milton, who gave to the world its "Paradise Lost" and its "Paradise Regained," while he bequeathed to the blind of all ages the glory and the beacon light of his name.


A brief description of the methods employed in their literary, artistic and industrial education.

I should not consider this work finished without a chapter on the mode of educating those who have been so unfortunate as to be deprived of the readiest medium through which education is imparted—the sight. The systems, although some of them are in use in nearly every State in the Union, are very little understood, and are always inquired into with every evidence of interest by visitors to the institutions, where they often express quite as much surprise as gratification at what they see. I have therefore, in the following, endeavored to give as full a description as possible of the various methods and appliances employed to convey through the sense of feeling, information to which our eyes are closed.

On entering the schools the children are generally wholly uneducated, and have first to be taught the form and value of letters. To effect this the letters are raised, and the pupil learns their form by passing the fingers over them till their forms, names and their use are fully understood. With some this is a long and tedious task, but others master it in a short time. I mastered the alphabet in one day, but I was not a child and had a mind sharpened by experience. By constant exercise the sense of feeling becomes so acute that very slight differences of form are readily detected, and reading by the touch becomes an easily mastered art. Having thus the key of knowledge the subsequent progress of the student is in his own hands, and, to the credit of the afflicted, it must be said it is generally very rapid, one reason for which is that loss of sight shuts off one fruitful source of distraction, and the mind is more easily concentrated. Another reason is that the necessity for education is generally appreciated, and the student is eager to acquire it.

The form and use of figures is taught in a similar manner, but the teaching of arithmetic is largely mental, on account of the difficulty of producing raised figures with sufficient rapidity, and the study of higher mathematics is pursued even more strictly from oral teaching.

The art of writing, which, to those not acquainted with the educating of the blind, is considered the most difficult task, becomes comparatively easy. It is a two-fold art, including the art of writing for blind readers and the ordinary Roman script. Of the "blind writing" there are several systems, but in this I shall be content to describe but two—the pin type and the "New York Point System." The first consists of movable types, the letters on which are formed of pin points, and with which the writer impresses the paper one letter at a time, producing the letter raised on the opposite side of the paper, which, on being reversed, may be read with eye or fingers. The point system is the arrangement and combination of six dots on two lines. Those on the upper line are numbered 1, 3 and 5, and those on the lower 2, 4 and 6. These are made within spaces about three-sixteenths of an inch square each, by a styles which resembles a small, dull awl or centre punch. To prevent the dots being confused the writer uses a writing board, to which the paper is clamped by a metallic guide-rule perforated with two or more rows of these squares. The pupils make these punctured letters with great precision and rapidity, and frequently conduct their correspondence with their friends by that means, giving them the alphabet and key by which to learn to read them.

The writing of ordinary script is performed with more difficulty. A grooved pasteboard is used for the purpose, the grooves being of the width of the smaller letters. The letters extending above or below the line are gauged by the ridge. The right hand is followed close by the left, which guards the written lines from a second tracing of the pencil, and marks the spaces. By these methods correspondence is maintained between the blind and their distant friends, and it is even possible for a blind merchant to keep his own books if necessary.

In writing the common script the pencil is always used, the pen never. Care has to be taken to keep the pencil pointed, or much care and labor may be lost. An incident which Mr. Loughery, founder of the Maryland Institution, used to relate of himself, shows how necessary it is to observe great care in this matter. When a student he wrote a long, gossipy letter to a friend, and in a short time was surprised, and for the time greatly annoyed, at receiving a reply asking him if he had gone mad. It enclosed his own letter, and on examination of it the two words "Dear Ed." were found to be its sole contents. In his absorbed condition of mind he had not noticed the breaking of his pencil, and had proceeded with his writing, as the scratched paper, on which the traces of the wood of the pencil were visible, but not legible, indicated.

The most interesting things seen in an Institution for the Blind are the apparatus for teaching geography, philosophy and physiology. For geography miniature continents, states, hemispheres, etc., are used, in which, the political divisions, the physical conformation and characteristics, the rivers, lakes, seas, etc., etc., are reproduced as nearly as possible. The boundaries are described by rows of raised dots, the capital cities by studs of peculiar shape, the larger cities by studs different in size or shape, the rivers by grooves in the surface, deserts by spaces being sanded on the surface, the lakes, seas, etc., by depressions, and the islands by spots elevated above the seas' surface. Mountain ranges are shown by raised models or miniature mountains, and that volcanoes may be fully understood, separate models of these and of other remarkable formations are used, that the student, by a thorough manual examination, may get a correct knowledge of them. In nearly every school I have visited there were maps, the sub-divisions of which consisted of movable blocks. Supported like a table, these maps would be studied by the pupils taking out the blocks and returning them to their places as they learned their names, etc. It is no uncommon thing to see a pupil throw these blocks into a confused heap, mix them all up, and, then picking them up one by one, put each in its place with as much accuracy as the most accomplished pianist will strike each key in a simple march or polka.

The philosophical apparatus consists of miniature machinery: the spring, the simple and compound lever, the wheel, the cog, the cam, etc., even to the miniature engine are brought into use, and the pupils examine them by themselves, and in their various applications and relations to each other. In teaching those who never could see great difficulty is experienced in conveying the nature and properties of gases, vapors, etc., but with those who have any recollection of what they have seen the task is comparatively easy.

Where the apparatus is possessed the teaching of physiology and natural history are comparatively easy, the pupil handling and examining skeletons, skulls and models of the various parts of the human system, learning their various offices, etc., but many schools do not possess them, while others have fine collections including busts of eminent or notorious personages, zoological collections, plaster models, etc., by which the loss of sight is largely compensated for.

Music is taught by raised notes until the rudiments are mastered. It forms a great part of the course in all the institutions, and is cultivated with great assiduity. When the rudiments have been mastered and the pupil is familiar with the instrument, the music is read to them, the notes indicated by names and value, and they memorize the music. So thoroughly do many of the blind master the art that several are now, within my knowledge, successful teachers of the art to large numbers of seeing pupils. On the other hand much valuable time is wasted in the effort to teach music to those who have no talent for it, and whose time might be more profitably employed in the pursuit of other studies.

In the education of the blind the greatest care is given to the cultivation and strengthening of the memory and the success that is met with is truly marvelous, for the amount and variety of knowledge with which some minds have been stored is to many almost incredible.

The industrial education of the blind is perhaps the most important of all, and all the institutions are provided with workshops, in which the inmates learn some useful mechanical or domestic art. The female pupils are taught to make all kinds of ornamental bead-work, to crochet and knit woolen and worsted goods, to sew by hand and with machines, and some of them acquire surprising skill, though my own experience does not give me a high opinion of the efficacy of attempting to teach sewing, so very few ever practice it after leaving school, though I have found it convenient to sew on a button or repair a rent on occasion. Sewing by the blind, though it may surprise the beholder for the skill acquired under difficulties, will seldom claim their admiration for its own merit.

I have more faith in the efficiency of the industrial education of the boys and men, because, in the course of my travels, I have found numbers of them prospering in the pursuit of the trades learned in the institutions, and some of them carrying on quite extensive operations. Boys are taught to make brooms, brushes, cane seats for chairs, mattresses, door mats, to weave carpets and do many other forms of useful work. It looks strange to be shown a brush in which black and colored bristles are formed into lines of beauty—initials, flowers, etc., and to be told that a blind man made it. It looks like a miracle, but when you learn that the forms were traced on the block by cutting grooves in its surface to form the figures, and that the black bristles were kept in a round box, and white ones in a square box, near the maker's hand, the mystery disappears.

Connected with the Philadelphia Institution are extensive manufactories, in which large numbers of workmen are employed. They are the largest in the United States that are operated almost exclusively by the blind. These shops enable numbers of men to support themselves and their families in decency and comfort.

The great interest manifested in the education and training of the blind, by thousands of noble people and earnest workers throughout the country, deserves the gratitude of not only those who suffer the great deprivation, but of the whole people; for the benefits they have conferred on us by educating and rendering us useful and independent, rank in the scale of beneficence next to giving us sight.


I take the liberty of introducing a few poems by blind authors, feeling that they will be appreciated by the public. Poetry seems to possess peculiar charms for blind people, who, deprived of material sight, seem to love to revel in the beautiful visions presented by the imagination. Among blind poets and rhymesters there are, of course, as many different grades of merit as among the more favored writers, but the proportion of doggerel writers is fortunately much smaller among the blind, and they cannot so readily inflict their scribbling in such volume on a patient public. The poems here presented are selected from among a number of the best productions of the best writers.


I take great pleasure in introducing into these leaves the following simple poem from the pen of Miss Lucy A. Little, a young blind girl, toward whom I have been drawn by deep sympathy and affection. She was educated in the Wisconsin Institution for the Blind, where she graduated with high honor.

She possesses great personal attractions and much intrinsic merit, being the household pet in the home of her grand-parents; and, as the blind have missions, it seems to have been especially hers to minister to those who regard her with doting fondness, and to whom she is a bright prismatic ray, making the shortening path of the old people radiant with, its light.

Early one morn in leafy June,
When brooks and birds were all in tune,
A maiden left her quiet home
In meadows and in fields to roam.
She wandered on, in cheerful mood,
Through verdant fields and leafy wood.
At length she paused to rest awhile
Upon a little rustic stile.
She made a pretty picture there,
With her bright, curling, golden hair,
And dress of white, and eyes of blue,
And ribbons of the self-same hue.
And while she sat absorbed in thought,
A form approached. She heeded not
Until a hand was gently laid
Upon the shoulders of the maid.
Then, looking up in sweet surprise,
She saw a pair of jet-black eyes,
A perfect form of manly grace,
A handsome, open, honest face.
Then said the maid, in voice so clear:
"How did you know that I was here?"
Said he: "I sought you at your home,
They told me you had hither come,
And so, I came, this bright June day,
To say what I've so longed to say.
When first we met in by-gone days,
You charmed me with your winning ways.
Since then the time has quickly flown,
Each day to me you've dearer grown,
And you can brighten all my life
If you will but become my wife."
She raised her eyes unto his own,
And in their depths a new light shone,
While in a voice so soft and low
She said: "I will; it shall be so."
And then they homeward took their way,
While birds were singing sweet and gay,
Now oft they bless that day in June
When brooks and birds were all atune.

Within a faded volume, dim and old,
I find this musty maxim tersely given:
"The magic key to human hearts is gold,
But love unlocks the crystal gates of heaven."
Our homes are not so happy as of old,
Our hearts are not so merry as of yore,
We find that nought can purchase love but gold,
That virtue begs a pittance at the door.
There was a time when Beauty bore the sway;
There was a time when Wit the world controlled;
There was a time when Valor won the day;
But now the noble knight that wins, is Gold.
The ancient Ghebers worshipped light and fire;
The Brahmins bowed to gods of wood and stone;
But now, 'neath marble dome and gilded spire,
The deity adored is gold alone.
It overlays the altar and the cross;
It dignifies the monarch and the clown;
The wealth of moral worth is counted dross;
The million miser wears the golden crown.
'Tis time this mad idolatry should cease;
'Tis time her prophets and her priests were slain;
Let earth do homage to the Prince of Peace,
And the reign of gold shall be the golden reign.
The Christ came not with pomp and princely show;
His followers were lowly and despised;
He courted not the high, nor shunned the low;
A very God in human flesh disguised.
He brought a marvelous message from above:
A gift of grace and pardon from the King.
He claimed no tithe or tribute but of love—
A penitent and contrite heart to bring.
He banished brokers from the house of prayer;
He raised the dead and made the dumb to speak;
Unsealed the blinded eye, unstopped the ear;
He fed the poor and lifted up the weak.
The way to life, He said, is plain and straight,
It leads to joy, and peace, and heavenly light
The way to death is through a golden gate
And broad the way that leads to endless night.
Shall we accept the sacrifice he made
And enter in the Shepherd's sheltering fold?
Or, like the Judas who his Lord betrayed,
Sell soul and hope of Heaven for miser's gold?
Say, which is best, true piety or gold?
This metal worship or the living God?
Ye cannot have them both, so we are told,
See to it then which pathway shall be trod.
Array your idol in his robes of state!
Set up his image on his golden throne!
Throw open wide the temple's gilded gate,
And thus proclaim that gold is God alone!
Or else array yourselves in plain attire;
Set up the love of Christ in every heart
Let each affection feel its fervent fire,
And in this money-worship bear no part.
Now make your choice between your gold and heaven;
Buy all the sinful pleasures wealth can bring;
Increase them through the years to mortals given
And die, at last—a beggar—not a king.
Yes, make your choice between your gold and heaven;
Find peace and pardon in a Saviour's blood;
Freely bestow what, free to you, is given,
And meet, at last, the welcoming smile of God.

Of the Kentucky Institution for the Blind.
To the shades of Milton and Beethoven.
"Silence and Darkness, solemn sisters, twins
From ancient Night, who nursed the tender thought
To reason, and on reason build resolve—
That column—of true majesty in man—
Assist me—I will thank you in the grave."—
Night Thoughts.

Go, bring the harp that once with dirges thrilled,
But now hangs hushed in leaden slumbers,
Save when the faltering hand untimely chilled
Steals o'er its chords in broken numbers.
It hangs in halls where shades of sorrow dwell,
Where echoless Silence tolls the passing bell,
Where shadowless Darkness weaves the shrouding spell
Of parting joys and parting years.
Go, bring it me, sweet friend, and ere we part,
A lay I'll frame, so sad 'twill wring thy heart
Of all its pity, all its tears
As fitful shadows round me gather fast,
And solemn watch my thoughts are holding,
Comes Memory, Panoramist of the Past.
The rising morn of life unfolding,
Now fade from view all living toil and strife;
Time past is now my present; death, my life;
All that exists is obsolete;
While o'er my soul there steals the pensive glow
Of sainted joys that young years only know,
And past scenes, looming dimly, rise and throw
Their lengthening shadows at my feet.
I see a morn domed in by pictured skies;
The dew is on its budding pleasures,
The gladsome, early, sunlight on it lies,
And to it from this dark my pent soul flies,
As misers nightly to their treasures.
And, as I look, I see a glittering train,
In airy throng, across the dreamlit plain,
Come dancing, dancing from the tomb;
Flitting in phantom silence on my sight;
In silence, yet all beautiful and bright,
The ghosts of joy, and hope, and bloom.
But passed me by; their lines of fading light
Tell of decay, of youth's and beauty's blight;
Then, like spent meteors shimmering through the night,
The vision melts in closing gloom.
Another day in sable vesture clad,
All drear with new blown pleasures blighted,
Comes blindly groping through the twilight sad,
As one in moonless mists benighted.
O! Day unhappy! could oblivion roll
Its slumberous billows o'er my shrinking soul,
Thee scarce I could, e'en then, forget:
A life, bereft of light, no memory need
To tell of night that ne'er to morning leads,
Of day that is forever set.
From yonder sky the noonward sun was torn,
Ere day dawn's rosy hues had banished;
A starless midnight blotted out the morn,
Ere childhood's dewy joys had vanished.
No slow paced twilight ushered in the night;
A spangled web, the Heavens were swept from sight;
The full moon fled and never waned;
And all of Earth that's beautiful and fair.
Became as shadows in the empty air—
A boundless, blackened blank remained!
I heard the gates of night, with sullen jar,
Close on the cheerful day forever;
Hope from my sky sank like the evening star,
Which finds in darkness, zenith never,
For scarce she knew, blithe offspring of the day,
How there to shine, where night held boundless sway;
And shapes of beauty, grace and bloom,
And fair-formed joys that once around me danced,
Bewildered grew, where sunbeams never glanced,
And lost their way in that wide gloom.
Pensylla, o'er me many sunless years
Have flown, since last the beams of heaven,
The soft ascent of morn through smiles and tears,
The sweet descent of dreamy even—
Or sight of wood and fields in green arrayed,
Vernal resplendence or Autumnal shade,
Or Winter's gloom or Summer's blaze;
Bird, beast or works that trophy man's abode,
Or he divine, the image of his God,
Met my rapt gaze.
Look, gentle guide! Thou see'st the imperial sun
Forth sending far his ambient glory,
O'er laughing fields and frowning highlands dun,
O'er glancing streams and woodlands hoary.
In orient clouds he steeps his amber hair,
With beams far slanting through the flaming air,
Bids Earth, with all her hymning sound, declare
The praise of everlasting light.
On my bared head I felt his pitying ray,
He loves to shine on my benighted way;
But ah, Pensylla! he brings to me no day—
Nor yet his setting, deeper night.
Prime gift of God, that veil'st His sovereign throne,
And dost of Him in sense remind me—
Blest light of Heaven, why hast thou from me flown?
To these sad shades, why hast resigned me?
On pinions of surpassing beauty borne,
When Nature hails the glad advance of morn,
In thine unsullied loveliness.
Thou com'st; but to my darkened eyes in vain—
My night, e'en in the noon of thy domain,
Yields not to thee, since joy of thine again
Can ne'er my dayless being bless.

Next, Silence, fit companion of the Night,
In drearier depths my being steeping,
Like the felt presence of an unseen sprite,
With muffled tread comes creeping, creeping.
Before me close her smothering curtain swings,
And o'er my life a shadeless shadow flings;
Sinking with pitiless weight, and slow
To shroud the last sweet glimpse of Earth and Man,
And set my limits to the narrow span
Of but an arm's length here below.
O, whither shall I fly, this stroke to shun?
Where turn me, this side death and heaven?
Almost I would my course on earth were run,
And all to Night and Silence given!
I turn to man: can he but with me mourn?
Alike we're helpless, and, as bubbles borne,
We to a common haven float.
To Him, th' All-seeing and All-hearing One,
Behold, I turn! More hid than he there's none,
More silent none, none more remote!
Alas, Pensylla, stay that pious tear!
Now nearer come, I fain thy voice would hear,
Like music when the soul is dreaming;
Like music dropping from a far off sphere,
Heard by the good, when life's end draweth near.
It faintly comes, a spirit seeming,
The sounds at once entrance me, ear and soul:
The voice of winds and waves, the thunder's roll.
The steed's proud neigh, and lamb's meek plaint,
The hum of bees, and vesper hymn of birds,
The rural harmony of flocks and herds,
The song of joy, or praise, and man's sweet words—
Come to me fainter—yet more faint
Was my poor soul to God's great works so dull.
That they from her must hide forever?
Earth too replete with joy, too beautiful,
For me, ingrate, that we must sever?
For by sweet scented airs that round me blow,
By transient showers, the sun's impassioned glow,
And smell of woods and fields, alone I know
Of Spring's approach, and Summer's bloom;
And by the pure air, void of odors sweet,
By noontide beams, low slanting, without heat,
By rude winds, cumbering snows, and hazardous sleet,
Of Autumn's blight and Winter's gloom
As at the entrance of an untrod cave,
I shrink—so hushed the shades and sombre.
This death of sense makes life a breathing grave,
A vital death, a waking slumber!
'Tis as the light itself of God were fled—
So dark is all around, so still, so dead;
Nor hope of change, one ray I find!
Yet must submit. Though fled fore'er the light,
Though utter silence bring me double night,
Though to my insulated mind,
Knowledge her richest pages ne'er unfold,
And "human face divine" I ne'er behold—
Yet must submit, must be resigned!

To thee, blind Milton, solemn son of night,
Great exile once from day's dominion bright,
Whose genius, steeped in truth and glory,
Like some wide orb of new created light,
Rose, in the world, bewildering mortals' sight—
I'll sing till earth's young hills grow hoary!
For what of joy I've found in life's dark way,
And what of excellence have reached I may,
Much, much is due thy wondrous rhyme,
Which sang the triumphs of Eternal Truth,
Revealed blest glimpses of immortal youth,
Of Heaven, e'er angels sang of time:
Of light, that o'er the embryon tumult broke,
Of earth, when all the stars symphonious woke,
Till man, as if from Heaven a seraph spoke,
Entranced, hung on thy strains sublime.
Day closes on the earth his one bright eye,
That Night, her starry lids unsealing,
May ope her thousand in a loftier sky,
God's higher mysteries revealing.
So when thy day from thee its light withdrew,
And o'er the night its rueful shadows threw,
And "from the cheerful ways of men"
Thy steps cut off, thy mind, thick set with eyes,
As night with stars, piercing thy shrouded skies,
And proving most illumined then,
When darkest seeming, soared on cherub wings—
Those star-eyed wings—higher than ever springs
The beam of day, to see, and tell of things
Invisible to mortal ken.
O'er earth thy numbers shall not cease to roll
Till man to live, who to them hearkened;
Thy fame, no less immortal than thy soul,
Shall shine when yon proud sun is darkened.
Thee, now, methinks, I see, O bard divine!
Where ripen no fair joys that are not thine,
And God's full love is pleased on thee to shine,
Still by the heavenly Muses fired,
And starred among the angelic minstrel band,
The sacred lyre thou sway'st with sovereign hand,
While seraphs, in awed rapture, round thee stand,
As one by God himself inspired.
Sublime Beethoven, wizard king of sound,
Once exiled from thy realm, yet not discrowned—
Assist me; since my spirit, thrilling
With thy surpassing strains, is mute, spell bound;
For through the hush of years they still resound,
With music weird my spent ear filling.
When Silence clasped thee in her dismal spell,
And Earth born Music sang her sad farewell;
Thy mighty Genius, as in scorn,
Arose in silent majesty to dwell,
Where from symphonic spheres thou heard'st to swell,
As on celestial breezes borne,
Sounds, scarce by angels heard, e'en in their dreams;
Which, at thy bidding, wrought a thousand themes,
And pouring down in rich pellucid streams,
Filled organ grand and resonant horn;
With rarest sweetness touched each dulcet string,
Made martial bugle and bold clarion ring,
Soft flute provoked like the lone bird of spring,
To warble lays of love forlorn;
Woke shrilly reed to many a pastoral note
Thrilled witching lyre and lips melodious smote,
Till earth, in tuneful ether, seemed to float—
As when first sang the stars of morn!
Till wondering angels were entranced to chime,
With harp and choral tongue, thy strains sublime
And bear thy soul beyond the reach of time,
Heaven's halls harmonious to adorn.
Ah, me! could I with ken angelic, scan
Celestial glories hid from mortal man,
I'd deem this night a day supernal!
Could music, borne from some far singing sphere,
Float sweetly down and thrill my stricken ear,
I'd pray this hush might be eternal!

Pensylla, look! With tremulous points of fire,
The sun, red-sinking lights yon distant spire
O'er leafy hill and blossoming meadows,
Spreads wide and level his departing beams,
Then sinks to rest, as one sure of sweet dreams,
'Mid pillowing clouds and curtaining shadows.
Night draws her lucid shade o'er sky and earth;
Solemn and bright, Heaven's starry eyes look forth;
The evening hymn of praise and song of mirth
Rise gratefully from man's abode.
O, Night! I love her sombre majesty!
'Tis sweet, her double solitude, to me!
Pensylla, leave me now! Alone I'd be
With Darkness, Silence and my God.
O Thou, whose shadow is but light's excess,
The echo of whose voice but silentness,
Whose light and music, half expended,
Would flood, dissolve the sphery frame; 'twixt whom
And man no endless night can throw its gloom
Till long Eternity is ended—
Which ne'er shall end—to thee, my trust, I turn!
To one, for whom in vain thy lamps now burn,
A hearing deign; nor from thy footstool spurn
The prayer of an imprisoned mind.
Father, thy sun is set; night veils the world,
That orbs more beauteous be to man unfurled,
Then in my Night, let me but find
New realms, where thought and fancy may rejoice;
Let its long silence ne'er displace Thy voice
From whispering hope and peace, 'twere my choice
To be thus smitten deaf and blind!
Fill me with light and music from above,
And so inspire with truth, faith, courage, love,
That Thou and man my work can well approve—
Father, to all I'm then resigned!
Harp of the mournful voice, now fare thee well!
My sad song ended, ended is thy spell.
Perchance thine echoes, memory haunting,
May oft awaken, shadowing forth the swell
Of long sung monody and long tolled knell,
And o'er the dead past, dirges chanting;
But for me, ever hang in Sorrow's hall!
Bid Night and Silence spread oblivion's pall
O'er earthly blooming joys, that seared must fall
And leave the stricken soul to weep:—
Ever, till this devoted head be hoar,
And the swart angel whispering at the door;
When I thy slumbers may disturb once more.
Ere double night bring double sleep,
Till then, I sing in happier, bolder strain:
What's lost to me is God's; what's left, for pain
Or joy still His: and endless day, His reign:
And reckoning of my Night He'll keep!

Of the Indiana Institution.
Oh Autumn, sweet sad Autumn queen,
With robe of golden brown,
Our hearts are bowed with grief and pain,
As each leaf flutters down.
In every drooping flow'ret,
In every leafless tree,
By warbling birds deserted,
We find some trace of thee.
Thou'rt lovely, oh, so lovely,
And yet how brief thy stay,
Why is it all things beautiful
Must droop and fade away?
All, all thy gorgeous painted leaves,
With colors bright and gay,
Were touched by nature's magic brush,
Then rudely cast away.
And thus our dearest hopes are crushed,
By fate's relentless will,
Like withered leaves they pass away—
But peace, sad heart, be still.
Thou too must breast the adverse wind,
Be wildly tempest-tossed,
Perhaps when thou art hushed in death,
Thou'lt meet the loved and lost.
But for this sweetly, solemn thought
That thrills us with delight,
This life, so marred by grief and pain,
Could never seem so bright.
Then welcome, sweet, sad Autumn days,
Though brief the hallowed reign,
For every smile must have its tear,
And every joy its pain.

Of the Arkansas Institution.
I sat down at the window, where
I oft had calmed my ruffled feeling,
For summer evening's balmy air
Has for the wounded spirit healing.
That morning I had been quite glad,
For hope had prospects bright in keeping,
But fortune changed, and I was sad,
And there I sat in silence weeping.
'Tis vain I said to hope for good,
Or cherish bliss for one short hour,
If morn puts forth a fragrant bud,
Ere night 'tis but a withered flower.
My Bible lay upon the stand,
In which I'd ofttimes found a blessing,
I quickly took the book in hand,
In hope to learn a useful lesson.
I read upon its open page,
"There is a time and purpose given,
It has been so from age to age,
For everything that's under Heaven."
'Tis vain and wrong to wish, I thought,
That life with me be always sunny,
My cup with bitter never fraught,
But always overflown with honey
When fortune frowns I'll not despair,
I'll only weep away my sorrow,
'Twill ease my heart and brow of care,
I'll laugh when joy returns to-morrow.

We are drifting on the sea of life,
Like ships we're tempest-tossed,
And 'mid this world of care and strife
How many are wrecked and lost!
Our vessels are sometimes set afloat,
'Neath a bright and cloudless sky,
But far in the distance hid from view,
The breakers are sure to lie.
Others are launched on an angry sea,
When the waves are dashing high,
And the wild winds give a ghostly tone,
To the curlew's troubled cry.
But the good ship Faith is gaily launched,
For the pilot, Hope, is there,
And Love, with his flaming lamp of light,
Maketh all things wondrous fair.
Soon Faith is wrecked by a careless word,
And beautiful Hope is dead,
And Love, with the holy light of life,
In an angry moment fled.
And thus on the wide wild sea of life,
We are drifting day by day,
Without one thought of the solemn truth,
That we all shall pass away.

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