The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 929 pages of information about The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss.

[9] The wife of her brother, Mr. Henry M. Payson.

[10] The Rev. Benjamin Tappan, D.D., an old friend of her father’s and one of the patriarchs of the Maine churches.

[11] See appendix B, p. 534, for a brief sketch of his life.

[12] Sermons by Henry Edward Manning, Archdeacon of Chichester (now Cardinal Manning), 1st, 2d, and 3d Series.

[13] The Rev. D. W. Poor, D.D., now of Philadelphia.  He had been settled at Fair Haven, near New Bedford, and was then a pastor in Newark.

CHAPTER V.

IN THE SCHOOL OF SUFFERING.

1851-1858.

I.

Removal to New York and first Summer there.  Letters.  Loss of Sleep and Anxiety about Eddy.  Extracts from Eddy’s Journal, describing his last Illness and Death.  Lines entitled “To my Dying Eddy.”

Mrs. Prentiss’ removal to New York was an important link in the chain of outward events which prepared her for her special life-work.  It introduced her at once into a circle unsurpassed, perhaps, by any other in the country, for its intelligence, its domestic and social virtues, and its earnest Christian spirit.  The Mercer street Presbyterian church contained at that time many members whose names were known and honored the world over, in the spheres of business, professional life, literature, philanthropy, and religion; and among its homes were some that seemed to have attained almost the perfection of beauty.  In these homes the new pastor’s wife soon became an object of tender love and devotion.  Here she found herself surrounded by all congenial influences.  Her mind and heart alike were refreshed and stimulated in the healthiest manner.  And to add to her joy, several dear old friends lived near her and sat in adjoining pews on the Sabbath.

But happy as were the auspices that welcomed her to New York, the experience of the past two years had taught her not to expect too much from any outward conditions.  She entered, therefore, upon this new period of her life in a very sober mood.  Nor had many months elapsed before she began to hear premonitory murmurs of an incoming sea of trouble.  Most of the summer of 1851 she remained in town with the children.  An extract from a letter to her youngest brother, dated August 1, will show how she whiled away many a weary hour: 

It has been very hot this summer; our house is large and cool, and above all, I have a nice bathing-room opening out of my chamber, with hot and cold water and a shower-bath, which is a world of comfort.  We spent part of last week at Rockaway, L. I., visiting a friend. [1] I nearly froze to death, but George and the children were much benefited.  I have improved fast in health since we came here.  Yesterday I walked two and a half miles with George, and a year ago at this time I could not walk a quarter of a mile without being sick after it for some days.  When

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The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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