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.

I little thought that I should ever write to you again, but I have been brought through a great deal, and now have reason to expect to get well.  I never knew how much I loved you till I gave up all hope of ever seeing you again, and I have not strength yet to tell you all about it.  Poor George has suffered much.  I hope all will be blessed to him and to me.  I am still confined to bed.  The doctor thinks there may be an abscess near the hip-joint, and, till that is cured, I can neither lie straight in bed or stand on my feet or ride out.  Everybody is kind.  Our cup has run over.  It is a sore trial not to be allowed to nurse baby.  She is kept in another room.  I only see her once a day.  She begins to smile, and is very bright-eyed.  I hope your journey will do you good.  If you can, do write a few lines—­not more.  But, good-by.

Hardly had she penned these lines, when, like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, another stunning blow fell upon her.  On the 19th of May, after an illness of a few hours, Bessie, too, was folded forever in the arms of the Good Shepherd.  Here is the mother’s own story of her loss: 

Our darling Eddy died on the 16th of January.  The baby he had so often spoken of was born on the 17th of April.  I was too feeble to have any care of her.  Never had her in my arms but twice; once the day before she died and once while she was dying.  I never saw her little feet.  She was a beautiful little creature, with a great quantity of dark hair and very dark blue eyes.  The nurse had to keep her in another room on account of my illness.  When she was a month old she brought her to me one afternoon.  “This child is perfectly beautiful,” said she; “to-morrow I mean to dress her up and have her likeness taken.”  I asked her to get me up in bed and let me take her a minute.  She objected, and I urged her a good deal, till at last she consented.  The moment I took her I was struck by her unearthly, absolutely angelic expression; and, not having strength enough to help it, burst out crying bitterly, and cried all the afternoon while I was struggling to give her up.

Her father was at Newark.  When he came home at dark I told him I was sure that baby was going to die.  He laughed at me, said my weak health made me fancy it, and asked the nurse if the child was not well.  She said she was—­perfectly well.  My presentiment remained, however, in full force, and the first thing next morning I asked Margaret to go and see how baby was.  She came back, saying, “She is very well.  She lies there on the bed scolding to herself.”  I cried out to have her instantly brought to me.  M. refused, saying the nurse would be displeased.  But my anxieties were excited by the use of the word “scolding,” as I knew no baby a month old did anything of that sort, and insisted on its being brought to me.  The instant I touched it I felt its head to be of a burning heat, and sent for the nurse at once.  When she came, I said, “This child is very

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