27th.—You will be sorry to hear that our last summer’s siege with dysentery bids fair to be repeated. Yesterday, when the disease declared itself, I must own that for a few hours I felt about heart-broken. My own strength is next to nothing, and how to face such a calamity I knew not. Ah, how much easier it is to pray daily, “Oh, Jesus Christus, wachs in mir!” than to consent to, yea rejoice in, the terms of the grant! Well, George went for the doctor. His quarters at this season are right opposite; he is a German and brother of the author Auerbach. We brought G.’s cot into our room and George and I took care of him till three o’clock, when for the first time since we had children, I gave out and left the poor man to get along as nurse as he best could. I can tell you it comes hard on one’s pride to resign one’s office to a half-sick husband. I think I have let the boys play too hard in the sun. I long to have you see this pretty cottage and this beach.
Aug. 3d.—The children are out of the doctor’s hands and I do about nothing at all. I hope you are as lazy as I am. Today I bathed, read the paper and finished John Halifax. I wish I could write such a book!
To Miss Gilman she writes, August 10th:
We have the nicest of cottages, near the sea. I often think of you as I sit watching the waves rush in and the bathers rushing out. I have not yet thanked you for the hymns you sent me. The traveller’s hymn sounds like George Withers. Mr. P. borrowed a volume of his poems which delights us both. I am glad you are asking your mother questions about your father. I am amazed at myself for not asking my dear mother many a score about my father, which no human being can answer now. I do not like to think of you all leaving New York. Few families would be so missed and mourned.
I can sympathise with you in regard to your present Sunday “privileges.” We have a long walk in glaring sunshine, sit on bare boards, live through the whole (or nearly the whole) Prayer-book, and then listen, if we can, to a sermon three-quarters of an hour long, its length not being its chief fault. I am utterly unable to bear such fatigue, and spend my time chiefly at home, with some hope of more profit, at any rate. How true it is that our Master’s best treasures are kept in earthen vessels! Humanly speaking, we should declare it to be for His glory to commit the preaching of His gospel to the best and wisest hands. But His ways are not as our ways.... I feel such a longing, when Sunday conies, to spend it with good people, under the guidance of a heaven-taught man. A minister has such wonderful opportunity for doing good! It seems dreadful to see the opportunity more than wasted. The truth is, we all need, ministers and all, a closer walk with God. If a man comes down straight from the mount to speak to those who have just come from the same place, he must be in a state to edify and they to be edified.