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 opened your letter in the street, and was at once confronted with a worldly-looking bit of silk!  How can you!  Why don’t you follow my example and dress in sackcloth and ashes?  I think however, if you will be worldly you have done it very prettily, and on the whole don’t know that it is any wickeder than I have been in translating a “dramatic poem” in five acts from the German, only you’ve got your dress done and I’m only half through my play; and there’s no knowing how bad I shall get before I am through.  I wonder if you are sitting by an open window, as I am, and roasting at that?  I had a drive with A. and M. through the Park yesterday, and saw stacks of hyacinths in bloom, and tulips and violets and dandelions; a willow-tree not far from my window has put on its tender green, and summer seems close at hand.  I have been to an auction and got cheated, as I might have known I should; and the other day I had my pocket picked.  As to “Gates Ajar,” most people are enchanted with it; but Miss Lyman regards it as I do, and so do some other elect ladies.  I have just written to see if she will come down and get a little rest, now the weather is so fine.  Mr. P. has gone to Dorset to be gone all the week, and I am buying up what is to be bought, begrudging every cent! mean wretch that I am.

I have looked through and read parts of “Patience Strong’s Outings”—­an ugly title, and a transcendental style, but beautiful in conception, and taken off the stilts, in execution.  I do not like the cant of Unitarians any better than they like ours, but I like what is elevating in any sect.  I have had a present of a lot of table-linen, towels, etc., for Dorset, and feel a good deal like a young housekeeper.  I wonder how soon you go back to Northampton?  How queer it must be to be able to float round!  It is a pity you could not float to New York, and get a good hugging from this old woman.  We expect 250 ministers here in May at general assembly (I ought to have spelt it with a big G and a big A).  My dear child, what makes you get blue?  I don’t much believe in any blue devils save those that live in the body and send sallies into the mind.  Perhaps I should, though, if I had not a husband and children to look after; how little one can judge for another!

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II.

How she earned her Sleep.  Writing for young Converts about speaking the Truth.  Meeting of the General Assembly in the Church of the Covenant.  Reunion.  D.D.s and Strawberry Short-cake.  “Enacting the Tiger.”  Getting ready for Dorset.  Letters.

This year was one of the busiest of her life; and it were hard to say which was busiest, her body or mind; her hand, heart, or brain.  This relentless activity was caused in part by the increasing difficulty of obtaining sleep.  Incessant work seemed to be, in her case, a sort of substitute for natural rest and a solace for the loss of it.  She alludes to this constant struggle with insomnia in a letter to Miss Warner, dated May 9th: 

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