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.

IV.

The Story Lizzie Told. Country and City.  The Law of Christian Progress.  Letters to a Friend bereft of three Children.  Sudden Death of another Friend.  “Go on; step faster.”  Fenelon and his Influence upon her religious Life.  Lines on her Indebtedness to him.

The Story Lizzie Told was published about this time.  It had already appeared in the Riverside Magazine.  The occasion of the story was a passage in a letter from London written by a friend, which described in a very graphic and touching way the yearly exhibition of the Society for the Promotion of Window Gardening among the Poor.  The exhibition was held at the “Dean’s close” at Westminster and the Earl of Shaftesbury gave the prizes. [9]

No one of Mrs. Prentiss’s smaller works, perhaps, has been so much admired as The Story Lizzie Told.  It was written at Dorset in the course of a single day, if not at a single sitting; and so real was the scene to her imagination that, on reading it in the evening to her husband, she had to stop again and again from the violence of her emotion.  “What a little fool I am!” she would say, after a fresh burst of tears. [10]

To Mrs. Leonard, New York, Oct. 16, 1870.

Your letter came in the midst of the wear and tear of A.’s return to us.  We were kept in suspense about her from Monday, when she was due, till, Friday when she came, and it is years since I have got so excited and wrought up.  They had a dreadful passage, but she was not sick at all.  Prof.  Smith is looking better than I ever saw him, and we are all most happy in being together once more.  I can truly re-echo your wish that you lived half way between us and Dorset, for then we should see you once a year at least.  I miss you and long to see you.  How true it is that each friend has a place of his own that no one else can fill!  I do not doubt that the 13th of October was a silvery wedding-day to your dear husband.  His loss has made Christ dearer to you, and so has made your union more perfect.  I suppose you were never so much one as you are now.

We have had a delightful summer, not really suffering from the heat; though, of course, we felt it more or less.  All our nights were cool....  I can not tell you how Mr. P. and myself enjoy our country home.  It seems as if we had slipped into our proper nook.  But if we are going to do any more brainwork, we must be where there is stimulus, such as we find here.  What a mixed-up letter!  I have almost forgotten how to write, in adorning my house and sowing my seeds and the like.

To Mrs. Frederick Field, New York, Oct. 19th, 1870.

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