Your loving Mammie.
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Further Glimpses of her Dorset Life.
The following Recollections of Mrs. Prentiss by her friend, Mrs. Frederick Field, now of San Jose, California, afford additional glimpses of her home life in Dorset. The picture is drawn in fair colors; but it is as truthful as it is fair:
It was the first Sunday in September, 1866. A quiet, perfect day among the green hills of Vermont; a sacramental Sabbath, and we had come seven miles over the mountain to go up to the house of the Lord. I had brought my little two-months-old baby in my arms, intending to leave her during the service at our brother’s home, which was near the church. I knew that Mrs. Prentiss was a “summer-boarder” in this home, that she was the wife of a distinguished clergyman, and a literary woman of decided ability; but it was before the “Stepping Heavenward” epoch of her life, and I had no very deep interest in the prospect of meeting her. We went in at the hospitably open door, and meeting no one, sat down in the pleasant family living-room. It was about noon, and we could hear cheerful voices talking over the lunch-table in the dining-room. Presently the door opened, and a slight, delicate-featured woman, with beautiful large dark eyes, came with rapid step into the room, going across to the hall door; but her quick eye caught a glimpse of my little “bundle of flannel,” and not pausing for an introduction or word of preparatory speech, she came towards me with a beaming face and outstretched hands:—
“O, have you a baby there? How delightful! I haven’t seen one for such an age,—please, may I take it? the darling tiny creature!—a girl? How lovely!”
She took the baby tenderly in her arms and went on in her eager, quick, informal way, but with a bright little blush and smile,—“I’m not very polite—pray, let me introduce myself! I’m Mrs. Prentiss, and you are Mrs. F—–, I know.”
After a little more sweet, motherly comment and question over the baby,—“a touch of nature” which at once made us “akin,” she asked, “Have you brought the baby to be christened?”