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.

Prof.  Smith passed away peacefully in the early morning on the 7th of February.  One of his last conscious utterances was addressed to Mrs. Prentiss:  “I have ceased to cumber myself with the things of time and sense, and have had some precious thoughts about death.”  Henry Boynton Smith was one of those men who enrich life by their presence, and seem to render the whole world poorer by their absence.  He was strongly attached to Mrs. Prentiss; for more than forty years the relation between him and her husband resembled that of brothers; Mrs. Smith was one of her oldest and most beloved friends, and for a quarter of a century the two families had dwelt together in unity.  And, then, with one of the saddest and one of the happiest events of her domestic history—­the burial of her little Bessie, at which he ministered with Christlike sympathy, and at the baptism of her Swiss boy who bore his name—­he was tenderly associated.  It is not strange, therefore, that his death, as well as the wearisome years of invalidism which preceded it, touched her deeply.  What manner of man he was; how gifted, wise and large-hearted; how devoted to the cause of his Lord and Saviour; what a leader and master-workman in sacred science and in the Church of Christ; how worthy of love and admiration—­all this may be seen and read elsewhere. [15]

To Mrs. Condict, Feb. 14, 1877.

Before I go down to the meeting at Mrs. D.’s I must have a little chat with you, in reply to your last two letters.  I felt like shrieking aloud when you contrasted your life with mine.  But it is impossible to state fully why.  Yet I may say one thing; I have had to learn what I teach in loneliness, suffering, conflict, and dismay, which I do not believe you have physical strength to bear.  The true story of my life will never be written.  But whatever you do, don’t envy it.  And I do not mean by that, that I am a disappointed, unhappy woman; far from it.  But I enjoy and suffer intensely, and one insulting word about Greylock, for instance, goes on stinging and cutting me, amid forgetfulness of hundreds of kind ones. [16] Let us take our lot in life just as it comes, courageously, patiently, and faithfully, never wondering at anything the Master does.  I am concerned just as you are about my interest in things of time and sense.  But I have not the faintest doubt that if we could have all we want in Christ, inferior objects would fade and fall.  But we live in a strange world, amid many claims on time and thought; we can not dwell in a convent, and must dwell among human beings, and fall more or less under their influence.  We shall get out of all this by and by. Feb. 27th.—­This winter I am drawing in charcoal under an accomplished teacher; she has so large a class that I had to withdraw from it and take private lessons.  She has invited A. to assist her in teaching little ones twice a week, which materially curtails her bill.  A. was introduced to one youth, aged five, as Monsieur So and

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