But I tried to turn her mind ‘round by showin’ her a letter I’d jest got from Maggie, my son, Thomas Jefferson’s wife, tellin’ me that her sister Molly, who had been visitin’ a college friend in the South, had come home much sooner than she had been expected and seemed run down and most sick.
But she wuz bound to go to the Fair and they thought it wouldn’t hurt her to go, as there didn’t seem to be anything serious the matter with her only she seemed melancholy and out of sperits, it seemed to be her mind that wuz ailin’ more than her body. And would I if there wuz room in my boardin’ place take her in and mother her a little. Maggie couldn’t come herself, she wuzn’t feelin’ strong enough, and Thomas J. won’t leave her, specially if anything ails her, no indeed! he jest worships her, and visey versey she him.
I can’t deny my first thought on readin’ the letter wuz, another straw to be laid on the back of the camel, meanin’ myself in metafor. But my second thought wuz I should be glad to have her come, for she is a lovely girl and I set store by her. She’s been away to school and college for years, but I had often seen her durin’ her vacations at Thomas Jefferson’s.
Maggie had showed her letters to me that she had writ whilst she wuz away South on this visit to her friend. One young man’s name run through ’em like the theme to a great melody, and then all to once stopped, and though Maggie and I hadn’t passed a word on the subject I mistrusted more than Maggie mistrusted I did about the cause of Molly bein’ so deprested.
Young folks will be young folks! young blood can’t run slow and stiddy, and how young hearts can ache, ache. The tide that youth sails out on is a restless one, it has its passionate tides, lit by glowing sunshine, and anon by the glare of the tempest. It flows ever and anon smooth, and then agin rough rocks of disappointment checks its swift glad flow, and what it calls despair, but which dwindles down into nothin’ more than regret time and agin. It has its low tides, full of the sobbin’ of waters that are flowin’ back to the depths, and everything seems lost and gone. But anon the tide flows back again and so it goes on, storm and dull calm, sunshine and tempest, and they don’t know which is the hardest to endure. That’s why youth is so beautiful, so glorious, so tragic.
How I wished I could take Molly (for I loved her) and lift her clear over the breakers into the calm of the deeper, smoother waters that the home going boat finds when it is nearing the nightfall. The calm waters lit by a light, soft and stiddy but sort o’ sad like, not like the dancin’ sunlight of the mornin’, oh no! when the tired mariner looks back over the voyage and gits ready to cast anchor in the Home Haven.
But I knowed I wuz onreasonable to even wish it, for grim old Experience must stand at the hellum every time in everybody’s life, and folks hadn’t ort to expect dyin’ grace to live by; Molly had got to weather the storm of life whether or no and I couldn’t help it. But to stop eppisodin’ and resoom.