I am sending it to you
with a heart full of hope that your
Christmas may be a merry one.
He read and reread the printed lines, and finally had them framed and hung by his bedside, where they were the first thing upon which his eyes rested in the morning:
“Grant me the ability to do some one thing well.
“Give me sympathy
for the suffering of others which has been
brought to them by their own acts.
“Grant that I
may have courage for the weak and the friendship of
those who demand the best of my nature.
“Remove all doubts
from me that there will be ultimate peace and
happiness for every one.
“Let fear of the
consequences of a right act be far from me. Let
forget the words expediency, convention, and reward.
“Grant me largeness
of judgment, and silence for all weakness,
especially that of woman.
“And give me,
each day, my daily work, with rest at night under
some friendly stars.”
* * * * *
Early in April, after the lonesomest winter of his life, he received the following letter from his mother, who was still in Paris with Anne Lennox:
MY DEAR, DEAR CHILD,—I have been going about a great deal, meeting old friends and making some new ones, which accounts for my not having written you last week. Anne’s house is like a Union Station for repose and solitude. She has people in to luncheon and dinner and tea, and I suspect even for the cafe au lait in the mornings. I enjoy it, however. One is seldom bored, though frequently exhausted. Why I am writing this dull introduction I cannot say, for I have more important things to tell.
I have met Katrine Dulany.
Anne and I went to the Countess de Nemours’ reception on Friday night. We were all in a whirl of unfinished sentences when Miss Dulany entered. I wish you might have seen her, as she came toward us! Of course she was a very pretty child in North Carolina, but she has developed into something really remarkable. She wore white, decollete, with her hair Madonna-wise. And she has such distinction! Such repose! Truly, Frank, she came in so quietly that she made every one else seem to enter on horseback.
Coming directly toward me, she said: “Perhaps you do not remember me, Mrs. Ravenel! I am Katrine Dulany. My father was overseer of your plantation, in North Carolina, for nearly three years.” It was as though Mary Queen of Scots had come to life and asked me if I remembered when she was my parlor-maid!
And she stayed and talked
to me with sweetest deference and an
appeal in her eyes, and I went home quite exalted to think this
much-desired person had singled me out for such marked attention.