The Underground Railroad eBook

William Still
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,446 pages of information about The Underground Railroad.
do,” and put all the poetry of a nature exquisitely fine into her efforts to diffuse around her purity and peace and happiness.  Her constant, utterly unselfish endeavors to this end contributed in ample measure to the blessedness of a delightful home, rich in the virtues, charities and graces which make home blessed.  Veiled by her modest and retiring disposition, to few beyond the circle of her home were known the beauty and beneficence of her noiseless life; but those who did look in upon it testified her worth in terms so strong as showed how deeply it impressed them.  “Just the best woman I ever knew,” said a young man for whom she had long cared like a mother.  “I cannot remember,” said another, “ever hearing from her one ungentle word;” and it may be safely doubted whether she was ever heard to utter such.  And one who “knew her every mood” cannot recall an instance of selfishness in her, even when a child.  “The most womanly woman I ever knew,” declared a friend long closely intimate with her, “and such as would have been adored, if found by any man worthy of her.”

The ideal element in her was chastened by sound sense and blended with a quick sagacity; but her shrinking sensitiveness, too keen to be quite healthy, and an extreme of self-forgetfulness, amounting possibly to a defect in one sojourning amid this world’s diverse dispositions and experiences, rendered her, on the whole, less balanced and complete than her younger sisters, and not well fitted for rough encounter with life’s trials.  So it became Grace Anna’s province, especially after their mother’s death, to stand a shelter between her and whatever would unpleasantly affect her by its contact; to be in some sort as a brother to her, seeing there was no brother in the house.  But from this it must not be inferred that Grace Anna is less gifted with the distinctive qualities of her sex.  For the native fineness of her spiritual texture, her gentle dignity and feminine delicacy and grace, mark her as “every inch” a true and noble woman.  In her combine in happy union the calm strength of soul and self-reliance of her younger, with the poetic ideality and a just degree of the quick sensibility of her elder sister, with better health than either, making her foremost of the three in that executive efficiency which did so much to give their plans the uniform success already mentioned.  Kindness and warm affection, clearness of moral vision, and purity of heart, with a lively relish for quiet intellectual pleasures, for society and books adapted to refine, improve and elevate, were among the characteristics common to them all.

Mariann and Elizabeth, having lived to see the triumph of the Right, in the Presidential Proclamation of Freedom to the slaves, have gone from their earthly labors to their heavenly rest; which, we may well believe, is that whereof the poet speaks: 

      “Rest in harmonious action like the stars,
      Doing the deeds which make heaven musical,
      The earth a heaven, and brothers of us all.”

Project Gutenberg
The Underground Railroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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