Elizabeth Fry eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Elizabeth Fry.
the Lady Mayoress and the Sheriffs, the King with his own people.  We arrived first; I had to hasten to take off my cloak, and then went down to meet him at his carriage-door, with my husband and seven of our sons and sons-in-law.  I then walked with him into the drawing-room, where all was in beautiful order—­neat, and adorned with flowers.  I presented to the King our eight daughters and daughters-in-law, our seven sons and eldest grandson, my brother and sister Buxton, Sir Henry and Lady Pelley, and my sister-in-law Elizabeth Fry—­my brother and sister Gurney he had known before—­and afterwards presented twenty-five of our grandchildren.  We had a solemn silence before our meal, which was handsome and fit for a king, yet not extravagant, everything most complete and nice.  I sat by the King, who appeared to enjoy his dinner, perfectly at his ease and very happy with us.  We went into the drawing-room after another silence and a few words which I uttered in prayer for the King and Queen.  We found a deputation of Friends with an address to read to him; this was done; the King appeared to feel it much.  We then had to part.  The King expressed his desire that blessings might continue to rest on our house.”

Solomon says:  “Seest thou a man diligent in his business he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”  Elizabeth Fry’s life was a living proof of the honors that a persistent, steady, self-denying course of doing good invariably wins in the long run.

CHAPTER XV.

CLOSING DAYS OF LIFE.

Indefatigable workers wear out, while drones rust out.  As the years are counted, of so many days, months, and weeks, many workers of this class die prematurely; but a wiser philosophy teaches that “He liveth long who liveth well.”  Into her years of life, long, eventful, and busy, Elizabeth Fry had crowded the work of many ordinary women; it was little wonder, therefore, that at a time when most people would have settled down to enjoy the relaxations and comforts of a “green old age,” she had begun to set her house in order, to die.  Her energies had been fairly worn out in the service of humanity, and from the time that she made the resolution to serve God, when moved by William Savery’s pleadings, right onward through forty-eight years of sunshine and shadow, vicissitudes and labors, she had never swerved from her simple, earnest purpose.  The propelling motive to that long course of Christian usefulness may be found in a few words uttered by her shortly before her death:  “Since my heart was touched at seventeen years old, I believe I have never awakened from sleep, in sickness or in health, by day or by night, without my first waking thought being, ’how best I might serve my Lord.’” That unchanged desire ultimately became the master-passion of her life.

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Elizabeth Fry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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