Our village church bell is pealing out a requiem for the departing year. Oh! to me it tis indeed an hour for memory and for tears, when I recall the pure loving image that has passed forever from my home and companionship.
Yes, the year has gone, and with it many a happy dream, but the darkest cloud of my life fell o'er me this past year. She and I sat here one year ago tonight to watch the old year out and welcome in the new. I can recall all the loving advise she then gave me, and can now see how hard she endeavored to strengthen me for the crushing blow she believed would come before another year. When I told her of the numberless misdeeds that the old year could testify to against me she urged me to give them no more thought. They are "nothing but leaves", you can do nothing, sighing can only aggravate the burden. Ask Jesus. He can and will cancel the debt. Your only duty now is to try more diligently to improve the present. It comes like some phantom to haunt me of my just pleasures, but I must not grieve when the memory of her long life is so sweet and beautiful. Nor must I throw a cloud o'er your spirit for of all the world I wish the happiest New Year.
Dec. 31st, 1877
Your letter made my heart glad Xmas Eve. Dear me! Will the mails never get in order? Five days old and yet fresh and yearned for by me. I did hope for one this evening. Why dident you chat me Xmas day? I don't think I ever spent a more quiet Christmas. It poured rain constantly, and indeed ever since till today. I received some pretty gifts, but I missed my mother's blessing and loving remembrances.
I'm glad (as I've told you before) that you did not neglect your business for my pleasure, but Oh! I thought of you most all day and contented myself wafting merry Christmas to he who I love most and best.
How in the world Gov. Vance heard of you and I in connection is more than I know. Why my dear I've never spoken of it to either Johnnie or Sister living here in the same house with me. I told Col. Tate because I wanted some property put in better shape, and he couldent tell after giving me his word (as he and Willie did) not to mention it. Mrs. Avery and Cora seem to think it so strange that you know me so well and don't love me, ha! ha! Ah, perhaps after you know me better you will love me less. I remember hearing my Father tell a joke of an old Methodist who was known as "Uncle Abe." On one occasion at a camp meeting the minister came around and requested the members to give in their experience. When "Uncle Abe" rose and informed the brothers and sisters that he had been in the church for ten years, for the first five he was on the decline, but he was glad to say for the last five he had been on the decrease. Now I do trust your knowledge of me will no testify with poor "Uncle Abe". I'm sorry Gov. Vance mentioned me or indeed made any allusion whatever. I think it's rude! (I know he don't look at it in that light) I've always had an aversion to being talked about promiscuously. It clouds that refinement that should crown every woman's name and life.
Do you think you deserve this long letter after your short chat last week? I do try real hard to send you line for line, but I'm always having just one word more before I close.
You don't know how glad I'll be to see you. Write me what day to expect that pleasure and then don't fail to come.
Miss Fuller is a lady of good taste as well as sound judgment. I could not but be amused at how quickly (after telling me that you intended going to see her) you told me she was engaged. Why go and see whoever you please. I don't care. I know you love me best and feel perfectly safe in that love. This is the refuge henceforth from all the ills of life. We must never for one moment doubt it, but be assured before the step is taken that it is real love or we can never be happy.
I've no news to tell. Our village is as quiet as a mouse. Col. Tate is well and would have some message if he knew of my writing. Clande is overjoyed at the quantity of "goodies" Santy sent her. Why I never heard of the like of marriages; pick out two or three of your best men and send them up to Burke. We have some splendid girls up here that would make no one help-meets. Then I think you owe us something to boot for Mr. C But tis time for honest folks to be in "the land of nod," so wishing you pleasant dreams and slumbers light. I waft a loving sweet good night. Yours L.P.
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