So constantly have you been in my mind all day (and indeed for the past week) that I've allowed them to go off to church and now I'm going to spend the quiet with you.
March 10th, 1878
Mr. A[nderson] gave up his appointment to a Methodist Bro., but my love for Americanism is not strong enough to face the slow rain thats been falling all the afternoon. Someone has told us that "words are the soul's ambassadors which go abroad to heal and comfort. I trust that mine may comfort and not prove only an abundance of words and superfluous breath.
Now that my mother is gone I "give my thoughts no tongue" regarding my inner life. She knew when I was happy and when I felt sad. Now you hold the key to my heart and my lamentations fall on your ear.
I thank you for your candor in telling me of your troubles. It has only (if that was possible) endeared me to you and opened a fresh fountain of love and kindness.
I always hope for the best and if it's refused take whats sent believing that the wise Physician will give good in the end, if we only rely on His hand for good. Oh! if you would only make up your mind that these mere outside advantages do not touch the inner life in a single point, you would save yourself hours of anxiety. We are all cowards. It is easier to talk than to act. We are all afraid of what the world will think, of what people will say and fret and wear away before we take it to the only friend who can help us. I expect you will say but this care is "of the earthly" but I believe God has control of it all.
Money brings a train of cares as well as comforts. I often wish we could live without it, for tis indeed "the root of all evil."
I would love to talk with you tonight, but must content myself churning up my thoughts and leaving you to interpret. I thought after I'd sent my last letter perhaps I've talked too freely, but it was the circumstances that called forth the freedom.
The Episcopalians have suspended all gayety as their holy season is in session.
You ask me not to tell about our plans. I'd never talked of it at any time save mention it two or three times to Col. Tate and Willie. I never once told my family (that is all of them), of our engagement. I had some business matters with Johnnie and I determined I'd fix it with him instead of his wife or father-in-law and for his life he could not see why I wished it fixed "ship-shape", til I told him. I know that the town talks and wonders how, why and when it will be, but not from any imprudent conduct of mine. Mrs. Vance wrote me a long letter and rather upbraided me (if I did have any feeling in the matter) for not telling so "near and dear a relative." I could but wonder why they don't let the affairs of others alone. Still, I know her heart was right. She felt that she might do me a kindness and cancel the debt of obligation she owed my mother. I never yet answered her letter of Feb. 11th, so you know how much I've noised it about. I was a little afraid to make the request of you (namely not to go to any expense for me or have any fuss or crowd to welcome me to your home) not knowing how you might interpret it. Now, let me thank you for receiving it in just the way it was intended. I don't care to shine in society. My great desire is to brighten your life and shine in your home, however humble it may be.
I've crossed my letter, a thing I never do but tis Sunday and my stack of paper is lower than I thought when I opened my desk, so you must pardon me this time.
Now let me beg you to keep a brave heart, "cast all you
cares on God, that anchor will always hold." And he will bring you out more
than conqueror. Good night with love for your sisters. I'm affect. L.P.
Go to LETTER 33
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