I've just shook the dust from off my feet as a testimony in favor of (and not against)
According to the verdict of old women no day in the 366 (Leap Year) except Valentines
is rooted and crowned with luck. "I knows it Lara, I his tried hit, and what I
knows, I knows." Wise conclusion, think you not?
Feb. 14th, 1876
Well, after listening of these sage advisors I've also concluded
to plant cabbage and tomatoes in the moon. They ought to bring forth wonderful juice
for the tomatoe's seeds came from Naples (sent me by my friend Mrs. Barringer, whose
husband is Judge in Egypt) but we will see what we will see.
So now with clean hands and a willing mind appear
before my desk ready to cancel the debt I owe my friendly creditor.
First let me be candid and tell you how glad I am
the hour of my valedictory is not so near as I thought when last I wrote
you, for indeed I'll miss your pleasant greetings after the Va. Lassie comes in.
However, I'll enjoy the present moments and leave it with you to apprise me in time
to prepare another congratulatory expression. I've laughed no little over that
You are eminently correct (a:la Gov. Vance) in thinking
you did wrong to countenance a woman lecturer, of all abominable, disgusting,
revolting, offensive, contemptable, hateful things tis to see a woman don her
womanhood. I hardly know what is odious enough for them unless I'd throw them
into Mr. Brownlow's hands. I don't know when I enjoyed a joke more than a cut
thrust at a feminine lecturer up in Yankeedom. (I hope it was a Southerner who
hit her). She entered a crowded RR car when a pleasant looking gentleman rose
and asked her (in the blandest manner) if she was not the lady he heard deliver
that eloquent and pathetic address the night previous. After receiving her answer
in the affirmative he gave her a contemptable smile (instead of his seat) and told
her to take the rights of man and stand up till she arrived at her destination.
Your lecturer is doubly dyed in infamy when she dares lay her vile sacrilegious
hands on the ashes of the loved and lost. Powerful and peaceful is our last resting
place, and the ills of life never more violent that silent pillow. Memory calls up
those beautiful thoughts of Grays (as he wandered in a village churchyard) "Can
torrid urn or animated bust, back to it's mansion call the fleeting breath? Can
horrors voice provoke the silent dust or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of
death?" Ah, no the carnal part of us, the part that's made of dust to mother
earth returns, but that particle divine escapes the wrecks of life and if we choose
we may launch that priceless gem into the haven of everlasting rest to dwell forever
with the son of unapproachable perfection. After this human soul ends life's
transient dream it flys to it's receiver and never more returns till the archangel
sounds his trumpet and each waiting soul will then find a body shaped anew fit to
adon that newly washed soul."
I received an invitation and offer of passes over R.R. to Charlotte to hear
Victoria Woodhice on the 23rd. I don't for one moment doubt the good
intentions of this friend, yet I must decline his generous offer to listen to
this contraband, whose soul is as an unweeded garden. I'd like to hear of her
receiving a loud stamp, but not of applause, for in my humble opinion her
name should be as static on the pedestal of scorn. A woman has a mission, yes, a
high and holy one, but tis not to be noised abroad. St. Paul begs us to
be "keepers at home." Yes, all would work better if we all thought our
mission was sewing on buttons and darning up the holes of life.
I expect Victoria would think that a darned life for her. Pardon that
unrefined pun I beg of you.
Indeed, I think the young ladies of your village showed an unappreciative task
in not inviting, as well as escorting you to their party, but I expect they
sighed and thought you mortgaged property to Va. and their day of grace over.
Did you read Mrs. Spencer's views on dancing? (They appeared in Y.L.C. some weeks
ago.) I agree exactly with her particularly in her last letter. What good columns
she gives us some weeks and then what perfect blanks. She is a fine friend of my
brother Willie's (who boarded with her for five sessions at Chapel Hill) and he
never allowed me to think anything but complimentary of her.
I called Cousin Sam to account for his forgery, but don't think he regards the
penalty I inflicted as very heavy. He pleaded a joke, so I let the offense pass
with promise for better behaviour in [the] future. I'll not revoke any of my good
wishes if the report is null and void. I hope my wishes well seasoned enough
Tis a stern reality that Miss Mattie is to be made Mrs. Hill
on the 17th. Wonder why they didn't select the 14th? Tis the
days birds choose their mates. I hear her "Lige Lord" [?] is a good
reliable man. (a physician in Statesville). He ought to be good as he holds the
office of Elder in our church. She (Mattie) has acted wisely in fixing up matters
so quietly. No one in town except myself and one other knows of it. What a good
joke to cheat a country village out of a month's gossip. Well, they have my best
wishes for future happiness and prosperity. Valuable legacy, is it not?
I think now that I'll go to the Centennial. Don't know just
when, as I want to go further north. Think sightseeing would be more pleasant in Sep.
or Oct. Must I believe you when you say you are coming up next Summer? See what a
distinguished visitor thinks of our town. I'll send you the "Blue
Ridge Blade" in a day or so. The press arrived Friday. Don't I pay good
interest for your short but interesting letters? What I lack in quality, I make
up in quantity.
Yours Truly, L.T.P.
Go to LETTER 5
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