Morganton, N.C. 
Feb. 14th, 1876   

I've just shook the dust from off my feet as a testimony in favor of (and not against) hot beds. 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?

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 letter.

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 to last.

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.

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