Hyde Papers - Box 01: Folder 01

Letter from Julia Hyde to Abby B. Hyde, circa 1838 February 10

Letter from Julia Hyde to Abby B. Hyde, circa 1838 February 10
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Mt. Hl Female Seminary Feb 10, 1838

"Hope deferred maketh the heart seek." Now perhaps you will put on long faces, and imagine a poor homesick heart, sick, moping creature hold of the pen, and expect an epistle accordingly. But, if you do, it will only prove to a demonstration that you do not adhere to truth in the mental images you form, for I expect that I am better off than any of you else I should have had information of your state ere this. I have for about four days been using my reasoning faculties to the utmost, to contrive some excuse for your not sending me a letter and to day I have hit upon this, that it must be my own fault: so like as I should, I proceed to the work of reform, immediately.

And, the uppermost idea in my head at this moment being that President Humphrey is to take tea with us. I tell you of it, ____________ well tea is over and President H. and Mrs. H. have honored us with their presence, and he is to preach to morrow. He is nothing but a man, as you probably knew.

The next important item of intelligence is, that Miss Lyon, wishing to test the strength of her children and having occasion to go to Boston, has left us to walk alone for two or three weeks. I think we shall not have any serious catastrophes and if we do happen to burn our fingers or bump our heads a little it will add to our stock of experience.

I have to day received a call from the husband of Mrs. Haven. (I forget his name), who brought some maple sugar, a present from his wife, and desired me while I wrote home, to mention that he had called, and that he and his family were well.

I will write no more this evening, we have tea much earlier on Saturday, else I should not have written at all since.

Sabbath eve. Dr. Humprhey's text were Prov. 23, 26. "My son give me thine heart," and 2 Co.5:20 " Now then we are ambassadors for Christ: as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ; stead, be ye reconciled to God." The sermons were very good.

The interest in this place still continues. There have been between fifty and sixty conversions. I should think it had been very quiet work. There are frequent evening meetings and there has been for some weeks past preaching on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons. At South Hadley Canal, a third protracted meeting is in progress and there are said to be more than a hundred who are indulging hope. I see from the papers, that the present seems an interesting time in very many places. Boston seems to be sharing in the interest and I have often thought of home in connection with the accounts from the city.

Our Bible lesson for to day has been the 14th and 15th of John. In hearing the review we have topics perhaps you would like to know a few of them. The first is "Comfort derived from the promise of future happiness." the next Interrogatory of Thomas with Christ's reply." These will serve as a specimen. We commit the verses to recite under these topics. Amid my other Sabbath occupations, I spend about 15 or 20 minutes in the morning studying the Catechism. I should like to spend more if it were possible for I like it much and I think I am engaged in at least one study something in common with my brothers and sisters.

Prof. Hitchcock, his wife and daughter dined with us one day last week and presented us with some very pretty ornaments for the mantle, and table in the parlor and Deac. and Mrs. Safford in writing, "and love to all their daughters here." so you see we are cared for by good folks.

I do not get on very famously in Euclid, it is too hard. I suppose in the common parlance of this land, I have no bump for it. What shall be done in such a case? They mean us to finish it this term, that is in seven weeks. Oh, vacation will be coming soon, and only think the summer term will close on the 14th or 15th of August. Oh god.

To the editors of the Gazette I must make an apology for not having provided any thing on purpose having been engaged with triangles, paralelograms lines, and the like. But thinking it to hard to send nothing at all. I am going to send you my last composition and indeed my next one too: for it is not finished. Its subject is Self government and it proceeds on this line " He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls." The truth of these words of unerring wisdom is no less obvious at this day, than at the time when they were written; though the illustration of the disastrous effects of a want of self government is less applicable to modern than to ancient customs. The chief defense of ancient cities was the walls with which they were surrounded and a "city broken down and without walls" was exposed to the most dreadful calamities of robbery and war. The subjugation of a conquered city was often attended by the destruction of its walls, as when the Lacedaemonians demolished the walls of Athens.

Self government includes the control of the emotions, thought, and {ink stain} A perfect example of this is perhaps rare {ink stain} this sinning world, but it has been and {ink stain} attained in a high degree. There are those who preserve an unruffled serenity amid the most sudden and unexpected reverses and the most exciting circumstances. It is unnecessary to prove that such self control adds materially to the capacity for usefulness and happiness. The mind undisturbed by conflicting passions is left free to apply itself vigorously and successfully to whatever duty is before it and perhaps nothing contributes more to the formation of a well balanced character than self government.

As the city destitute of walls was left at the mercy of every invader so the individual with no control over his spirit is at the mercy of every gust of passion and every adverse occurrence. All love freedom but those who give themselves up to every impulse are enslaving themselves to the most tyrannical masters. When the passions have gained the mastery, when fancy has "won from reason's hand the reins" no bondage is more complete. Happiness is diminished or destroyed and the power of im-

parting happiness suffers no less. However benevolent the intention the want of self control often prevents its fulfillment and occasions much positive suffering to those compelled to witness the ungoverned violence of feeling.

It is said that nothing truly valuable can be acquired without industry and perseverance. If then it be desirable to acquire perfect self control, to be able regulate our thoughts, feelings and actions by the dictates of reason and principle, long continued and persevering effort must not be shunned. That it is attainable follows from the fact that it is a duty, and the desire to avoid the calamities from which it can preserve, to receive the benefits it confers and to do every thing {jumps to the bottom of the page} in our power to attain perfection of character are sufficient motives to excite to the most unremitting exertion.

If you find any mistakes incongruities or absurdities you must pity me because I have no father mother or sister to help me composition days. I believe I want Ma more then than any other time and I wish there could be some way contrived in which folks as well as {illegible} could be transmitted by electricity.. à la telegraphe so I might go to you with my compositions as I was wont in days past.

I am perfectly well, no fever ache, nor anything.

{written on left side margin} A few days since a Miss Mary Chapin from Somers, was introduced to my company of knife cleaners and as I was much taken with her appearance. I one day was so wondrous bold as to inquire after Mr. Dennis and his family, and to tell her by way of explanation that I once lived in Ellington. The next inquiry was Are you any relation to Mr. Hyde that was once settled there?" Yes, his daughter! Then followed a long conversation. She said there was acquaintance with my father that he once told her he had "a daughter Julia" and inquired if I were the identical lady. She says Mr. D. and family are well, that the meeting at Somers have been unusually full for some weeks past and that there were some cases of seriousness before she left. I am as much acquainted with her as with an young lady here, though she came up recently and like her much. A sheet of paper is not quite big enough

{written on left side margin} I hope you will not think me impatient. I know you write oftener than I deserve and oftener than you can conveniently do not put yourselves to the least trouble about me. I should not have written now but I thought some accident might have happened to letters by the way and you be wondering at me.

{written on left side margin} I have had no letter this quarter except a half one from Lucy but I have the N. Y. Observer very regularly. good bye good bye.

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