Hyde Papers - Box 01: Folder 01

Letter from Julia Hyde to Lucy Goodale, 1839 September 26

Letter from Julia Hyde to Lucy Goodale, 1839 September 26
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Wayland, Sept 26, 1839

Dear, very dear Lucy,

Since I have given up the expectation of seeing you again at present. I must even try to remonstrate myself as much as possible by the "ministrations" of the pen", and you see now that I have "taken time by the forelock" that he might not get the start of me in this thing.

I wish very often that I were to be your companion in the journey of next week and the scenes to which it will lead you, and yet I should be unhappy were I to go under existing circumstances. So I am hoping not to think much about it & not at all discontentedly for I am trying since I cannot study Euclid or Logic to learn contentment.

I am pretty well assured that I need not ask you to think of me while you are away, indeed I have been thinking that I should ask you not to think of Elizabeth or me much, lest you should be unhappy because cast among strangers. I hope you will find a good roommate, good in every sense, one who will love you and be worthy of your love. If you happen to hear one who needs good done to her, be watchful to do it, for

that will be one of the surest ways to happiness on both sides. And this makes me think of another thing, do not underrate yourself . There is such a thing as "morbid humility". not too much humility": that is impossible if it be felt in the right place; but too much on some points. You may be too distrustful of your own opinion in comparison with that of others, or undervalue your own intelligence or ability in the comparison. Do not misunderstand me now. I love such a spirit. I love you for it, Lucy, yet it may go so far as to spread to your disadvantage. It is well to look on both sides of the question. Comparing yourself sometimes with those above you and then with those further down in the scale.

I want too that you should cultivate independence of character. In our intercourse with books we have a fine opportunity to do this. Take some book, for instance, and read it, and form your own opinion as to its character, its influence, its beauties and its faults. Have an opinion about it, and then, if you like, you can find out what others think and compare your decisions with theirs. You can do this in your Studies too. I suppose you will not find much time to read, yet I hope you will not let the Library be entirely unvisited. I think you would like the plan of selecting one or two of the publications on the table and making it a habit to read them as they come. Then you will know what goes on in the world and feel some interest in it. As to books you will be the best judge of course, yet I would recommend to you what is usually termed light reading, it will be too much for the mind to kept on the stretch all the time. Perhaps you would stare if I should say "read novels," yet I think it might be useful to you to read some well written ones if you can lay hold on them. Scott or Irving for instance. I should not recommend this

that to your sister Mary or to every older person that I know but I should like to have you try it. Poetry too. Can you not contrive to read some Cowper, Mrs Hamons, Mrs. Sigourey; Shakespeare, ( I am not going to say Milton, Young and such deep things they require study) would be agreeable amusement and would cultivate literary taste. Then you would want to know something about the authors of course, but the Prefaces of the volumes, Biographical dictionaries and such things are the only sources to which I can refer you. You know, I suppose, something of the effect which "genteel" society is supposed to have on the manners, something similar to it is produced in the mind by an acquaintance with such authors as I have mentioned, they give a sort of ease and polish to the mind which, added to the solidity sought in severer studies is very desirable. Then too they help one to talk and that, in the case of such beings as you and I, is a consideration not to be despised.

When I have said all this I do not mean that you shall not give your chief strength to study. I have no fears on that score. I only fear you will not give yourself sufficient relaxation. I hope you will have a walking roommate, if not you must make her so. Run too, and laugh, and play if you can find a place, and get some roses for your cheeks. And be systematic in your exercise. I remember I thought you in danger there as sometimes you took so much as to be very tired and then none but what you were obliged to do. Don't work too much.

I know that you will surely say to me this proverb "Physician heal thyself" and I grant you have occasion. I had no intention of making myself such a Mentor, but you I know will take it for what it is worth and with all

your accustomed forbearance. You may pay me in kind too, for I am too much like many who "see and approve the better but follow the worse." But the ship sailor knows best the rocks where he has himself been shipwrecked, and he has little of the man left in him if he does not warn others of the dangers which have been most injurious to him. I am intending to write Miss Lyon by your making supplication for Charlotte. I hope by being this early I shall secure an affirmative answer.

{envelope address page}

I was ready to cry when Ma told me that Miss Brigham had been at Marlborough and I had not seen her. Which sister was with her? How is she in health? When will she come again?

I wish I could help you in the matters of a room mate. I think if you could get Miss Ordway she would be very good. So would Miss Rice. Perhaps you would like to ask Miss Reed or Miss Whitman to help you. I know they would like to, they would know more of the young ladies than you and might perhaps introduce you to some pleasant lady. But Ludy, do you not know that even in these things your Heavenly Father "careth for you" and pities you, as a father his children. Oh, that is sweet, is it not?

Miss Lucy T. Goodale


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I have quite recently written to Miss Reid, else I would do so now. Give my love to her, also to Miss Whitman, Miss Tirrell, Miss Rice, & Miss Ordway. I believe I spoke to you of Miss Jones of Medway, & if she is there try and get acquainted with her and remember me to her. Do you know that next Sabbath is my birthday and that I shall then be twenty years old. I am ashamed that I have lived so long to so little purpose. If I look before me or behind me or on either side the way seems hedged up, all is darkness except I look up. Sometimes I think no one was ever so in the dark as I, and yet I am happy. But goodnight. I am running on at a sad rate. There is I hope no need to say "write."

Adieu "mon ami."

Votre Julia

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