Hyde Papers - Box 01: Folder 01

Letter from Julia Hyde to Lucy Goodale, 1840 April 25

Letter from Julia Hyde to Lucy Goodale, 1840 April 25
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Wayland, April 25, 1840

My very dear Lucy

I came up to write to you half an hour ago, and ought to have written half my letter by this time, but the extended sheet looked really formidable, and I snatched up a smaller piece and have been scribbling a billet to Adeline. Now my pen is none of the best and neither feather nor knife are at hand so I suppose you will understand the case if this looks worse than its predecessors

Many thanks for your last letter, it was a welcome visitant in the hour of sorrow. It seems very very long since then - but I remember that it came since Adeline left us which is just a month. I thought I had known something of desolation before — but now the separation of the past year seems almost as nothing. But my dear Lucy, I cannot - I will not attempt, to describe the scenes through which we have past. The "sister band" is broken, and the form of little Mary reposes beside the dust of her brothers.

Adeline returned from New York, the same week in which dear Mary died, but too late to look even on the form of what was so dear to her. She remained four days with us and then went to live with Mrs Farrar of Lincoln. I have not seen her since - but we have frequent intercourse. Charlotte is to remain at Ware. She expects in a few weeks to visit Stockbridge. In her last letter she said "Give my love to Lucy - I wish she would write to me."

Now cannot you contrive to do so in some way - I would almost give up my letter if that would give you time - it would be a sacrifice - but you know a sister's heart - you can imagine something of the solicitude for the welfare and the happiness of one so very dear. She will remain in Stockbridge four or five weeks - after that a letter would find her in Ware.

May 2nd - Will you believe me dear Lucy that this letter has remained thus long unfinished because I had not the mortal courage to take it up. True this has been an unusually busy week - but if I had felt as I am accustomed to feel when I am writing to you it would have been completed the same day in which it was commenced. Do not imagine that I love you less - oh no - the changes and separations which have been our lot have made friends dearer - sympathy sweeter, than ever. But they have produced too a sort of mental dissipation - a dwelling on things far away which makes effort of any kind look formidable.

How sweet the Spring is - Do not the mountains look beautiful now? Vegetation has advanced here with unusual rapidity and is earlier by some weeks than for several previous years. And yet there is a shade of sorrow mingled in these fresh tints - we think of the dear little prattler who waited so eagerly for the flowers and birds - whose heart seemed almost ready to dissolve in extacy at the sweet notes of the songsters - the first sight of the green earth - or the beautiful clouds of evening I am often reminded of those lines of Byron - "But when I stood beneath the fresh green tree

And saw around me the wide field revive

With fruits and fertile promises, and the Spring

Come forth her works of gladness to contrive,

With all her reckless birds upon the wing.

I turned from all she brought to those she could not bring."

Yet there is something of joy in the midst of grief. She was commended

to the kind Saviour, and we trust he has taken her to be with himself. It is a pleasant thought that we have friends in heaven - how many are its attractions.

Surely the Seminary is a place beloved of the Lord - The precious tidings of your letter interested us much - Dear Miss Leach - I rejoice that the "one thing" is added to her sweetness & kindness of manner - Would that I could tell you of similar blessings among us - But though we are not without some interesting things - there is nothing specially encouraging - it is rather the reverse - Dear Mary Lucy is yet undecided on the great topic - yet she has seasons of deep feeling - and in her manner & appearance there is a marked interest in good things - Miss Mary Ann Bigelow has had an interesting change in her feelings within a few weeks - her friends hope she is indeed taught of the Spirit - She is very feeble - apparently not far from the grave.

Miss Mann of Boston is spinding a few days with Abby Rice she has visited me - She tells me that Miss Tirrill is at home [tear - illeg] your Senior Class seems rather scattered I think. Abby seems quite disappointed - I am very sorry she could not go - she thinks some of trying next year - As to me - I hardly know what to tell you. I do not much expect to go nor do I much desire it in present circumstances. I know I need it badly enough - but I cling to home most tenaciously and I dread MIss Lyon's rail road way of doing things - The strongest motive for going would be for Charlotte's sake - and I am not quite such that it would be of any essential benefit to her - Pray how much Latin is required? that is what books are you through? If I go I shall not worry myself to stand high - I do not know but I could content myself in the Junior Class -

I hope to visit Adeline this week - tomorrow if the weather permit. Have I told you that Thomas is gone too? He is speaking the sermon

at Mr. Eben Eaton's in Framingham - so very pleasant and good family. He is a farmer and likes very well. Sarah is still at Stockbridge - she will live there for the present.

We have quiet times at home - only three of us. Mother is better than she has been for many months - she goes out considerably - I continue {illegible}- but I make haste slowly. There is an imperfection in our copy - the pages from 280 to 289 of the second column are left out. Could you get for me an abstract - even a brief one - of those pages it could be a very great favor -

We almost never hear anything from Marlborough - but I suppose your friends keep you advised of the state of affairs. Mr Lecter's negative was a merciful {deliverance?} for the people I think.

Many thanks for your kind remembrance of Charlotte on Saturday eve - Continue thus to pray for her. How sweet to go to such a friend as our Farther in heaven- It is to me rather a pleasant thought that on Saturday and Tuesday evenings while we are met for prayer here - you are also together at South Hadley. Much love to Miss {O?}, Miss Read, Miss Leach, Miss Chopin, etc. As ever yours - Julia. [in small script:} I do wish there could be a [wax mark] Mary {Lyon?} - but I suppose it is a {illegible}

{vertically in the margins of the first page:} Tell me something about your Miss meeting. Its history - operation - money raised... anything. Perhaps I shall like to {?} it. What a time this is in regard to that cause. Mom sends very much love.

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