Hyde Papers - Box 01: Folder 01

Letter from Abby B. Hyde to Millicent W. Goodale and from Julia Hyde to Mary H. Goodale

Letter from Abby B. Hyde to Millicent W. Goodale and from Julia Hyde to Mary H. Goodale
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Middlefield Nov. 16 1858?

My Dear Mrs. Goodale A letter from me will probably be an unexpected visitor in your dwelling, but daughter Julia with whom I am spending a few days, asks me or to occupy her pen for a few moments, & it is interesting to me thus to renew the pleasant intercourse of years that are past. The image of your beloved Lucy is blended with many precious remembrances in our household & time would fail even to allude to scenes on which I love to dwell, connected with her & her Father's house. Since I came here, I have been made acquainted with your recent & sudden bereavement. I remember Charles as a lovely child, I know that he was the child of many prayers, & my heart would unite with yours in giving thanks for the consolation which was given you in the hour of this unlooked for sorrow. You had hoped that he might labor for Christ in the wide harvest field opining to the generations now coming upon the stage of life, but the Master had need of him for other service, & you are fully assured that He has made no mistake even in the event so grievous to you. And it is not with the expectation of comforting you that I write these lines, you have a better Comforter, but for the privilege of expressing my sympathy, of weeping with you by the grave of that precious son, of rejoicing with you

that his sudden summons did not find him unready.

Some particulars of your dear child's death have been related to me by Adeline who meets me here. I have the privilege of having all my children around me in their eldest sister's house. My husband is not with us, he did not see it his duty at this time to leave the flock over which he is stationed as shepherd, even on such occasion as this. As a pastor he has become increasingly laborious & anxious, with increasing years. You have probably learned that the Lord has led him back to cultivate in the evening of life the field where he labored in his youth. Though the enclosure is small, he finds much to do in it. Scattered among the congregation he addresses, are a few dear & familiar faces, the valued friends of other & long gone years, but it ^{is} with a generation born during his absence of twenty years, that his efforts & hopes are mostly engrossed - May I not ask, my dear friend, that your request may go up with ours at the mercy seat that this little garden may be watered & made fruitful. - I am enjoying a measure of health to which for a long time I never looked forward - am happy in our present location, & feel that we have been familiar with changes & sorrow, yet goodness & mercy have followed us all our days. It would be very interesting to me to hear directly from yourself, should you find it convenient to write - I love {?} {?} former obligations & proofs of friendship from Dca. G. & yourself & would like to be still remembered as your aff. & sympathetic friend. A.B. Hyde

Monday eve, Nov. 18, 1850 - My dear Mary -

I feel very sure that I have conferred a favor upon you in persuading my dear mother to occupy a part of the letter - far greater than I could have done by filling it myself - She is gone now - she left me this morning - and, as I suppose, reached her home in Boston at early tea-time. She was with me about a week, - and you can imagine something of the pleasure her visit has given me. - Sister Adeline and her child have been staying here about two weeks, - they left with mother this morning. - Thomas and Sarah are still here - will remain until next week. It has been very pleasant to me to have such a family meeting at my own home. - it is a rare pleasure, and I can but expect that it will be more and more rare, as years pass on - The pleasure too, is not quite unmixed with sadness. - for how naturally am I reminded of those we are to see no more on earth.

I have had many admonitions from my conscience, and my inclinations that it was time to reply to your very welcome letter from South Hadley - but I have been occupied with many things and the time has not waited for me - Mr. Clarke and I have very often spoken of you - and of visiting to you. - our projected visit to you, had however been postponed - shall say to another year? I do not know, - but to some time in the future.

It was not until Ada came up from Lincoln that we heard of the scene of affliction through which you had been passing while we were so often chatting of you in cheerful mood - Oh

how little do we know of our absent friends - or of our own future lot. And what can we do for our friends, or for ourselves, but to commend us all to Him who knoweth all things and "who doeth all things well."

We have lived on through summer and autumn in our own quiet and happy way - My health has not been as good since the middle of Summer as it was for a year previous, - but I am not very feeble. - We have had friends coming and going as we usually do through the pleasant season, aside from this we have been by ourselves. - We are anticipating a very quiet life the coming winter for of all "our blooming daughters" - I do not know of one that can be expected to be with us. - I hear from all that happy company now and then, - Harried is very well - Mr Clarke dined with her at Northampton within two weeks. - I have seen here but once since her marriage. Lucy Cleaveland is at home, - has been teaching this fall, she does not write to us often. Cornelia Bradley has been taking a little trip to Ct. within the month past, - in company with George. They were at {Bolton?} a few days before Sarah came up here.- George is to teach in Pittsfield this winter.

Have you a pastor in Marlboro yet? - I think Mr. Ogden has left you - how much you must regret it? - Do you ever hear from Livia Goodale? and where is she now? I have had no reply to my last letter - and that was more than a year {since?}. - What do you hear from your "roommate Ellen" over whose departure you were mourning when you wrote? Does she like "the {?}?" - Where is Warren now? and how is he? - Thomas has received a letter from Asa Thurston within a week dated last August. He was well, and mentioned that his parents and sister were well - he had visited them all not very long before he wrote.

I think Mr. Clarke will add his part to this letter. - if so he will tell you of the joy we had in seeing precious proofs that God' Spirit

[on first page, written vertically in left margin] has been in this place - Sarah sends much love to yourself and {mother?}. Thomas sends his word of remembrance also, - "the children" both sit here by the stand as I am writing. It seems so good to have them here. There is a very {gra?} good minister in the study - who spent Sabbath with us, and is detained here over to day, "by stress of weather," - {?} the kitchen. I hope we shall hear from you soon, - Do you spend the winter at home? — With much love yours Julia

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