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    • Peabody, Elizabeth Smith Shaw
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When I cast my Eyes backward; and take a general survey, of the great alterations which have been made within these few Years, I behold a Portrait whose lines are marked with indeliable Characters—the fickleness of Fortune, the shortness and uncertainty of Life, and the instability of Human Affairs. Those who yesterday glided smoothly on, in the calm Sunshine of Prosperity, “fed high in...
I had written to the Deacon before I had received Yours, wherein I have your Sanction for it, and I had so far overcome the unconquerable aversion I have hitherto had, to writing on gilt Paper, as to use it for the first time and honour him with it. When I received the Bundle a Sabbath Eve I imagined it contained a Book, but on losening the string, something dropt which I supposed to be an...
Your kind Letter by Cousin Tufts was a pleasing and fresh proof of your Goodsense, Piety of Heart, sweetness of Disposition, and greatness of Mind, which renders you the Object not only of my tenderest Love, but of my veneration. It convinced me that you were actuated by those principles of Virtue which every One should endeavour to cultivate in their own Bosoms, if they wish to enjoy Peace...
If I had received your Letter an hour sooner, I could have sent you an answer the same day, viz. Thursday, by Mr. Badcock who dined here, and would conveyed it as far as Milton Bridge himself. But having lost this Opportunity, I must send by the Post. But since you have signified your Request to Mr. Shaw only mediately, he thinks himself entitled to make use of the same Medium in giving an...
I received Yours, last Friday just as We were siting down to dinner, favoured by Mr. Ludden. We mortified our bodily appetite for a few moments, for the sake of gratifying our mental—and I assure you we found it an agreeable Repast, notwithstanding it informed us of your Reheumatism for which we are sorry, Tommy and I more espicially. I confess it was not written in the spirit, and humour of a...
The Roads have been so bad for several Weeks past, that there has been but little travelling, and it has been difficult to get a conveyance. I did not know when Cousin Charles sent his Letter. I intended to have written and conveyed them together, and to have thanked you most heartily, most tenderly for your excellent Care of Mr. Shaw, and for your ingenuity in managing his Case so exactly...
Permit me to congratulate both you and my dear Neice upon your safe and happy arrival upon the British Shore. I do not wonder that you appear pleased and gratified, when everything that can delight the Eye, or charm the Sense appears opening to your view, and then there was such a contrast between the stifled Cabin, and the spacious elegant drawing Room, as must very sensibly affect the Mind,...
I have not seen your Letter to Sister Cranch as yet, and cannot tell how you like your present Situation—the People—their Language— nor their manners. But I suppose all “is sweet” now the dear chosen Partner is by. I think I will not allow Cousin Nabby to be a proper Judge. She will pardon me I hope. She views things through an unpleasing medium—she neither feels, nor wishes to be interested...
Not to hear one word from Novem. to April seemed a very long space of Time, to One solicitous for the Welfare, and deeply interested in every-thing relative to, or that can affect the Happiness of a much loved Sister. I have this Week been made happy by receiving two charming Letters from you. It was a Repast my very Soul thirsted after. And as I am informed that a Vessel is to sail the last...
I have but just returned, my much loved Sister, from my Southern Excursion. You know how agreeable these always were to me. To see, and to visit my Friends constitutes a great part of my Happiness. To behold the Smile of Benevolence and Friendship, heightened by the Ties of Relationship is a rich ingredient in the Cup of Life. The pleasure it gives cannot be described, but we find, that indeed...
The long looked for, the modest, the manly, the well accomplished Youth, is come at last. And had he needed any thing to have made him doubly welcome to our House, but his own agreeable Behaviour, the evident Credentials he bears in his Eyes, about his Mouth, and in the Shape of his Face of being the Son of my excellent, and much loved Brother and Sister, would alone have gained him a most...
Your Son, My Dear Sister has been a Member of our Family for these five Weeks, almost three of those I suppose he will tell You, Mr. Shaw and I were absent upon our southern Journey. He came a Friday in Peabody’s Coach, and we began our Rout the next Monday. His Uncle spent Saturday in giving him Directions about his Studies, and what he could wish him to pursue till his Return. Greek seemed...
Yes! My Dear Sister, Mr. and Mrs Allen are just gone from here, and carried away my Betsy Smith to tarry a few Days with them. After sleeping four years, he rose up like a Lion. He kept the Carpenters to work upon his House, till nine Clock at Night, and before the new painted and papered Rooms were really fit to go into, he harnessed two Horses, put them into a Sleigh, and set out on Friday...
Should I my Dear Sister, too much alarm the Heart of an affectionate Mother, solicitous for the welfare of her Children if I were to say plainly, that I wish Mr JQA had never left Europe. That he had never come into our Family. Then we should not have known him. Then we should not have been so grieved. Then we should not have this ocasion of Sorrow. His leaving it.—Indeed my Sister, our House...
Your Letter March 24th. by Capt Cushing, with the Apron, came safe to Hand 2 Days after his Arrival at Boston. Lyde, and Cushing got in the same Day. Mrs Hays Baggage could not be broke till she came from Newyork, so that I did not get that Token, and Expression of your Love, and kindness, till a fortnight after. I cannot think what is become of a Letter I sent you last November, giving you an...
Here I am, all alone for a great rarity. There is nothing more agreeable to me for a little while , than what the world calls Solatude. I have but one Servant maid in the House, and one Scholar in the Study. So that we are quite still. I hear nothing but the busy hum of Flies, and the warbling of a Wren, and spring-Bird in the Orchard, that set and swell their little throats as if the kind...
Mr Sparhawk called for my Letter Just as I was giving you an account of my Aunt Smith’s Death. I was going to tell you that Mr Thaxter had lost his youngest Sister, Mrs Cushing, who had been married about 15 months died in Child-bed. Upon finding herself ill, they sent for Dr Barker, but before he got there, she was seized with Convulsion Fits, from which she never reccovered. She has a fine...
This Day is the Aniversary of Eleven Years since our dear Mother left us poor Pilgrims, to sojourn here a little longer upon Earth, while she (as we trust) went to spend an eternal Sabbath in the blissful regions of immortality. The anual return of those Days, upon which some beloved Friend has been taken from me, I devote more particularly to the recollection of their amiable Qualities, and...
Two Vessels arrived from London while I was upon my little southern Tour. It was in vain that I enquired after Letters directed to me. “You have received one from Mrs Smith.” Yes, It was a sweet Morsel, it informed me of her Marriage, but not half enough to reperuse by our chearful fireside, no particulars of the proceedings , to satisfy the Curiosity of an hundred inquiring Friends. I cannot...
My Uncle Smith has been so kind as to send me word this Morning, that a Nephew of Mr Gill’s was to sail for London, in a Vessel from Boston next Saturday. Though I fear I shall not get a Letter into Town soon enough, yet I will write, a few Lines (though I have nothing very particular to communicate,) hoping I may meet with some favourable Conveyance. The State of our publick Affairs engrosses...
It is indeed several weeks since I have written to you—an eventful term to me—multiplied with cares, which have prevented me from presenting my most cordial Thanks to my dear Sisters, for their kindness, & the maternal affection they have shewn my Daughter— I think I Justly estimated her genius & temper—& my expectations were raised, that, when under your fostering hand she would greatly...
The tender solicitude you have shewn for my health, demands the earliest return I can make—& it is greatly to my satisfaction that I can inform you of my recovery, so as to be about the house again— I tried all in my power, not to have my indisposition noticed—but I struggled in vain, for at last I was obliged to go to bed, & lie there for three days— I told William not to tell you how sick I...
I am very sorry that I could not send Betsy Quincy with her Cousin, but my being unwell prevented my having her in readiness— Upon my own account I feel loth to part with her, but when I consider her advantage, & how much she improved in the last year, I think I should be doing her injustice, if I were not solicitous to place her again in a situation, where having gained five talents, she...
I rejoice that the important question in Congress has terminated so happily, & that the Vice president has again returned in safety to his dear expecting Family. Warring passions often agitate the human mind. When Mr Peabody returned, last Tuesday Evening from Newbury & brought me the Papers, announceing the arrival of the Vice president at his seat, I participated in your happy meeting, &...
Your kind invitations would have induced Mr Peabody to have visited you at Quincy had it not now been in the midst of making hay, & the expectation he has of finding his Son in Boston, & taking him home with him in the Chaise— He thinks it will be making a toil of what he should esteem a pleasure, for he could not get back with any comfort a commencement week— If I am well we hope to make you...
Day after day has slid off into the ocean of time, with the Yesterdays beyond the flood, replete with Intentions of writing to my dear, esteemed, much loved Sister. But Sickness, accumalation of family business, & the extreme coldness of the weather has prevented— The time alloted for visiting my Friends was much too short, for my feeble constitution. I had been very unwell for three weeks,...
If words could express the gratitude I feel for your kindness to me, & my Children, it would be worth while to delineate it upon paper, but as I am sure the attemt would be vain, I can only beg of him to reward you a thousand fold, who alone knows your particular wants, & can amply supply either body, or mind, out of his rich treasury— I sent for Cousin Charles to spend the Sabbath with me, he...
Health to my Sister, under a more fervid Sun, than that to which she has hitherto been accustomed. Yes! I most ardently wish you this most needfull blessing, without which all others must be tasteless, even Friends a burden, & grandeur painful.— I hope Queen Mab has told me a falsehood. She came last thursday night in her airy Chariot, drove directly upon my heart, presenting you to me, laying...
Your kind Letter which assured me of your welfare was a cordial to my heart. It came safe to hand, with its contents by Judge Livermore. The affectionate regard it evinced for me, & mine, might have overwhelmed an heart less accustomed to favours; accustomed , not callous I assure you, for esteem, love, & gratitude so often put in motion, fans the finer feelings, & makes them glow with...
Since my last my time has been cheifly occupied, in attending to those services, which were due to our late worthy Nephew— Though we had been in daily expectation of his dissolution, & every breath he drew seemed as if I heard a voice, saying “Sister Spirit come away” yet it was a sudden stroke at the close— As he called the watcher who set by him, Aunt, I suppose he took her for me ; & I was...