Letter from Sophia Peabody Hawthorne to Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

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This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

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Concord Sunday April 26 '68 My darling. I dare say you will write to me today, and I must write to you. I am getting behindhand in my story. I wish very much to hear how you got through with your first music lesson at Russell's shop - besides how you succeeded with your first week of school. And whether you liked the new trimming of your jacket. and of your new hat and new jacket. You will not know all our life here unless I tell you about Una's [traciic] tions and heavenly charities with Mrs Willerd. Una went there one day, in the first place, to see for Mrs Cork about her going away and cleaning the house. Una had previously been at Mrs Cook's for an hour and a half visit, reading to her out of divine books, and trying to persuade her to e merciful to Mrs Willard who had no place to put her head into. Mrs Cook seemed to become very placable under this entreaty of Una to practice her religion, and so she left her and proceeded to Mrs Willard. When she entered, Mrs Willard looked very defiant and fierce, but finding that.

{sideways at top and side] Una made a bonnet for Anne in p.m.of blue silk and lace and in evening read to me a paper essay on Lived [carborg] by Mr Emerson. Saturday there was a snow storm and rain and I read and sewed while Una read an Essay on Montaigne wen the light for the mail I read to Anne (who was serving for Una the first chapter of Matthew I am to read her all the New Testament

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fine weather for his departure for England. I had written him a letter in the week to lament my not seeing him once more - which I directed to Oxford. He probably went in the steamer aboard which he was.

I felt pretty well that good day, and sewed the breadth of your grey dress - while Ann bound the wiggin of my shawl thibet and mended some clothes for me.

Una went to the dressmaker's and had her walking dress cut out, and brought home all your goods in her arms, and took out of the library for me Layard's Nineveh. We expected Mrs Cook after dinner, and Una meant to tell her how placable Mrs Willard was, and that she need not fear to go. But behold she came after seeing Mrs Willard, confiding in Una's mediation. And she had spent the whole afternoon with her knitting in the very jaws of her former enemy, in most sociable, amicable talk and offices. For Mrs Willard made some nice tea for her, and they had a

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{sideways on left of page] Today Sunday Ann went to noon mass so Una did not go to church till the afternoon. I am getting much better.

Una did not come to scold but to express pity for her wretchedness, she soon began to cry. I can facy the tones of Una's voice acting like Moses' rod on the rock. Se discovered that both the woman and her baby were ill, and that there was a a little dress cut out for the baby which the woman had no chance to make, because the bay was fractious and she herself poorly. So Una brought home the little dress to make for her. This was on 16th April. Have I told you that on that day Mrs Bull made me a long visit, bringing me a super bouquet of different colored verbenas, scarlet geraniums, heliotrope and rose geranium. She as altered exceedingly and looked wildly unhappy. Nearly all her front teeth have gone since I saw her, and she has left off coloring her hair as if she did not care how she looks. Her face was also much flushed. As usual she confided to me a great deal of misery, chiefly about the intellectual starvation of her children, and Ephraim's deep dejection thereat. I had a letter that day from MM Ray, saying she had heard of Mrs Vanderooster's illness only through me.

M-2 218 2.

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[sideways on left of page]: Una is not at all strong, but I hope she will be really better when we go to Bratt. She needs change.

On 1/m Una went to Mrs Willard's as soon as she was dressed. She said she saw that the woman was of a fiece and reprehensible temper and character; but she was uc improved with her gentleness to her, and her gratitude which also was not fulsomly expressed! She said she asked very much to get some place for her little boy of nine, for her husband would take care of her and the baby, if the boy would be taken care of. Una observed that Mrs Willard was very fond of these children, and that they were of her. Pet names were frequent between them, and the boy tried to amuse the baby (whose name is Lily Florence). So that there seemed love in the midst of wron and violence. When Una went for the mail at night, she brought some scarlet braid to adorn the little dress. I thanked Heaven for so good a diversion of Una's thoughts and attention, and I felt sure she could get no [harm?] (being surrounded by "angels serviceable" - and that the poor, sinful woman would probably have her first taste of heaven from Una's ministrations. 18th was Saturday, and I thought of my darling's joy at the bright day and the music lesson. I was glad too that Frank Channing had so

{downwards on right side of page}: Goodbye with thoughts and love and feelings. Your own Masunia

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he is going to New York to live with him and his wife. I sent your bundle that day. Una went for mail, and was fetching the biggest carpet bag from the sadlers, when Mr Sauborne stepped up and took it from her and escorted her all the way home, as pleasant as [..oses], and gay as a lark. I am forever indebted to him for making Una laugh so severely as I heard her, coming into the gate. The Saubornes are going away the mid of June. In the evening she read aloud to me a magnificent lecture of Mr Emerson's upon Plato. Friday 24. A very coolcast day, [foggy] drew Lily up here in her carriage and came in to stay with me while Una went for the buggy. As to Ann she went up the tower to clean the study - and accomplished it all by four oclk. A letter came from Clara Holmes - with love in it but no interest. Also from Mrs Fields to me, asking me to go and spend two days with her. She does not know how I cannot do such things yet.

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