Sempletown Nov 9th 1856 Friend Robert Your plants, music, and letter have all been duly received, and I fear you will accuse me of seeming neglect, that I have not long ere this answered and told you how glad I was to get them all. But sickness, company, and now housekeeping are the causes of the delay, and I hope you will not only overlook my remisness, but perhaps like the answer as well, as though it had been an expression of my first thoughts, on receiving your favors. The plants I set out, as near as I could as you directed, and I assure you, though you call it a "small installment" it fills a large place in my store of good things, and instead of your being in our debt, (though we have never considered you so) I feel as though you had given us a pleasure we never could return, and that we really entertained almost "angels [illegible - crossed-out]". Flowers beautiful, sweet flowers, surely are gifts from heaven, and the one who can pass through
life and never read the lessons of purity, of beauty and life beyond; loses a thousand sweet thoughts and consolations that help to lighten the burthen of life. To such an one though "the wilderness blossom as the rose" life is one dreary waste. And music, soul inspiring music; ah! it has ever a voice to me; it fills my heart, till I mount or I fall with its cadence and melody. All through the world, the great Creator has set his handiwork to strains of harmony. The ocean is the bass, deep wonderful and grand; The winds are the soprano, now soft and sweet and [crossed out] as [inserted] the murmurs of a shell, now rising and swelling and clear as an aeolian harp; and the birds and the streams are tenor and alto. Glorious music and free to all as the air we breathe; glorious, touching music that ever seemed to me but an ernest of the golden harps and the melody of angels and seraphs in the city of the golden gates. But perhaps you will think me enthusiastic. Well, I believe I had rather be thought
so, than be like those stupid mortals of whom the good book says "eyes have they, but they see not, ears they have, but they hear not." Perhaps you will realize by this borne of the pleasure you have given me, and which I can never thank you enough for. The song I will sing for you the next time I see you, it is very pretty, and the instrumental seems to me prettier than ever, appreciating as I do the delicacy that learned and remembered, a thoughtless wish. I have also received some some Musical papers from Frank; please give him many thanks from me. They are just what I like as they are [crossed-out] have [inserted] the only musical news I get, and some very pretty music. Mother has been in Chicago for some time, though I presume you have been apprised of it, as she told me she would send her card to the Prairie Farmer office; hoping to meet some of you. John and I are keeping house, or rather John keeps meal times, and the girl keeps me. We have some laughable times, but you know experience is a wonderful teacher, and I try to be an apt scholar.
Things have changed very much since you left. At the fair ground, instead of tents, and "shows", and hundreds of our prairie farmers walking, seeing and thinking, now the last plank is gone, the birds and rabbits have come back, and the wheat stands thick and green. I walked out there alone, and sat down on the fence rails and tried to realize how many hearts had beat high with pleasure and hope, on that very spot, and how they had gone by, down the stream of Time. Then I fell to dreaming, how we were all sailing away over life, sea, leaving the present, with the green fields and holidays of youth; leaving it and losing it, [illegible - crossed out] some random mark upon the calendar of memory, that tells us how we once were happy, and that 'tis past. We have had quite an unexpected call from Winter too; and the ground is quite white with snow, and old Boreas whistles round the chimney tops. Summer is really gone, and daylight is going so I must tell you good bye for the present. I would be pleased to hear from you often, should you take pleasure in writing to me. Your friend Lizzie Fitch [written vertically on left-hand side] My compliments to your father. Hope he is well.