William S. Jackson 2-9-101 transcription
William S. Jackson Papers, Part 2, Ms 0241, Box 9, Folder 101, letters
from Sarah Woolsey to William S. Jackson and Helen Banfield (niece of
HHJ, later Helen Banfield Jackson, wife of WSJ), 1885-1892.
September 19 (?) 1885
My dear Will
You were good to write and your letter was a comfort. I have a note too from Mrs Charles Hubault, and a long letter from Miss Cherus written on behalf of her mother, to whom I wrote at dear Helen's last request. Was it not like our dearest girl - she wishes me "when she was gone" to write and thank the Cherus' for their long continued kindness to her - she wanted them to feel that her friends appreciated it. They were evidently much pleased and touched, and Miss Cherus' letter has told me a great deal of those sad and beautiful last days.
Miss Hubault writes that you are to return bye and bye and bring our darling into her final resting place at the East - which I have supposed may be West Point? If we are not too far away when you come, and if you would not dislike it, I should like so much to go with you and see her laid to rest. You will let me know - this one thing more - I do not know what arrangements dear Helen has made for the deposition of the things which she left in the Berkeley rooms - or whether you may not decide to keep these on and occupy them whenever you are in Newport? but if you do not, and the rooms are to be dismantled and their contents sold, there are a few things which I should like to have set aside for me - things about which I have associations too strong and tender to let them pass into anybody's hands except yours. I tell you this now because I do not know your plans and it would grieve me to find that I spoke too late.
The box of books has reached Newport in safety and I shall find them there when I return - thank you for sending them. I wish I could carry out Helen's plan for the Quaker work but I fear only one hand could effect what her one mind has conceived.
I shall ask Dr Ward to send you the few and simple words which I wrote of her at the earnest request in The Independent. They only half express the whole, but I longed to have people who never saw her get some small idea of what she was.
Always dear Will
Your affectionate friend
Sarah C Woolsey
[Written over bottom of letter in Will's writing:]
Crags Cottage, Jackson, NH
Friday evening October 8, 1885
Your note with the letter came this afternoon, and I was so grieved to hear of the dear little baby's death. It is a hard blow to Ireine. Mothers go through so much to raise their children and then to have them called back as soon as given seems a fruitless pang. But though called back they are not taken away and dear Ireine will find her little one some day kept safely for her among the treasures in the world to come. I think Aunt Helen must have been tenderly glad to welcome in their the youngest of her kind, and will be good to her if they are allowed to meet.
Do you happen to know if among Aunt Helen's papers are a collection of her later poems, cut from the magazines and newspapers where they appeared, and another of her short stories? She left directions with Mr Niles to have these published in two volumes, the poems to be called "Sonnets and Lyrics" and the stories "Between Whiles", but she did not send the materials as she did for the other two books she designated. Mr Niles wrote to Uncle Will about this matter months ago but has had no answer. I think he is anxious and perplexed, and if you have the chance to find out whether the poems and stories are accessible, I wish you would. If not, they must be collected from the original sources, but this takes time.
We are still among the mountains, but my sister Mrs Yardley goes home
on the 21 and we shall go to her till our own house is free. We shall
not be in order till nearly Christmas I am afraid, but you won't mind
the confusion and such there is, and will come to see me all the same
in November I hope.
Your loving friend
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Baby
I was so happy that you and Annie liked the photo people. It seems to me a likeness, and if Uncle Will is pleased with it, I shall be quite satisfied, for after all the opinion of your three and Aunt Molly and one or two beside is all one will care for.
All Auntie's friends here say that it looks exactly as she did ten or twelve years ago before her marriage, which is the time they remember best.
I suppose Uncle Will must be at the East, since Effie wrote that he left Colorado on the 2nd, but I have no idea of his movements. Tell me when you know, and if you see him please give my love and say that I'm all at home now and shall be very glad to see him at any time he can come to Newport. - Sad news continues to arrive from Colorado. Poor little Mrs Marshall died suddenly a fortnight since - and they had thought her much better all through the Autumn! The Edward Brinleys arrived in New York last week after a frightful journey - detained in the snow and many days after their time, with poor Mrs Brinley so exhausted and ill with headache that she went to bed at once and has scarcely moved since.
And now - a note has come, telling that they started yesterday for Colorado again in receipt of a telegram saying "Josee is sinking!" The poor child has been much less well of late and I suppose this is some sudden seizure. It will kill Mrs Edward Brinley, I fear.
Dear me - this is a world of troublous thing. I hope, dear, that you are well - It was such a comfort to know that you had a good servant. Please remember me to your Mother and the sisters.
Your loving friend
My dear Will
Was it you who sent me the Kinnikinnick? I came from Boston last Friday after rather a long Easter visit to find that Dora has kept it in water for me, and the beautiful long tendrils are mainly as fresh and green as when you picked them. I think it may have come from the dear sleeping place on Cheyenne Mountain and I like to think so, and I thank you with all my heart. It was a dear and kind thought of yours, my dear friend.
Thanks to you my RG and D Western bonds have sold (with the dividend included )at 81'4 which is a higher point than they have touched since, and I'm now the owner of the Kansas City, Springfield and Memphis Bonds in their stead, which I hope may prove satisfactory. At the same time, if I was a Capitalist and did not mind losing a few years of interest I should feel that it might be a good thing to buy the GG & DW Bonds at their present price and hold for a rise. I am sure that in the end the trade will reward your huge effort and be a valuable security to all who invest in it.
I think that there are so many of dear Helen's little papers for children which are worth preserving that it will be a good thing when the five grown up books are ready to make one more little volume of a younger character from them. Mr Niles agrees with me and you will not object I am sure. She always loved to do anything for children.
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Helen
I have just read over your last note and am shocked and startled to find that it is three months old, so old, that I cannot recollect whether or not I sent any reply. If I didn't I was very bad, and you must forgive me for the poor reason that all December long I was feeling rather less well than usual, and that it made things seem like an effort which usually would have seemed like pleasures. I was finishing a book and it seemed to exhaust all the "write" that was in me, and I let other writing drift and trail.
I am properly punished for I do not know where you are, and in the doubt as to whether or not it is safe to direct to Ploughkeepsie I must send this to Mrs Davenport's care. Be a good child and write me without waiting to take revenge by a corresponding silence. I want particularly to hear how all has gone with you during these many months and where you are at this moment. Have you ever had Aunt Helen's little volume "Sonnets & Lyrics". If not let me know, and I will order one sent to you. For some reason Mr Niles did not use for it the design of clover leaves and flowers which I made. He had it cut, and then did not fancy it, but since, he has used it for another book and it turned out so pretty that he now proposes to try it in the Sonnets whenever a new lot goes to the binders. It seems to me much better than the design which he fixed upon. If it turns out so on the smaller cover, you and I will have our copies of the later issue -
The proof sheets of the volume of stories are now coming in. When that is published, there will be nothing more that I can do for dear Aunt Helen - alas! If only we could keep on working for those who have gone from our little world, what a comfort it would be.
New year has been an uneventful one, chiefly noteworthy from the higher point to which the little heads next door have grown. James is in the midst of his first year at the Sheffield Scientific School at N'Haven. M. misses him very much, especially now when my sister has taken the little girls and decamped for a month. Dora is well, and she has got through so far without mishaps, this particularly troublous winter. I wonder if it has been as stormy and sunless everywhere as it has here. We are spoiled by the usual generous sunshine of the Newport winters and much disposed to grumble when the privileges are checked.
I hope Annie and her baby are all right. Shall you come to Jackstone this spring, and if so, cannot you spare time to come to see me? Uncle Will has not yet found time for Newport and I begin to fear he never will. it is an out of-the-way place for a business man, - his visits to the East are naturally full of business and hurry. I hope we shall meet some day - I hate to have dear Helen's husband go quite out of my life.
Please give my kind regards to your mother and father and the sisters, and take a great deal of love, dear Helen, for yourself and Annie from me.
Your affectionate friend
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Helen
Has Uncle Will written to you about coming to Colorado this summer?
He has just written me that he wishes my sister Dora and I would come with you, and take possession of the little house at the Springs for three months. I think he wishes it strongly.
We had a plan for spending the summer at Estes Park, but it all changed after his being able to get us passes, which under this new interstate law proves impossible. I could not afford the long journey and Estes Park, but I could go to Colorado Springs for a few weeks if you would go with me. Dora thinks she would rather give it up entirely, since the original plan proves impracticable. If you feel like making your Uncle Will a visit (and I think he wishes it very much) and could arrange to go out with me in early June. I could stay with you in the house for six or seven weeks - till the end of July - Then I should have to come back and join my sister at Mt Desert - but if you liked to remain in Colorado for the summer, there would perhaps be some other friend there who could come in my stead and keep you company.
Write me how this strikes you, and write soon dear girl, that I may make my plans. I have a great longing to see the dear house in which my dear dwelt, the mountains, her grave - before anything is changed. It is most kind of your Uncle Will to make this plan for me - and I shall not refuse till I hear from you. It would be particularly smart to have you with me, for I know that our interest in everything there is the same, and we come for the beloved memory of her who still gives the place its interest -
My kind regards to all your people. I must send this to the Davenport's care, as I did a letter week before last which I hope reached you safely.
Your affectionate friend
Sarah C Woolsey
I was very grieved over the bad news which your yesterday's letter told. It is sad that you should come back to chaos and anxieties and fatigues, but at least you bring back to the tussle a rested body and a refreshed mind, and hope your father will be steadily better now that he has begun to mend.
I shall wait anxiously to hear what your plans are to be, and if the South is resolved upon, and if so what part of the South. You will find time I know to send me a card now and then that I may know how all goes with you. I wish so much that we could meet, but I fear you will scarcely feel that you could take a day off just now to come to me?
We are pretty well settled again and tomorrow Annabel and Picenia James of whom I may have spoken to you, come for a week's visit. I have not seen Picenia since she was five years old. Their mother, who was very kind to us when we were in Florence years ago, died last August, and Mr James has brought the girls to spend a few months in this country. It is Picenia's first visit to what can only by a figure of speech be called her "native country" since she was born and has always lived in Italy. Annabel's marriage to Count Gazzoli which has twice been deferred, once by the dictate of his Father and once by the death of her Mother, is to take place when they go back in January - After they go I expect Miss Shearus for a few days, and about the 20th Dora and I go to Baltimore for Thanksgiving.
I don't know if Uncle Will's plans and movements would make him prefer to come to us before then or after we come back, but I dare say after he gets up to New York he will have a preference. I want him to wait till the charcoal of your Aunt is ready to be seen. So far, I have been able to do nothing about it, for Miss Bartol has been away from home since September and not working, but in the course of another fortnight I think she will send for me to come down and have a session over it, and meanwhile you will keep me informed as to Mr Jackson's movements. God bless you, dear Baby and make all things easier for you. My love to Annie.
You cannot doubt my sympathy in anything that concerns your happiness, and I think there is every prospect of happiness before you with your Uncle Will. You know him thoroughly and have loved and trusted him above most other men for years past and his home and habits are perfectly familiar and you will fit into them easily and happily. - He has a most true and manly nature, any woman could safely trust in him, and I love to think of the new brightness that is coming to the house over whose sadness we grieved at times last summer.
There is one thing that I want to ask you to do for me. After I came back from Colorado - in October various rumors came to me with regard to your engagement. I should never have mentioned them to you or Mr Jackson for fear of disturbing the care of your relation to each other, but one story dated back directly to your mother, and Mrs Howland, who told me of it. When she found that I did not credit it, expressed surprise and indignation that I should have been left in ignorance of the fact all the time that you were travelling under my care. I denied the story then, and I want your authority to deny it now. - I am quite sure that you would not have dealt so unfairly by me as to persuade me to take you to Colorado - and, most of all - to have you there, had such an understanding existed at the time. I write for your sake and mine, dear baby - give me explicit authority to say that this relation between you and Mr Jackson is of later growth, and that you went out in good faith with no such idea in your mind. -
Write me which your wedding day is to be that I may think of you. God bless you, dear child - and make you happy always.
Your affectionate friend S.W.
P.S. I shall not mention your engagement for a few days to my sisters, partly because Uncle Will is anxious that no item regarding it should get into the papers and absolute silence is safest where those sharks are concerned, and partly because I should like to hear again from you before I speak of it, and be able to explain with authority how matters are and were.
You understand that I quite understand - but other people must understand as well.
Thank you for answering my letter so promptly and frankly. I did not need your assurance for myself but the number and quantity of the rumours that came to my ears made me sure that for your sake I ought to be in a position to speak with authority.
You will smile to learn that one of these currents of gossip was started by little Mrs Hill who told Mrs Hardy of the Roberts Bros - who said she had seen it since it was coming about!
I have now told your news to my sisters and they beg me to give you their love and best wishes. Mrs Yardley has been very lame and poorly for the past fortnight but is rather better again. I get very heavy-hearted over her at times, still, I think on the whole she is better than a year ago.
Mrs Kensill is more comfortable again, and though they feel that she can never be well, the chance seems to be that she may live on for a while. Poor Mrs Brinley is quite broken down, they are almost an anxious for her as for Josey - Mrs Frank Brinley dares to think that if Josey is not worse, the E. Brinley's will come again to the East before Aug. They have no home in C. Springs now and the climate coincidentally harms Mrs Brinley.
How glad the Adamses will be to have you for a permanent neighbour and what a welcome you will have from Effie and Katy! I am glad that you have so many friends waiting to be with you in your new life - you will not feel lonely or strange at the very outset. Good bye, dear girl -
Your affectionate friend
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Baby - and I must stop calling you that now that you are about to become a sober Matron - this is but a line to say that I shall have you in my heart on Thursday and shall pray that it may be the beginning of many happy days and years for you and dear Will. I have a little wedding gift for you, but it is not quite ready and if it is delayed till too late to send it to meet you at the Bremont you must let me know your next address. I am glad that Annie can stay to make the first days of your absence easier for the others - My love to her, and a great deal with my affectionate good wishes to you and Will.
Sarah C Woolsey
You will reach Colorado presently and I send there to meet you this little bangle, which is so narrow and simple that perhaps you will not object to wearing it with your black dresses. I have had a wish put inside for you and you must let it sometimes remind you of me.
Your note from New York and the cards came safely and you were a good girl to write. I shall want to hear all about the homecoming. Mrs Kensill is better and the E. Brinley's were expected in New York last Monday. I have had Mr and Mrs Settree here lately, to meet Mrs Gilman who is making us a visit and it was quite like Car Hy. Love to Will from his and your
[In another hand, that of Helen and Will Jackson's daughter, Helen Jackson:] Letters to Mamma from Miss Sarah Woolsey just before Mamma's marriage to papa and just after. Looked over by HJ, August 1931
I was glad to get your note and to hear that neither blizzards or strikes interfered with your journeys and that you were comfortably settled in the new home. If you had only guessed how things were to turn out, you might have left some of your gowns hanging on the pegs and saved yourself a lot of trouble, might you not? I was glad, too, that the little bangle reached you safely. It was not half so pretty as I should have liked it to be, but I had to choose it through another person. Newport furnishes nothing except hooks-and-eyes and postage stamps as both of you know!
I have just returned from my usual Easter visit in Boston - a fortnight long this time and a most delightful one. I saw all manner of people and did all sorts of pleasant things. The Hansfords were among the people, and I carried them one of the photographs of your aunt - They were so pleased with it that I was doubly glad to be the bearer of the pleasure. Mr and Mrs Hansford both considered it exactly like her in her best days. How did Mrs Parish's attempt at an oil portrait turn out by the way?
Here we are slowly getting at the spring, but we are not yet beyond pussy willows and crocuses.
The Guilds arrived in Boston while I was there, but I did not see them, in fact Eleanor was worn out and saw no one. You will miss her very much, won't you? Yesterday we heard of Mr Kensill's sudden illness. It seems a strange reversal of the situation that Josey - who was so ill herself only the other day - should now be nursing her husband!
Thank you for wishing that I should some day come again to Colorado. I should like that very much, but it could not be this summer, as I have a book to finish in June and we are book for North East by a certain day in July. Please give my love to Will and my kind regards to Effie and Katy and to the Adamses. Write again dear Helen to your affectionate friend
My dear Helen
I have been away again for a few days in New York or I should sooner have thanked you for your note and the photographs. I cannot call them flattering likenesses of either you or Will, still, I am glad to have them, bad as they are, and hope some day that there will be better ones taken and you will give me others. I can't think why the photographer took Will full front face and set his head back so that you look right up his nose, so to speak, and see the action of his mind, or why he elected such a defiant post for you! It reminds me a little of Ajax defying the lightning - still, with all their faults I rather love them, only nothing should induce me to shown them to anybody who was not acquainted with your real selves, and did not know what good looking people you really are when you are not sitting for your pictures.
I saw Mrs Rewerkle when I was in town. Mrs Oliver Johnson, Mr and Mrs Gilder, but not Mrs Botha or your Aunt Molly. I carried one of Auntie's photographs to Mrs Rewerkle who liked it much better than anything else that she had ever had of her. I found her with her little girl still living in the little apartment where they were when Mrs Rewerkle died, and hoping to keep in there if they could arrange to do so. What a dreadfully sudden death it was! He seemed to be in perfect health, and was dead and cold when his wife went in to call him in the morning and no one knew that anything was the matter with his heart.
Mrs Johnson looks poorly and is diagnosed with a serious trouble of the spine which only rest can ease and, poor dear, she cannot take rest with her feeble old husband depending on her. How hard life is for some people! Little Helen is getting pretty big, and is a fair fresh happy faced girl -
Mrs Yardley and Dora have both gone away for a few days so that I am alone for the moment, but not lonely, for the dear children pop in half a dozen times a day to show their drawings and see how I fare. Neither of the houses are let yet, which is very trying, but the Spring has been so late that it is not wonderful that people should put off making arrangements for the summer. Nothing is green yet except the grass - but today a warm rain is falling, and the buds all coming out with a fresh flourish.
Pretty soon the time will come when I shall know just how you look and what you are probably doing day after day, for it will be pretty much what we did at the same time last year. I can see the canyons now and their exact look at sunset and early morning and high noon. Beautiful things! Do give my love to the Adamses and to Miss Gilman, and a great deal to Will and to yourself.
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Helen - Prince Charming is six weeks old now and I think you must be ready for letters. I was very happy to get Will's note and know that all went well and you have your treasure safely in your arms. Annie has been equally fortunate, I trust. I can't quite imagine the little house with a baby in it, but you are quite used to the phenomenon by this time. How much he will add to your lives in every way. Are you quite strong again and able to nurse baby and take up your household cares and not feel dragged. I know that Effie must be an immense comfort to you - give her my love.
I have been away for three months in Boston and am just come home for a final month before we break up for the summer. My Uncle and his family left Newport yesterday, and early next week Mrs Yardley moves over to Broom Beeches, to get it in order, and give us a chance to reconstruct and arrange our own bulging house before the tenants arrive. Miss Tichenor has taken Mrs Howland's house, but Mrs Yardley's I am sorry to say is still on the market. Dr and Mrs Bacon will probably spend part of the summer in Colorado, but not before June - in Estes Park or Tronce still high point. We go to Petersham for a month the middle of June and about the 15th of July to North East Harbor, where we shall find the Gilmans and where we hope to have Tom and Isabel Yardley with us for a month at least. Newport is looking most lovely just now with the early Spring making it all a shimmer of tender green and first blossoms. Lilies of the Valley are in flower and the roses in leaf, and the color of everything is exquisite. Good bye, dear Helen, with my love to Will and a kiss to the Baby. What is his name to be?
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Helen
I have been hoping for news of your and Will's doings and the safe arrival of "Little Sister", and I am sure that I can trust to Will's kindness to let me know as soon as there is anything to tell. Your letter with the dear little picture of Will it seemed to me was very sweet to get. I want to know that you are safe and all going on happily with you before we sail, for we are all going out. Dora and I for the summer. We expect to start on May 14th in the ? steamer "The City of Chicago" and hope to return on Nov 8 from Antwerp in the "Nordland". Our plans are not very defined, but we shall be in England till July, with my sister and Mr Gilman part of the time, and after they come home, as they expect to do, soon after July 1st, we shall cross over to Holland and then go northward to Sweden and Norway. The Gilman's coming back is a great disappointment to us, but our plans were so fully made before they decided, that we thought it best not to give up our sailings but keep on and have as pleasant a time as we could without them. We shall have Philip Abbott with us in Norway and perhaps Miss Ellen Baur and if we go to Ober Ammergau we expect to meet acquaintances there; in fact there seems every chance for meeting them everywhere, for all America seems to be intending to empty itself over Europe this year.
What is this I hear about Ben Gilman's engagement, and who is the young lady? I am glad that Helen Augers is better; she has a hard time, poor child. I suppose she is to stay in Colorado for the summer by what I hear, but her family are all coming to the North East. Mrs Oliver Johnson and her little, - or rather, big - girl are with us just now for a few day's visit. They are planning to go abroad later if Mrs Johnson can manage it, to stay several years. She thinks she can do more with her narrow income and have far greater educational advantages in Germany than she can here, and experiences she can ill afford with the little she has left her.
Good bye, dear Helen - God bless you and Will and the little ones. Do let me hear before I go. With love to you both and my kind regards to all my Colorado friends.
Sarah C Woolsey
Dear Helen - I am so happy for you! It seems as if heaven wished to give you all your heart's desire. Kiss the dear little maid for me. I shall love her dearly always if only for her name's sake God bless, dear child, with a great deal of love for you and Will and the children. Have a happy summer, and write me a note next November as a welcome home and to say how you all are.
Sarah C Woolsey
My dear Helen
I wonder if I am too late to find you at Colorado Springs? You nice letter of early March deserved an earlier reply but the interval has been unusually busy and I have put off writing from week to week hoping for a better chance at leisure, till now I feel you may have started for your Eastern summer. Annie tells me that she has taken a house at Wolfboro' for part of the time, but I hope you will manage a few weeks at Paradise with her for the sea-air will be more of a change for the children than the air of Lake Miosopagie I should suppose.
We leave our house early in June when the tenants take possession, but I hope that we shall come back very early in October, and that we may find you at the Bachero. It could be a real pleasure to see you all, in fact, I shall never quite realise the existence of the two younger babies till I've seen them. They sound little dream-children to me, but to you they are anything but dreams especially when the solid facts of grippe and tucking diapers intervenes!
My winter has been chiefly devoted to settling Mrs Yardley in her poor little feet again, and I am thankful to say that the efforts have been in great part successful. She and Isabel left on last Tuesday after seven months of co-operative housekeeping in which they did the "co" and Dora all the housekeeping. And we hear today they got to Baltimore most comfortably and there Dr Sallutie whom they stopped in New York to see, pronounced my sister much better. She was so arthritically lame and weak and suffering in the Autumn that we feel we cannot be too grateful for this improvement, gradual and lingering as it has been. I suppose that cases of complicated rheumatic fever never recover fast - in fact, they generally do not recover at all! Dr Sallutie seems the only man in the country who can cure such.
I hear from Mrs Frank Brinley that the Adamses are all coming to her to see their boy graduate and afterwards spend the summer at Dutlin NH. I think it may be a good change for poor Mrs Adams, and I wish I might have the chance to see them, but the changes seem but slight. We shall probably spend July in a quiet little hill place called Blandford in Mass. And go to North East Harbor by the middle of August for a month and wonder if these places are contiguous to Dutlin.
Roberts Brothers are to publish in the autumn an entirely new edition of Aunty's poems, both the little volumes collected into one, with new type, and a number of beautiful illustrations. I think it should be a really choice book - the standard edition or edition de luxe for all time to come. The illustrations are mostly by Emil Banyard a French artist. I looked these over when I was in Paris and chose what seemed the best and had some changes made in them, and I thought them on the whole good.
Do you remember Mrs Alice Gray about whom I used to talk to you? She was married in May last year and her little daughter, my godchild, is just three months old. Alice is the happiest of wives and mothers and is quite sure - or was before the baby came! - that nothing would please her so much as to have a dozen children! I think three or four would take the edge off her desires, don't you?
Philip Abbott made us a visit a week ago. He and his father are going abroad for the summer in late June, and Mrs Abbot and the younger children are to be at the Asgrudia House at Shepherd's Hill, which is only five miles from Center Harbor. You might possibly have the chance to meet. - Good bye dear Helen, with love to Will and a kiss to each of the babies. Let me know when you come and how you are. A letter addressed "Newport" will always follow me.
S C Woolsey
Your letter came this morning. I don't believe the sonnet is Aunty's else why should none of us ever have heard of it> I never did and I supposed I knew all her things.
I had half a hope all the first part of October that I should have a letter to say that you were coming here for a taste of sea air before going back to Colorado, as you said in June was possible. I was so busy, however, that I did not write, I only hoped. Dora sprained her ankle joint before we came home, and was in bed a long time, in fact it is only now that she begins to walk a little. Then Mrs Yardley decided to go to New Haven for the winter with her two older girls, and they came to us for a scramble of dressmaking, and Mrs Gilman came to tell us what a nice summer she had had in England, so October was pretty full, but there would have been free time to enjoy you and the children had you decided to come. I do not wonder that you did not, for so large a little party makes a move formidable, but it would have been delightful to see you. I carried off such a pretty picture of the children, all so different and so sweet. I am glad "Disher" gained and promises to be stronger this winter. She is such a delicate little creature and so dainty and will contrast for so much with the boys as they grow older.
And there is really to be a fourth! You will have to hang them in bags out of the windows or put them to sleep on swinging shelves like they used in the old-fashioned "butteries" if the family goes on increasing at this rate! I hope you are well dear child. So many babies is a great tax on your strength, but you look as though they did you good rather than harm, and certainly very happy. Will I am sure, will send me your news which I think will be good news even if Disher No. 2 turns out to be brother No. 3. -
I went down the other day to make acquaintance with my god-child Alice Gray's little daughter. I was not able to be present at the Christening and had to stand by proxy, so the baby got to be six months old before I saw her. She is a perfect little darling, loved me directly, held out her arms, and if she lives I think she will be the staff of my declining years!
It was such a treat that half-hour's glimpse last summer and I count it luck that I went with Robert that day and found dear Will sitting on Mr Alcott's tall stool. My best love to him and a special kiss to the dear little boy which Rennie is grown. I have just come back from Baltimore where I spent a fortnight, and in another two weeks the entire Yardley family will be coming here for their Christmas visit. I have heard nothing from your sister Annie since my visit to her in May, but I hope Paradise did her good as it did last year. I had a glimpse of Mrs Adams when she was here a month ago - she called herself pretty well, but I was shocked to see how she had changed and aged.
God bless dear Helen.
Sarah C Woolsey
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