Letter from Mary Moody Emerson to Lidian Jackson Emerson

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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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To Mrs E. Belfast May 12 '39

My Dear Lidian, I can't "make good" as [Wats?] says, the last letter - for it was written in the moment of [ruining?] your favours and with an anxiety for your situation it would have cheered your solitary house of [illegible] with a distant voice of sympathy. But the [illegible] your safety & the birth of the little Ellen remains. Higher questions take the place of Lady & children and times mixed motley retinue. Where abouts are you in the ascending ladder? Our first agreement and sympathys in Mrs [Neur's?] parlour will ensure this freedom. You love to speak of this within. And how deeply I repent that I was not better acquainted with it. But from your inability to [divine], I do believe you capable of enjoying that best of all gifts above all others - communion with God. And I think that (tho' I never knew a woman so happily situated - as to love [strikethrough] what is lovely [/strikethrough] as to condition - as yourself) [strikethrough] yet that [/strikethrough] you can say there were in your lonely life hours of devotion as bright as these w'h are kindled by mere gratitude. Yes you are a wittness, I trust, that there is that power in the relation of a spirit to its God

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w'h when in healthy exercise surpasses accounting for by naturalism or the understanding and independent on circumstances. Do you not find however, that much speculation damps it? It's given her charm is that it a "life hidden" - it's light in action is seen & diffuses over others - but its stillest emotions are too [?frivolous?] to be handled and analysed. it appears from those who have ?tested? the most of the powers of the ?west to come. They have been the simple bible readers and plain prayers who have written their principles with their blood or made more lasting sacrifices by the long martyrdom of obscure suffering. Where would have been chanity - patriotism and all those visitors w'h render this earth worthy? The inspection of Angels, had all men like Goethe (who I wish had not intruded so unrespectedly when I wanted to enlarge people with my ?dear ?Lilian), surrrounded themselves with rainbows of poetry & letters, with the utmost indifference to the great questions of morals & human woe & weal? I know that the great disposer would navigate this ?tale? with endless varity and happy for us there are bards & arts - but I would surer be sucessible to your love & respect for that matters in ?sugiers' in every ?xian(Christian)? age & ?neter? there have been enabled beacons whose light might be followed like the star of the east and had not only to the cradle but the cross and the throne of our redeemer, where your capacity to admire & venerate might have full hope, and your talents concentrated to one grand object by

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their improvement - If you pardon me - write and let me know how your time passes - how these morning hours w'h are like the wings of the bird that arise above little earth with the sun. But if you are not in good health yet I will drop my inquisition. I hear with gladness that ?Hatie is well and the children. This day is sabbath & the anniversary of my brothers death. Could I see you I would ease my conscience by confessing some of the load w'h long retrospection gives. Is it strange that sins w'h negligence or temper or ignorance seem to cause return year after year day day after day with the same weight? That there is no oblivion till death gives us an interview with him who can absolve forever & ever However high our principles we fail - daily [insert] fail or [/insert] think something w'h disgraces them. There is matter deep enough for speculation. But I knew you have never had time or place or heart to fail as I have - so you can't sympathise. And I write in posts as the sun is going & this letter is sent by Mr F tomorrow who may go from Boston to Concord. Then you will all write & send me your husbands "essays". If [cross out] it [/cross out] this is put in the office in the City any ? that he will take from Thomas? items ten days hence. Or Thomas can put them in a ?pucket or boat.

The God of love who gives us to rejoice in every condition be with you both & children in the order of [exeplounary?] & bounty prays M M Emerson I have been confined with lameness, but better a little. Have written to Lisbeth at Boston.

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Monday. I've opened this to say that if you all need a journey this season & have no other object but change why not come to Belfast? I will not say how much I want to see you - but I beleive there are good boarding ?levers. Or if you come to Portland I wd go there to meet you. I shall move from this house in 2 or 3 weeks - but have no plan but to live where there is a horse - & salt water - it may be here or ?Themaclore or at Waterford. It is so indifferent. If there is any thing like a journey in Maine on your minds write this week. ?Bring little ?hope

Mrs Waldo Emerson Concord? Mss

Rev Mr ?Frottingham (circulator Postal Stamp: Boston May 16 M.S.)

Thanks for Waldo's letter a week after heard from him thro' my brother. Will you do me a [favour? & love to Dr & Mrs [Barttlet?]. Tell them I often think of their kindessses - how he would take me to rides - his tender sympaty in the last sad sad mile to Concord. And I remember with gratitude Bradford giving me a wheel barrow of wood when I first went to Mrs Woodwards and brot it himself & then carried it up stairs. If I don't ?him do you give him some token for me. Now I could right this three years !? My ?nephews sure set in ?bread when On B. sent the ?bread.

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