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   Chapter 12 No.12

The World As I Have Found It / Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl By Mary L. Day Characters: 6248

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

"We strive to read, as we may best,

This city, like an ancient palimpsest,

To bring to light upon the blotted page

The mournful record of an earlier age,

That, pale and half-effaced, lies hidden away

Beneath the fresher writings of to-day."

After spending a fortnight with the invalid, in which "the golden hours on angel's wings" sped on and away, bringing a returning glow of health to his cheeks, strength to his steps and hope to his heart, so with renewed resolution I started upon my mission, first going to Pecatonica to visit my brother William and family, and to complete my plans for travel.

Soon after my arrival I was introduced by my sister-in-law to Miss Hattie Hudson, and by that inward sympathy which unites all kindred natures into one, and the strange recognition of soul with soul, we were at once friends.

She was indeed

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,

To warn, to comfort, and command."

One who, aside from her physical attractions, possessed all the charms of inner grace and beauty, idealizing and spiritualizing her nature.

We at once also agreed that she should remain with me, and with such rare companionship I started East. Stopped at the beautiful city of Cleveland, so rural and yet so metropolitan in its characteristics, where, following fast upon the din of business and the rush of trade, steals the sweet murmur of waters, the "wave of woods" and flow of fountains, the shaded park and perfumed pasture.

Here, aside from the cheer of business success, my heart was gladdened by a meeting with my old friend, Mrs. Bigelow, and little Willie, the whilom blind boy I had met in New York city, and toward whom I had been drawn by that "touch of nature" which "makes the whole world kin."

He was now an elegant, educated gentleman, who, among his many accomplishments, numbered that of music, a science he had so thoroughly mastered, and with the "concord of sweet sounds" he helped us all to while away many an otherwise weary hour.

I visited the various places of note upon the New York Central Railway, thoroughly and successfully canvassing all, and reaching New York city, was received by my uncle Henry Deems with such a welcome as only a noble, soulful man can extend. After a short, sweet respite from care, we turned toward New England, the truly classic ground of America, every foot of whose "sacred soil" has been trod by pilgrim feet and hallowed by their hearts' devotion.

Went to Plymouth, Massachusetts, and spent almost an entire day at Pilgrim Hall in researches and study of its musty and time-worn relics.

It was against the rules to open the cases containing these treasures of the past to spectators, all of whom were forced to look at them through doors of glass, even as the bereft ones are ofttimes allowed to look at loved lineaments only through the lid of a closed casket; but the gentleman in charge made mine an exceptional case, and, to use his own language, as my sight lay in the sense of feeling, I should certainly touch these relics.

All the interest of varied historical association was imparted to me

, and my fingers allowed to rest upon everything. I closed this day, so rich in research, with gratitude to him for his thoughtful kindness.

There was in process of erection a monument upon Plymouth Hock, and I stood upon that granite shrine, where first knelt the Pilgrim Fathers, and pictured in my mind's eye the landing of the Mayflower and the grouping of her freight of human souls, majestically towering above them all the stalwart form of Miles Standish, with his "muscles and sinews of iron," and close by the lithe, clinging, delicate form of

"That beautiful rose of love

That bloomed for him by the wayside,

And was the first to die

Of all who came in the Mayflower."

These and all their attendants passed through my fancy as they knelt upon Plymouth Rock, and with the surging sea for a symphony, sent up their first song of praise and deliverance, and in that hour of reverie there was to me, indeed,

"A rapture by the lonely shore;

A society where none intrudes.

By the deep sea-and music in its roar."

Then again I moved away in almost rapt entrancement, and soon stood in the old cemetery beside the moss-grown memorial stones which had stood amid the flight of over two centuries, and emotions deep and strange struggled in my breast, sealed by that golden, sacred silence which sanctifies the unutterable.

Prominent among other objects there, was the resting-place of the Judsons, to whose memory a suitable tomb had been erected.

Going to Boston I spent three delightful weeks at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Little, a dear old couple who had been married long enough to have celebrated their "Golden Wedding." The old gentleman was wont to say, that these fifty years were all links in the "honey-moon," but that he had not as yet reached the end of the first "honey-moon." So these two old lovers, like "John Anderson my Joe," and his devoted companion, had climbed the hill and were standing "thegither at its foot" in happy contentment, looking toward the golden sunset and catching the gleam of the light beyond.

I of course visited "Boston Common," "Bunker Hill Monument," "Old South Church," the museums and galleries of painting, rare collections of statuary, and even heard the "Great Organ." These localities are all fraught with interest, but too familiar to tourists to require description or comment; but I cannot leave the readers of this chapter without a tribute of praise to the high attainments of this "Athens of America," and a word of gratitude for their kindness. I found not the cold, phlegmatic nature which had been depicted as that of the Yankee, nor did I see the tight purse-grip so often attributed to them, for I have nowhere met warmer hearts and more generous patronage than there, and indeed all New England was pervaded by an equal spirit of liberality and kindness. Lowell and the other manufacturing towns I visited were to me objects of wonderful interest, the music of whose looms and shuttles, belts and wheels, engines and flame, will ever come in vivid variety amid the many voiced memories of life and its mystic music.

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