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Miss Anne Whitney
Care of J.P. Leslie Esq.
411 Wetherill St.
Sunday M'ch 25th 60-
I will not my dear Annie yet give up the hope that Carrie in her last letter gave you some reliable expectation of the fulfilment of yr desire for a studio. Last Sunday when I asked Edw'd what c'ld be done for you, he said "I think she had better take one of the unoccupied rooms in the house" - but said I "there is none with a proper light." "Well," he said "The Horn can put up one." Then I proposed if it were to be on his premises that it might be made ornamental in the way I suggested to you, + nothing more was said then or since, as I preferred to leave the matter to his own discretion. I know that the carrying out of my idea w'ld be expensive to him + perhaps not convenient to yrself. The spot as it seems to me most desirable for a garden is a comparatively clear piece of land some little distance east of the barn. On the highest spot I w'ld place yr temple + cover it with roses + honeysuckles, + surround it with all beautiful + useful shrubs + plants. That is one of my "Spanish castles" - another is a house on the other side of the lot in wh we all might live, with a studio under the same roof. When my advice is asked I will put on paper the plan wh I see in my waking dreams. Till then I shall try to be silent, knowing that Edw'd, in the finishing + furnishing the house already
begun + getting the land into a decent respectability - has enough to perplex him. Carrie's "help" vexations sink into insignificance beside the one wh now threatens them in the departure of their good faithful Henry. He is a "Yankee" + desires to better his condition not by increased wages where he is, but by some other pursuit. Probably some feeling of degradation is experienced in the separation of parlor + kitchen society. His companions in the neighborhood eat with their employers + though he makes no complaints + has always been perfectly pleasant - + has grown more courteous in his manners, it w'ld not be strange if his position shd be a little annoying. I hope dearest, you will not judge me unsisterly or unkind in my silence respecting the studio. I do long for this furtherance of yr artistic plans more than any thing else, but E. has done + is long so much for us, I cannot press upon him all my wants. Never was there a more devoted friend than he has always been to us, but anew have I been made to feel it in these long weeks of my invalidism. Scarcely a week of ev'ngs in my 9 weeks of sick eyes has there been, in wh he has failed to come out to read to me. Neither weariness or storm has ever prevented. Last night when the clock struck 9 I gave him up - knowing that his business kept him late, I felt that the howling M'ch wind was sufficient excuse for his wearied limbs to seek rest rather than added fatigue - but no sooner had his visitor departed than he + C started upon their mission of love, bringing with them yr letter, the whole of wh. I did not read to them - trusting as I have said before, that some word had gone to you in C's letter.
Fortune has abundantly favored you thus far - I think she will still farther, but if otherwise, Disappointment has blessed lessons if we will but learn them aright. "Not what we wish, but what we want" &c.
Poor Fidelia! I am sad for her, + glad too that the parting hour is past. In new labor amid new scenes I am sure she will find solace. I am rejoiced that she is to be near you - trusting that where one lacks, the other will abound, + thus the necessities of each may be ministered unto.
I found Mary S. on Fri. in the midst of Spring cleaning + the labor thereto pertaining - but judged from what she said, that conscience + inclination w'ld soon be in harmony + that a letter to you w'ld be the consequence. Yesterday after treating father at Mrs Havens + showing him the lions she took him to the theatre to see horses that polk + walk upright + ^do innumerable wonderful things + riders who perform impossibilities. Our visit to Jamaica Plain will be postponed to better weather - the present being awful. Another trial threatens the doomed family in April - I pray (+in faith) that it may be the last.
Aunt Sarah as far as I know "is flourishing in case + health" - her family ditto. Aunt Abby has placed herself under Dr William's care having become miserable through the entire closing of one tear passage + the partial closing of the other. I trust she will be relieved without undergoing the old fashioned prolonged treatment for this disease. I have not heard from Aunt Lizzie for a week. If the two aunts get cured of their tedious ailing through my calamity, my sorrow will not have
have been in vain.
Monday noon - + a lovely one to silence all croaking - I have just returned from a walk to the village, when Mr Ingraham made anxious inquiries after yr eyes. Mine rejoice in the cessation of the wind + probably are no worse that before it began to blow. In the quiet, I think they will grow stronger.
Yesterday while writing at the same table with Carrie, she sent this message - "give my love to Annie + tell her, I sh'd like to have her occupy my library chamber for a studio as long as she finds it convenient or till she can superintend the building of a more suitable one." The fast coming tears at this sudden dashing of my hope prevented at that time the utterance of the message, but to day's consideration (or sunshine perhaps) makes me more hopeful that you will accept the offer + find the room as favorable for work as the Phil'a or Br'n one. I see there are grave obstacles to my plan. E has not yr or even my impetuosity, but moves slowly in every thing concerning his place. Now, when I w'ld have a dozen men at least at work on the land, he employs only two, + seems to have formed no plan for its adornment, excepting that he proposes to have a nursery of forest trees, from wh to transplant as he becomes certain where the right spot for each tree + shrub is. The rest of us protest, but he quotes Ch. Follen + other landscape gardeners. I have no objection to the nursery but I want a wise + tasteful purpose now, + the speediest furtherance of it, + don't believe any thing is to be gained by what seems to me so much loss of time. Well all I have to do
is to make a personal application of my own preaching + believe that the greater good will come by + by - perhaps material as well as spiritual.
Regarding summer clothes, I find nothing but the buff muslin, spotted + somewhat faded + that old pink skirt + a dotted white waist. I will send them + the bonnet + the India rubber cloth when you say the word. I suppose the leghorn is nearer the present fashion in size this season than it was last season- whether it is in form, I doubt. I think yr straw or its trimming must be somewhat dilapidated. Consult Fidelia about yr wants in the clothing line if you don't know yrself + command my help in all feasible ways, of wh sewing for the present is not one.
Have you read Miss Prescott's stories? Amber Gods in the Atlantic + Sir Rohan's Ghost? According to M. Porter she has waked to find herself famous.
Mrs Dale too is getting a good deal of praise for her "Woman's right to labor", + has rec'd one or two hundred dollars (I forget wh.) from the fund left by Mr Hovey to help on the woman course. Is it a long leap from Mrs D. to the Burrages? I have not seen them for months + in a few weeks they are to be moved with their own consent to he Newton Almshouse. I hope to see them before they go.
Dr. Hosmer's disease is not paralysis but hemorhage of or on the brain. He has so far recovered as to be conscious
of his situation + agrees with the Drs that he cannot recover - His great desire is to live long enough to see Hattie. Ellen Robbins saw him yesterday at her own request, but the poor man was overcome by the thought of Hattie as associated with her. Ellen has come over to spend a few days with Carrie - She sends kind remembrance.
Evng. Lest I shd find the morn'g short I must venture a loving good night. I wanted to send a word to Fid'a, but the day light did not afford the leisure. Much love to her from yr ever loving Sarah.
Whitney, Sarah and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Sarah Whitney, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1860 March 25" (1860). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 359.