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MSS.4.363

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4 pages + 1 envelope

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[partial postmark: WATE MA]

Miss Anne Whitney

Care of J.P. Lesley Esq

411 Wetherill St

Philadelphia

[envelope back embossed with stamp]

[up side of envelope] Mrs L B [?]

Mon. evn'g Apr 30th [1860 - in pencil]

I think dearest that procrastinating letter must have reached you in due time, but lest it sh'dn't have done so I hasten to assure you of the general well being + impart such matters of particular interest as I can recal. Mother retains her old partiality for veal + indulges occasionally, but as far as I can discover with no ill effect. My eyes are, I think continually strengthening, but so gradually that I sometimes get a little impatient. During the last week I have had no right to complain of inability to use them by day light, but evn'g use is out of the question as to day's aching proves after the attempt to beguile a half hour's waiting for our pleasure seeking Mary when the rest of the family were in bed.

Tues. A.M. My purpose to write yesterday was frustrated by callers among whom was Mary S. weary + worn by an impending suit. No sleep on Sun. night + no appetite yesterday. To day the parties must be in attendance, though there is some hope

that the case will be given to the judge only as a law question. The woman having quarreled with her last lawyer (Mr Austin of W) promises to manage her own case. Mary is troubled that the violets did not go to you by mail as she had intended for them she thinks they w'ld have reached you fresh + fragrant. She brought two bunches, the last, she says of the season + with them a sweet little bunch of house flowers for my "sick friend" by wh is designated Fanny Hudson, who with her sister Mary I drove from Dorchester yesterday P.M. I think we shall find them very pleasant visitors + I shall be delighted if they but gain a little strength in their visit. It is so sad to see sick women struggling with poverty. The Whites + Carrolls also move my compassion, but I see no help for them. Ruthy is the only one of the feminine part of the family who is earning money + she has been doing it the last 2 or 3 months under the infliction of a carbuncle + more than 20 boils. They want to move to Walpole where rents are very low + the means of living much cheaper than is this vicinity but Mr C. objects that it w'ld kill him - + so they live on distressed by their extravagance though straining every nerve to be economical. The Burrages say "nobody knows what sorrow is if they but own a house to cover them.

I am afraid you will think I am dealing in the dismals. It certainly was not my intention when I began, nor was I specially conscious of the cloud over our friends' heads. Fortunately nature if she be but reasonably favorable sends gladness into all their hearts + a living faith sustains them amid their trials. I did so want some, ay all of them to be with me on Sun. A.M. in the woods where bloodroot, cowslips, anemones + dogtooth violets carpeted the sanctuary + robins poured out their jubilate in almost deafening peals. In the P.M. I went with Edwd, Carrie + A. Hubbard to hear J. Ellis in Newton Corner + that too was good. Then I made a flying call upon Mary carrying to her some of the morng's gleaning - [illegible] days that you or I always bring bloodroot to her when she is in the law.

I think yrs + Mr Lelands criticisms are the first adverse ones I have heard to the Marble Farm. Mrs [Silsbee] said, I "had a rare treat in prospect" + others have spoken as warmly - but since Blithedale I have been afraid of the man. 'Tis pleasant in this cold weather to hear of the coal resource, but I can't but wonder how it is measured with such confidence. Doubtless there is enough to las my life time, so I will trouble myself with no speculation or distrust

Carrie is preparing to start next Tues. with Mr + Mrs Roose for St Louis by the way of Niagara, + she + Mother have petitioned Edwd to take me thus far on the way - but I guess it will not be.

I have a chance to send to W. Post office so in the expectation of writing in a few days to tell you of the trunk I bid you my dear Anne a hasty Adieu

Sarah

Letter from Sarah Whitney, Watertown, Massachusetts, to Anne Whitney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1860 April 30

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