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Incidents In The Life Of A Blind Girl

Creator: Mary L. Day (author)
Date: 1859
Publisher: James Young, Baltimore
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2

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As I rode away at the close of the service, I gazed earnestly and fondly at each familiar object, and could scarce restrain my tears; yet --


"Why should I weep! to leave the vine,
Whose clusters o'er me bend --
The myrtle -- yet oh! call it mine!
The flowers I loved to tend."


Is it strange the heart should yearn towards the inanimate in Nature, and hold sweet converse with rivulet, tree, or flower, if closed against us seem all sympathy of human kind? The heart thrown back upon itself will turn to Nature and spend its sweetness there.


"O flowers which I bred up with tender hand!
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?"




"I FLY like a bird of the air
In search of a home and a rest;
A balm for the sickness of care,
A bliss for a bosom unblest."


"FROM this unhappy palace let us fly,
But whither shall we leave our misery?
Who to the unfortunate will kind appear,
The wretched are unwelcome every where."


THE next morning I prepared for school, tied up a few articles of clothing, and concealed them under the fence near the road. When starting I kissed Eva. In doing so I could scarce restrain my tears. She had indeed, infused me with a fortitude from Heaven to bear up against the ills that beset my path. She was the one star of my life, and it was a great trial to part from her.


After having travelled five miles, I thought I could with safety, inquire for employment. I entered a house and asked for work. The lady looked at me, and said I was too small and delicate to do much work. She inquired my name, and I gave her my own family name, thinking there would be no danger, as I had been known ever since living with them, by the name of Ruthven. She told me she had nothing for me to do. The next place I came to, I saw a lady sitting at the window, whom I thought I had seen before, and as I did not wish to meet any one with whom I was acquainted, for fear of being conveyed back to Mrs. Ruthven's, I passed by without stopping. At a third house where I made inquiry, I met with no better success than at the first.


I travelled on till nearly dark, becoming very much frightened lest I should have to remain out alone all night. Seeing a farm-house near, I went to it and asked that I might be sheltered. Upon entering I found myself in a comfortable sitting-room, where the family had assembled for tea. This happy scene made me keenly feel my friendless condition. I tried to speak, but my voice failed, and sinking into a chair, I sobbed aloud. They all gathered round me, and Mrs. Palmer (for that was the lady's name) took both my hands in hers, and kindly asked the cause of my sorrow. It was a long time before I could speak, but when I could I told them my painful story. Upon finishing, I saw tears of sympathy in every eye, and I felt cheered when Mrs. Palmer told me, though she did not need my services, I should remain with her until I found a good home.


I had been here but a few days, when the family received intelligence of the death of a son and brother at Grand River. They were all going there, and said if I would like to go, they would take me with them; thinking it probable they would be able to procure me a home, I gladly acceded to their kind offer. I thought too, this would remove me farther from the Ruthvens, and one part of the world was as agreeable as another, so that I had a home.


I was much gratified with the scenery of the country through which I passed. At the end of two days we reached Marshall. Mr. Palmer had a friend living there, with whom he remained the night. The next morning, the gentleman's wife remarked she knew a lady living four miles distant, who wanted a little girl about my age for company, as her daughters were all away at school. Mrs. Palmer thought I had better avail myself of so favorable an opportunity offered on such pleasing terms. With regret I bade them all adieu, for they had been very kind to the lonely wanderer.


After they had gone Mrs. Simpson took me to her friend, Mrs. Stilings; this lady's appearance was very prepossessing. When Mrs. Simpson had told her my history, she came to me, and taking off my bonnet, said: "I was just the little girl she wanted to keep her company while her children were away at school."


I had only been with Mrs. Stilings a few days, when she received a letter informing her of the illness of her daughter in Vermont, and desiring her to come on immediately. More trouble was in store for me. Mrs. S. was going to send for her daughters at school to return home, and then I should no longer be desired. She told me her pastor required a little girl as nurse, and possibly I would suit, and that they were good, kind persons.


In three or four days Mrs. S. was ready to start for Vermont; her daughters arrived the night before her departure. They were both lovely girls. The day following I again started out into the cold world in search of a home. Mr. Pierson lived about a mile from. Mrs. Stilings; the house was about a quarter of a mile from the main road, on a rise of ground. As I walked up the lane, very picturesque was the scene before me; the house was surrounded with locust trees in full blossom; the windows and porch were gracefully shaded with woodbine. The garden was full of sweet brier, rose-bushes, and flowers of every variety. I stood still, as though enchanted by the beauty before me, and really forgot my sad errand there. But the rough voice of the gardener soon brought to my recollection again my forlorn situation, as he exclaimed: "What do you want here, girl?" I told him I wished to see Mrs. Pierson. He said, "She was in the house," at the same time looking at me as if he wondered what I could want with her.

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