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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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Page 11:


I pulled the bell with a trembling hand, and was soon ushered into the parlor by a servant. A lady entered; in her manner haughtiness blended with a certain show of kindness. I stated my business, also, that I had lived with her friend Mrs. Stilings. She said I should come and live with her the next week. Upon leaving I asked permission to look at the flowers, which privilege she granted. After having enjoyed this pleasure awhile, I retraced my steps to Mrs. Stilings with a lightened heart, for I had once more a home.


The next week, according to engagement, I undertook my duties at Mrs. P's. I had been there but a day or two, when she was taken very sick; just at this time the servant left. It was well I knew how to work, for with Mr. P.'s assistance, I had to do all that was to be done. Every night it would be twelve o'clock before I laid my head upon my pillow. I would then cry myself to sleep, my limbs aching, and indeed my whole body weary and full of pain. Four weeks things went on in this way, Mrs. P. unable to attend to any of her domestic duties.


One Saturday evening, after I had completed all I had to do, Mrs. P. having recovered from her illness, I asked permission to go over to Mrs. Stilings.' My request was granted; when I reached there it was dark, they were afraid to have me return by myself, and there was no one to accompany me, so they persuaded me to remain all night, telling me Mrs. Pierson would not care. It was late the next morning before we arose, and the girls begged me to go to church with them. I yielded to their entreaties, and was soon neatly dressed from their wardrobes. Service over, I thought as I had spent so much of the day away from home, I would stay till evening. When I reached Mrs. P.'s tea was over, and I could see nothing of her, for she had retired to her room. In the morning I found she had another girl assisting her to prepare breakfast. I went to slice the bread, when Mrs. P. caught me by the arm, saying in a very decided manner: "I do not wish you ever to do another thing in my house." I attempted to explain my absence to her, but she would not hear it, but told me "to leave her house." I told her I had no home, and asked her what I was to do. She said: "She did not care -- it was not her look-out,"


I went to my room, and throwing myself into a chair by the open window, gave myself up to harrowing, painful thoughts -- What shall I do? Where shall I go? Who next will give me a home? O father! why do you leave thus alone and friendless your child? Why not come to me?


While thus musing, Mrs. P. sent for me to come to breakfast, but I could eat nothing in her house after she had spoken so unkindly to me. I tied up my little bundle of clothing and was soon ready for another start. I went to Mrs. P., and asked her to pay me for what I had done; she gave me two dollars, saying: "That was more than I had earned." I left the house, not knowing where to go; sitting down on a log by the roadside, and gazing up and down its length as far as eye could reach, my heart grew sick, for I knew that in either direction there was no one to care for me.




"GENEROUS and righteous is thy grief, slighted child of sensibility;
For kindness enkindleth love, but the water of indifference quencheth it;
Thy soul is athirst for sympathy, and hungereth to find affection."


"OH! dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrevocably dark, total eclipse,
Without all hope of day!"


"KNOW, he that
Foretells his own calamity, and makes
Events before they come, twice over doth
Endure the pains of evil destiny."


IT was a lovely June morning, the birds were merrily caroling their lays in the tree above my head; scattered here and there at my feet was the beautiful wild pink, and not far off a rose bush laden with its fragrant blossoms which at another time I should have gathered and placed in water; now I plucked and threw them from me, so mocking seemed they in their beauty. Yet the voice of the sweet birds raising high their tuneful notes, cheered me, and I arose from my seat by the roadside to continue my wanderings, but my brain reeled and my limbs refused to support me. When again conscious, I found myself upon a bed surrounded by curtains; drawing them aside and looking out, every thing appeared new and strange; there was no person in the room. I made an effort to rise and walk to the window, but I was too weak; just at this moment a lady entered. I asked her where I was; a pleased expression passed over her countenance upon finding me able to make inquiries concerning myself. She informed me I had been quite ill for more than a week, but that I had found friends, and they had taken good care of me.


I asked how I came there, but Mrs. Downly refused to tell me until I was stronger. In two weeks I was quite well again, when I learned the particulars of my illness. Mr. Downly, while passing in his carriage, saw me lying on the ground; he thought me dead, but upon examining my pulse, found I had fainted. He lifted me into his carriage, and conveyed me to his wife.

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