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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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"IN all my wanderings through this world of care,
In all my griefs -- and God has given my share,
I still had hoped, my long vexations past,
Here to return -- and die at home at last."


"OH! still my fervent prayer will be,
Heaven's choicest blessings rest on thee."


TWO o'clock in the afternoon we reached Baltimore. I can not describe the emotions with which I entered the city; its very name, from associations with a loved mother's memory, was dear to me. It had been her girlhood's home, and now she lay buried far away. I had returned to the place of my birth, which I had quitted years ago, an infant in my mother's arms. I could not forbear a hurried survey of the past, and with the teeming recollections of the moment there came a more vivid consciousness that --


"There is none
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
Of deep, strong, deathless love, like that within
A mother's heart!"


Yet with these memories of the past were blended surmises as to my future. I was in Baltimore a stranger, though in search of friends. The conductor having ordered me a carriage, I directed the driver to take me to the Fountain Hotel. When there, the landlord treated me with great kindness. After dining, I lay down to rest myself before sending for my cousin, from whom I had received the letter encouraging my coming to Baltimore.


Requesting an interview with the proprietor, my nap over, I told him whom I wished to see, and asked him if he could inform me as to his residence or place of business; he consulted a directory, and ascertained the latter. I then sent him information of my arrival. It was nearly dark when a servant came to my door and told me a gentleman wished to see me in the parlor. Knowing it was my cousin, I desired the servant to direct him to my room. During the short interval ere he came to me, I walked the floor in nervous excitement, and a hundred thoughts chased each other in lightning succession through my mind. A rap at my door -- I tried to open it, but my strength had fled; I felt utterly powerless. All I could do was feebly to say, "Come in."


The door opened, and my cousin was with me. He took my hand in his, and in a kind, friendly voice said: "Is this Miss Mary Day?" Upon my assenting, he remarked: "Then I suppose we are cousins." He led me to the window, for it was getting dark. I asked him if "He thought I was an impostor;" he said, "No! you look too much like my mother for me to think that; she has not a child who resembles her as strongly as you do."


He then inquired concerning my journey, and said he had not expected me before receiving another letter. He left me to go down and settle my bill at the hotel, and returned in a little while to take me home with him. We were not long reaching his house; after taking me into the parlor he said he would go and communicate my arrival to his family.


While alone, I sat musing on how strange, and vision-like it seemed that I should be in Baltimore, and had met for the first time my cousin, and how different I had found him, to what my conjectures had been. I also wondered what sort of person his wife would prove; would she welcome me cordially as he had done? perhaps she was proud, and would not sympathize with me in my affliction. These reflections made me very unhappy, and at that moment now gladly would I have returned the weary distance that lay between my absent brothers and sister and myself.


In the midst of my gloomy fancyings, Cousin William again came to me, this time accompanied by three lovely children, to whom he introduced me as their cousin Mary. This cheered me, and made me feel less desolate. He then informed me his wife was in the last stage of consumption, which was the reason she had not been down to meet me.


This sad intelligence he had scarce communicated when the door opened, and I heard a soft step approaching. Cousin William arose and introduced his wife as my cousin Sarah. As she kissed me affectionately, I felt the burning fever on her cheek. I shall never forget the soft sweet tones of her voice, as she said: "I am glad you arrived safely, Cousin Mary." Very musical sounded this welcome to me, for it seemed the echo of a loving spirit. Oh! how bitterly I had felt I had wronged her in allowing the wayward fancies in which I had indulged concerning her. She indeed, it seemed to me, must walk the earth with a peculiar grace, an angel at the home-hearth unawares.


The evening glided most delightfully by; Cousin William quite surprised me with the long list of relatives whom he informed me were anxious to see me. When I retired for the night. Cousin Sarah kissed me "good night," at the same time saying "she hoped my troubles were all over."


The second evening after my arrival, while sitting at the tea-table, Cousin William read me the advertisement of a physician who professed to have wrought great and marvelous cures. The paper stated he could be found at his office, corner of Fayette and Exeter streets. While talking the matter over, an aunt and another cousin came in -- Aunt L., my mother's eldest sister. She held me tenderly to her bosom and wept over me. As soon as she could speak she said: "Is it possible this is Sarah's child? I must take her home with me this evening."

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