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lohu walcoli adams.
"My grandmother's governesses always came from Brattleboro, Vermont”
into the butter. I clearly remember my father's detestation of the instruthe glories of that fly-brush. It was ment; then, poor man, he had no ear made of peacocks' feathers, which for music and could not turn a tune. glowed and gleamed like jewels as In those days music was a necessary little Liz slowly waved it to and fro. accomplishment to ladyhood. If you We had no flowers in the middle of the had any talent, well and good; if not, table in that early time. A silver cas- still well and good. To be a lady, you tor, holding tall cut-glass bottles for must play on the piano, and down you vinegar, pepper, mustard, and catsup, sat on the piano-stool and practised occupied the place of honor. This was and counted your "one and two and flanked by a silver dish, set rather high three" through your weary daily hour. on four legs, in which reposed a huge It was the same way with poetry. lump of yellow butter. When I read You might have no taste for it, but a that passage in Judges where Jael lady should like poetry, and conse"brought forth butter in a lordly dish," quently we memorized whole books. I think of the butter-dish of my child- I could at one time repeat “The Lady hood.
of the Lake," entire reams of Thomas All my father's sisters took music Moore, many of Mrs. Hemans's shorter lessons, and my mother played and poems, an occasional fragment of sang also, as did her two sisters. I Byron, who was thought terrifically know there were three pianos in the wicked, and was consequently a great house, one in the parlor, one in the favorite. I did not begin Tennyson sitting-room, and one in the school- until much later in life, at the mature room. Perhaps this may account for age of sixteen.
My grandmother's governesses al
(Chorus) ways came from Brattleboro, Vermont. I been listenin' all the night-time, That may seem queer, but one suc
Been listenin' all the day, ceeded the other from that town.
Been listenin' all the night-time,
To hear some sinner pray. The ladies, once imported, shared the family life out of school hours, and in Others were: due time married. Beside my grandmother's daughters, several young
Who am dese dat am dressed in red?
Day is dem dat is riz from de dead. granddaughters and nieces came to
Who am dese dat am dressed in white? school, so the big school-room built
Day is de chillen of de Israelite. just across the court from the back porch was a gay scene. The last year Holy, Holy, my Lord 's Holy! we lived in Kentucky, for some reason Holy, Holy, blood off the land! we had no governess, and all the Christian has a right to shout, children drove into Stanford to school
Blood off the land! in what we called a rockaway. Once
He 'll improve it, I've no doubt!
Blood off the land! out of sight of the house, a young aunt, famous for her handling of the whip, In more mature years it has dawned on stood up in the front of the carriage me that "blood off the land” may have and drove with the driving of Jehu, so been intended for "blood of the lamb," as to distance two boy cousins who rode but the negroes sang "Blood off the to school on their ponies. The Lord land.” was surely very good to us, for I do not Saturday night was a time of great recall that any were killed or maimed. festivity for the negro. It was then
A room called the 'lower room," be- that he went up to the big house to get cause it was reached by steps from my
If he was married to a grandmother's room, was where all the woman who was owned on a neighborchildren congregated in the evening to ing place, he was permitted to stay all crack nuts, eat apples, pop corn, and night, returning before seven o'clock tell stories. The advantages of all Sunday night. Or perhaps he was these amusements for a lady of my merely "co’tin' Marse Tom Breckinyears was questionable, as the “raw ridge's Sallie,” in which case he must head and bloody bones” with which return by twelve o'clock Saturday. one young relative embellished her Anyway, it was fatal to be caught out narration occasionally disturbed my without a pass. My father always had sleep even at that time of my life, a great distaste for men who called on though it was delightful. Here I heard Saturday or Sunday night. He said the story of the tar baby thirty years that a gentleman (laying great stress before Uncle Remus told it. And we on the word) had leisure to call during sang many a hymn, which mammy the week. Forty years after slavery called a “hime." In one the words ran was done away with, to him they were thus:
still negro nights. Some said dat John de Baptist
In such a composite household, in a War nothin' but a Jew,
State noted for its hospitality, there But the Bible doth inform us
were, of course, a great many guests That he was a preacher, too.
coming and going. The big bedroom
opening out of the parlor was called would come into the parlor and ask the "beaus' room,” for every one who their beaus to stay all night. came at night was asked to stay all Of course there were carriages on night. We lived about fifteen miles the place. I can recall the glories of from Danville, and seven from Stan- a stately, satin-lined closed carriage ford, and though the turnpike made sacred to my grandmother. It had a the house easy of access, the beaus set of four folding-steps that a negro were nevertheless always asked to stay man, seated beside the driver, let down all night, and this room, with two big when he opened the carriage-door. A beds in it (for four might elect to stay), barouche and a rockaway were for more was always kept in readiness for them. common use, but all the young women I can recall the mortification of my of the household rode on horseback. younger aunts, after we moved to When they went to church they butIllinois, because my grandfather, with toned a linen riding-skirt round their his old-fashioned Southern hospitality, slender waists, put on a cape to keep
off the dust, and rode to church, to be cient in some moral as well as physical met by a dozen gallant hands eager to sense, and Madam Grundy permitted hand them down at the church horse- only a starch bag, as a sort of comblock. They slipped off the linen rid- promise measure. I remember I used ing-skirt and cape, hung them on the to get so hot, with my sunbonnet tied horn of the saddle, and were all ready tightly under my small chin to preto be escorted up the aisle by the fa- serve my too easily freckled cheeks, vored swain, who of course came home that I would push the bonnet back; to dinner and perhaps stayed all night. but my mother was determined that I
My mother was married in James- should at least preserve the one alleviatown, a Cumberland Mountain village. tion for my hair, and she worked a The roads were cut from the solid rock buttonhole in the top of my sunbonnet, of the mountain-side, and so steep was drew a long, red curl through it, and the winding way that her piano had to pinned or tied the curl so that it would be brought twenty-five miles from the cruelly pull if I tried to push the bonriver by men who carried it on their net back. shoulders. I have heard her sisters Young ladies took great care of their say she wore a white book muslin, hands, wearing gloves at night and made with a double skirt, with a wide often during the morning hours. I
a hem to match the lower hem. She was heard of one who used to put iron married in April, and had the lovely thimbles on her fingers at night, draw white dogwood for her wedding blos- on gloves, and sleep thus, in the effort soms. The next morning the bride of to gain the much-admired tapering eighteen started with her husband, fingers. Curls were much admired. who was twenty years old, to ride on A girl whose hair could be curled in horseback to his father's home, where numberless rows of curls was counted the "infare" was to be held, taking her a fortunate woman. I do not think trousseau in a pair of saddle-bags that people paid as much attention to swung across the groom's horse, and a what was becoming or fitting as they carpet-bag hung from the horn of her do now. There were, to be sure, cerown saddle. She had a leghorn bon- tain broad rules that one never transnet, tied modestly under her girlish gressed. A fair-skinned person had to chin by a pink ribbon. This leghorn wear blue and green; a dark one, pink bonnet was a bonnet worthy of the and red. name; it was no ephemeral adornment People became old much sooner for a single season. Costing the great then than now. I often wonder what sum of thirty dollars, it was expected my grandmother would think of my to last a goodly time; and although it uncovered white head. I fear she was my mother's wedding bonnet, I would feel it quite immodest. Grandremember it well.
mother put on caps tied in a big bow Ordinarily, a much-ruffled white sun- under her chin when she was thirty. bonnet guarded the ladies' complexions But it was not the fashion to have from spot or stain. These were the white hair. If nature silvered her locks, days when the complexion really flour- certain secret hours spent alone in her ished; no modern powders or paints own room sent grandmama forth with would be countenanced. To say a girl shining dark bands peeping from the painted was to condemn her as defi- snowy folds of her muslin cap.
JOU have never heard of him. to depend on your fingers to tell you
Naturally. He was one of what you can't see, and you 're wearthe most valuable citizens of ing rubber gloves, he had a sixth sense.
a our day. He saved innumer. I 've never seen anything like it;
able lives. He taught others never.” how to save more innumerable lives. I believe it was this suggestion of But, our civilization being what it is, clairvoyance that really interested me. he could live in distinguished obscurity Occultism in a surgeon! It was like for twenty years, in New York city it- being told that the stock exchange at self, within hailing distance of all the its noisiest hour was haunted. newspaper presses and publicity agents I asked for evidence and instances, and notoriety factories of the metrop- and, of course, it began to appear that olis, and you would never hear of him. Dr. Hellmuth's magic was just surgi
I never heard of him myself until cal legerdemain. He had devoted Dr. Ward spoke of him to me Dr. himself to his profession with such Lucius Freeman Ward.
singleness of determination that he “Hellmuth was the best surgeon had developed, as it were, special that America has turned out,” Dr. sense organs in his hands. He could Ward said. "I've seen students come shut his eyes, spread his fingers, and out of his clinics almost with tears in tell you to the sixty-fourth of an inch their eyes—tears of admiration and a how far his finger-tips were apart. sort of despair, like young pianists He could separate his hands in the from a Paderewski concert. He worked
same way, and give the exact distance as if he were clairvoyant, as if he between his forefingers, blindfold. had eyes in the blade of his knife. "He had a grip like a pipe wrench," And when he came to one of those Dr. Ward said. "He could pull a abdominal operations where you have cork with his second and third fingers. *Copyright by Harvey O'Higgins.