Page:Letters of Life.djvu/310

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exciting the wonder of passers-by that a dwelling so lowly should thus be irradiated by tulips and carnations, hyacinths, geraniums, and the soleil d'or. Every ten days or a fortnight he thoughtfully commissioned his gardener to remove these, and replace them by an equal number of fresh ones. Fruits and vegetables from his garden enriched my table; cordials found their way to me if I were but slightly indisposed; and pleasant rides in the fine equipage, driven on those occasions by his own hand, were cheering to my widowed and sonless heart. He was not willing to accept even the offering of thanks, but had implied to some of my friends that he considered himself a debtor for pleasant words spoken to his boyhood, while playing upon our grounds—of which I have no remembrance; and for kindness to his sisters while they were my pupils—which was a pleasure to myself, instead of an obligation to them. Yet it is delightful to find, in these venal times, an example of generosity thus springing wholly from a sense of gratitude, however mistaken. Some philosopher has sagely said, that only generous natures are capable of the grateful sentiment.

Recollecting my interest in our early local histories, and the bi-centennial anniversary of the settlement of Hadley, Mass., the place of his paternal ancestry, being appointed, he invited me to join his family party at that celebration. During this excursion of several