Page:Letters of Life.djvu/50

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38
LETTERS OF LIFE.

large a size, and palpably uneven. My daily ablutions, as well as the stated and more thorough weekly bathings, she personally superintended. With equal gratitude I may respond to the filial ascription of Cowper:


"The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
With her own hand, till fresh they shone, and glow'd."


From the age of three I was put to sleep in a chamber by myself. There was no person in the family to whom it was convenient or fitting to be either my guard or companion. I was always attended to my pillow by maternal love, and then left alone, sometimes ere the last rays of the summer sun had entirely forsaken the landscape. I felt no fear; false stories had never been told to frighten me; there was nothing to be afraid of. "Our Father in Heaven," to whom the last words of closing day were said, seemed near, and I fell asleep as on His protecting arm. It might have been in some measure owing to this nightly solitude, that Thought so early became my friend. In the intervals not given to sleep, it talked with me. So delightful were its visits, that I waited for and wooed it, and was displeased if slumber invaded or superseded the communion. For it sometimes brought me harmonies, and thrilled me to strange delight with rhythmical words. I believe the following was among its first gifts. Memory has from the earliest childhood kept it in her casket: