Home Life of the Brook Farm Association

MUCH interest has been expressed at various times to learn the real home life of the Brook Farm Association, and many of my friends have urged me to tell what I know of it. My experience extends through nearly four years of its existence, and if length of time could insure the ability to delineate all the various motives which brought together and held through so many years its members, bound by no sectarian creed and united solely through inclination, the knowledge which my position gave me might at least serve to satisfy curiosity. Being one of the least known of its members, I enter on this undertaking with much hesitancy. I cannot, understand why no one of those who better comprehended all the machinery which kept the wheels going through many trying vicissitudes (though I suspect sometimes the operators themselves felt doubtful how it was done) has ever brought its interior life to view, since a real history of its aims and endeavors after a truer life has been asked for.

What was my object in joining this association is of no consequence; I am not writing my own life, and those who were its leaders were calculated to have much more influence on the world than my insignificant self. No matter if I even thought that the whole nation would be charmed by our simple, unobtrusive life, and that in time it would all resolve itself into associations of which ours should take the lead. I know there were many with us who felt that the world must come to us, and that we should, in a more gentle manner than the chosen people of old, gather unto us the possessions of the Amorites and the Canaanites, and that our laws and government should extend and finally annihilate the existing executive of the country. Perhaps even wilder and bolder visions passed before our eyes ere our final dismemberment. In this paper I shall endeavor to give a concise account of the first movement of the originators of the Association of Brook Farm, and to supply some idea of its internal life, both material and mental.

It was on a bleak November afternoon that I entered Brook Farm as one of its permanent residents. The weather, not bright even in the morning, had gradually grown darker, and a cold drizzling rain sent a chill through you and permeated your inmost being, as well as added to your exterior discomfort. I had some weeks before passed several days with the association, that I might in some degree understand the life that lay before me. I confess that when I was made acquainted with its details, its poetic phase was drowned in the water in which I washed the teacups. The reasons which first induced me to apply for admission as one of its members still existed, and the latent energy of my nature forbade my receding merely because my personal comfort, if not quite destroyed, was at least interfered with beyond what was pleasant. Dreary as was this afternoon, my thoughts were more dreary still, and as I drove from my comfortable home the life I had undertaken rose before me in all its bare and cheerless routine. I knew but little of the motives which had drawn its members together and sustained them through all the difficulties of their arduous undertaking. I had not sympathized with the idea for which they lived, indeed had not in the least understood it; and the gloomy evening upon which I entered on my work almost overcame my resolution. Accustomed to the greeting with which worldly usage meets one, I was not prepared for the indifferent looks cast upon me by the dwellers of the Hive as I alighted at its door. This was the building nearest the entrance, and which usually received all comers. No one spoke to me, although I had previously seen some of the members; they kept about their occupations utterly regardless of me. At last a young man appeared whom J had known in the world, and offered to go with me and find Mrs. R—. As I knew the building I was to occupy, I accepted his escort there, and learned from him that my belongings had arrived the day before and I should find all ready for me. This was the only cheerful thing which had met me since I left my home, and with a more buoyant spirit I entered the Cottage, which was to be my abiding place. There was a room called the parlor, which contained only a few chairs, and was appropriated to my use as well as that of the three or four other inmates of this building. There was another parlor, but a lady who had contributed much to the erection of the building was its exclusive occupant. A fire soon burned brightly in the grate, my own rocking-chair was placed near it, and I began to take a more cheerful view of things in general, so that when the horn sounded for supper I entered the diningroom with a less lackadaisical demeanor than I had shown an hour or two before; and the next morning I rose with a spirit more willing to encounter what I still considered the ills of life. No snow had fallen, and the hills were brightly tinged with the coming rays of the sun, which had not yet. risen, as I wended my way down to the Hive, the only eating-house of the establishment. The other three dwelling-houses had no kitchens in their interior arrangements. I was not alone, and the shouts and laughter of the young students around me drew me out of myself, and tended much to bring back the natural gayety of my disposition. They were not all strangers to me, and they soon discerned that I should throw no damper on their mirth. I will at once say that during my long stay in this association the good-fellowship which existed between me and this youthful appendage of its graver members was never lessened, and the tie between us still exists, although I am an old woman and they are no longer in their early youth.

As I did not join the Brook Farm Association until about a year and a half or perhaps two years after its first members had entered upon their novel enterprise, I can give but a very vague account of its beginnings. I think there were not more than seven or eight persons who formed its first household, and the only building occupied by them was the original farmhouse which afterwards received the name of the Hive, as most of the domestic occupations were performed there. I cannot now recall who were its first occupants. From causes unknown to me, several had left before my arrival. What I now write is from my own personal knowledge, and I shall endeavor to give as faithful an account as my memory will enable me after the lapse of so many years.

When I first entered Brook Farm the Hive was a common-sized house with two rooms on either side the front, door and two others back of them. The front door was but little used, there, being a more convenient one between the two rooms, on the side of the drive-way or avenue, by which we always entered, being nearer the refectory, which was the back room on that side of the building. The front room was the common parlor for the dwellers in the house, and was also used for the reception of strangers. The rooms on the other side of the front door were occupied by a lady and her children. She was not an associate, but her sympathies united her with the members and she became a permanent boarder. Back of the dining-room was the kitchen, not large, and connected with it were the pantry and a room used for a laundry, but rather circumscribed in its proportions. The chambers above were used as sleeping apartments for the inmates of the house, and as there were many residents at the Hive, I need not say no one could have the luxury of a separate room, excepting one scholar who was an invalid. When we began to increase our numbers we had also to increase our accommodations ; the Hive received many additions, and the existing in terior was much altered. The front and back rooms were thrown into one, making a long and convenient diningroom. The kitchen was much enlarged, and the laundry appointments made suitable to our increased population. More sheds for farming and domestic use were erected, and rooms were built over them, which gave us many more dormitories. The dwellers here were principally those whose domestic avocations were chiefly in that house. After the admission of mechanics to the association, the greater number of them lived at the Hive, especially those with families, the apartments being more convenient for their use. It was the only eating-house on the place, and was of course the only cooking establishment. Our food was very plain,but good; we did not, always have fresh, meat, but we became accustomed to the privation and really enjoyed whatever was placed before us. Brook Farm brewis has always been a pleasant remembrance to me, and I even yet indulge occasionally in a good breakfast of it. Our head farmer, with his family, resided at the Hive during all my stay at Brook Farm, and was one of its most conspicuously attractive inhabitants. There was a small terraced flower garden near the house which led to the brook that gave the name to the place. A long ridge, crowned with a pleasant grove, looked down upon it, and between it and the house a large elm spread its grateful shade around. It was the only spot on my first arrival which had any appearance of having been cultivated with an eye to adornment, and its natural advantages added much to its beauty.

It was a very busy life that I had come into, one totally different from my accustomed habits and avocations, but still one which the old-fashioned training of my extreme youth had not entirely unfitted me for. I was early taught to clearstarch, as it was called, and this knowledge had always adhered to me, and I was not a little proud of having my laces and muslins uncommonly nice-looking; so in this busy little world I gradually found my place. I entered somewhat into the teaching, and offered to make up the muslins of all on the place who wore them. In the minds of some this might seem a great undertaking, but as many considered such finery useless, and as none were permitted to give me more than two pieces a week, the task was not at all arduous. One little child always called me “lady love,” but another, I must own, gave me not so poetical a title, and knew me only as “Miss Muslin.” I had other domestic avocations, for occasionally I washed the dishes, and during my stay at Brook Farm I always belonged to the ironing - room. I think Mrs. R— and myself were amongst its most indefatigable workers, and we have stood side by side for ten hours or even longer at a time, only leaving long enough for our dinner, which did not occupy much time, the number of our courses not being indefinite. As I have already said, my entrance on this life did not open joyfully to me, but as time went on I became much interested in it and very much attached to my co-workers. Their earnestness commanded my respect, and although I did not always fully comprehend the meaning of what they said, I felt the fault was in me, not them, and my dull brain was alone accountable. It was not the days of evolution, but of involution, if not of language, of thought. Our life was really very monotonous, and, looked upon at a distance by one accustomed to the stirring life of a city, would have appeared unbearable; yet it was strange how much variety we contrived to put into it. A casual observer would think us occupied solely with the dull routine of our domestic avocations, which wore not lightened by paid domestics. Such a one could not see how much thought filled the minds of those steady workers. A few bright words, listened to the evening previous, lifted them above their occupations, and you might have heard a great problem discussed even over the wash-tub by one whose brightness shed light on all around.

Brook Farm was an association, not a community. The members were not called upon to divide their worldly possessions among their associates, but all contributed snob portion as they thought they could afford towards the support of the institution. There were many who had nothing to give, but no distinction was made amongst the members; all met on an equality, and in reality it was just that it should be so, for worldly advantages were overcome by useful labor. Each on his application for admittance was received on probation. I think three months was the time designated, and then the established members met in council and discussed the merits of the applicants, and whether their admission would be beneficial to the association. A vote was then taken, and if I remember rightly two thirds were necessary for an affirmation. I suppose all had very much the same feelings as myself when they knew they were to go before this awful tribunal; and if any one had told me three months previous that I should have waited in trembling fear for its decision, I could not have believed it of myself. A change had been wrought in me which even now, after the lapse of so many years, seems little less than magical. Naturally exclusive and fastidious, a spell was woven around me which entered into my very heart and led me to nobler and higher thoughts than the world ever gave me. I was not even then in my early youth, but I felt the influence of a vigor and freshness the remembrance of which still clings to me after nearly forty years have passed away.

The most profitable source of our income was that derived from the pupils sent us. Harvard did us the honor to place two or three with us whom it was judged a rustic life might benefit; and I need not say they were a pleasant social element in our life. Several also came to be prepared for a collegiate course. One of these served nobly in our late war, and gave his life on one of its battle-fields. Another, whose name was even more famous in the same cause, was when with us a mere child, and gave but little promise of what he was to be, the gallant hero of many battles, and now a brilliant member of the bar in one of our largest cities. There were many others who were children when with us, and who if less prominent were not less earnest to assist our nation in its greatest need. All honor to them, wherever they are now scattered. Several came to us who never joined us as members, but who enjoyed the freedom of our life from the conventionalities of society. One in particular is before the world as a literary man of eminence, whose noble thoughts and words have always been enlisted on the side of progress. The number, when I first joined the association, was not large, I should think not over forty, and yet when I recall them to my mind it seems to me one would scarcely find forty persons with more strongly marked individuality; not loudly proclaimed and only after much study to be understood, but contributing a peculiar influence to the place, and making Brook Farm a problem in the minds of men.

As Christmas approached it became a question as to how we should celebrate it; after much grave deliberation a fancy party was suggested, and the chiefs were applied to for their consent, which I need not say was easily obtained. We certainly had no idea of extending our invitations beyond the limits of the place, and our ingenuity was exerted to produce the costumes in which to make our appearance. Everything which could furnish even a remote idea of what we wished to represent was called into requisition, and the preparation became a great amusement to us. Our simple ideas, alas! were doomed to fade away before the magnificence of some of our pupils, who even hired costumes from the theatres. I must here remark that our own manufactured costumes eclipsed, with their simple classic taste, the tawdry finery of the stage. Our little festival becoming known to some of our outside friends, invitations were asked for, and our visitors added much to the brilliancy of our entertainment. Hamlet was well represented in his customary suit of black velvet; Greeks and Circassians figured largely, and even an Indian left Ids native forests for our amusement. Little Nell and her grandfather moved quietly through the scene, and Spanish bolero dancers performed wonderful evolutions. Altogether it was a success and enjoyed by all immensely. Fancy balls were not as common then as now, and I doubt whether any of us had assisted at one before. Little dances were common amongst us, and very short notice was given when one was to take place. Ball dresses were unknown, and a knot of ribbon was often the only adornment added to our usual dress. Having so many young people under our charge, these little recreations were almost a necessity, and the enjoyment was quite as great as if we had been dressed in the finest Paris robes, and had entered the ball room at ten instead of leaving it at that hour. With our early morning habits, late evening parties, as a general rule, were out of the question, and excepting on the occasion of our fancy ball, I never knew them extended beyond ten o’clock. Our usual social intercourse was principally confined to the Aerie, where Mr. and Mrs. R— resided, and where every evening were collected those who wished to hear or themselves take a part in the pleasant and often brilliant conversation of many of our associates. Music, too, lent its charm to these reunions, and I need not say that the Aerie was seldom lonely.

The Aerie was the first house built on the place after it became the property of the association. It was placed on a large rock, which formed the cellar and on two sides the foundation walls of the structure. That cellar was an odd-looking place and did justice to the inventive power of the builders of the house. It did not exactly illustrate the text about the durability of such a foundation, for when left to take care of itself the winds and the storms soon demolished the entire building, and it now lies in ruins, if there is a vestige left of it. As it. was built on the top of this large, high rock, many steps were needed to reach the terrace in front of the door, on either side of which was a large room, one used as a parlor, the other as a library. Behind these rooms were four small dormitories. Above, I think they were not divided in the same manner, but a greater number of rooms was made of the space, leaving two rather larger than the others. Mr. and Mrs. R— occupied one of these, and the others were given to the scholars. At first the library was used as a recitation room, and I believe Mr. R— still continued so to use it even after we had regular school rooms. Mr. R— occupied himself with some of the farming operations, but there was other work for him to achieve, in exchange for which manual labor must have seemed a recreation. It is needless to say that as the founder of the association he felt himself, if not wholly, yet greatly responsible for its success, and the wear on his mental powers must have been great in his earnest endeavors to secure it. I do not think I realized at the time how arduous his task was; his pleasant wit and jocose manner deceived us as to the weary labor which worked his mind to the extent of its powers. He never failed to greet us with a joke, and his face bore no evidence of the anxiety which almost crushed him. His self-control was wonderful, and through it we were enabled to assist, to our utmost, the efforts which he made to insure our success. We did this without really knowing the danger we were in, and hope lightened our labors and enabled us to be of more use than if we had shared in his sometimes hopeless view of our situation. That this dark feeling was continuous with him could not be; some bright beams will lighten the darkest days and give energy to pursue a nobler course than that prompted by despair. It seems almost superfluous for me to dwell for a moment on the mental culture of Mr. R—, yet many of the present generation may not be aware of his surpassing scholarship. His classical education was thorough, and as a theologian few surpassed him. The German language, which was not then as generally studied as at present, was well understood by him, and his knowledge of it comprised also the peculiar philosophy of that nation of deep thinkers, and was no doubt one of the agents in his philanthropic attempt at Brook Farm.

Of Mrs. R— speak with a tenderness and affection which many long years have never chilled. I had known her before we met at Brook Farm, though not intimately. It was there that a friendship was formed between us which, on my part at least, existed as warmly as at first until her death. It is impossible to give an idea of the life she infused into all around her. To talk with her gave us strength for any effort, for “impossible” seemed a word unknown to her. She never shrank from any task she thought right for her to undertake. But there was one self-imposed task which none but a truly Christian woman would have undertaken; which almost all would have recoiled from, and few but those inured to such duty would have voluntarily performed. Among the pupils sent from abroad was a hoy from Manila. He was apparently perfectly well when placed at Brook Farm, and it was not until after some months that a most loathsome disease made its appearance, and it was easily seen why he was sent so long a distance from his home, as a cold climate was deemed the only cure for him. His malady was elephantiasis. Mrs. R— performed all the duties of a nurse, and cleansed and bound up the leprous spots without ever betraying to him the sickening feeling which more than once nearly overcame her. By her efforts the disease was arrested for a time, and for more than three years he enjoyed his life with us; but, poor fellow, he was not cured, and the malady again made its appearance with more virulence than ever. About this time guano was much talked of as a remedy for all forms of this disorder, and it was tried for him; it did for a time alleviate, but there was no permanent cure for him. Every kindness was shown him by all on the place, for his gentleness and amiability had drawn us towards him, and he remained with us until the final dissolution of the association, when he and a brother who was with him left to return to Manila, which he did not live to reach. Perhaps this digression from my subject may seem unnecessary, but I feel it due to Mrs. R— that her true nobility of soul and innate goodness should be made known in this slight sketch of her. Of her intellectual capacity it is not requisite to speak, for it is well known, and her brilliant conversational powers were appreciated by all who had the happiness to know her. Mr. C—, of New York, a brilliant lecturer and well-known literary man, whose noble thoughts and words have always enlisted themselves on the side of progress, with his brother also lived in this house for move than a year after my residence on the place. They were not associates, but were drawn towards us by sympathy with the movement, and they left us, as did several others, when our life in a great degree was changed by our new organization. The other residents were, as I have said, scholars.

Most of our pupils had their rooms in the Aerie, and ihe freedom of their intercourse with their teachers added much to the charm of our social gatherings. Thus the winter passed quickly away; but when the spring opened and farming operations commenced, I observed a shade of anxiety on the brows of those to whom we looked for the knowledge we received of our material success. It was evident that all was not smooth and prosperous, and that our income did not meet our expenses. A more economical system as regarded our table was then suggested, although how we could live upon less was a close question. As is usual on such occasions, butter was first attacked, and the quantity heretofore allowed was much reduced. I cannot enter into all the details of our cutting down operations, but I know coffee was among the victims, or rather we coffee drinkers were. Still all this retrenchment did not relieve us. A few new pupils were added to our educational department, but not enough to give much assistance. People were shy of us; we were supposed to nourish some very fantastic views which encroached much on the decencies of society. I will not enumerate all the absurd stories which were circulated with regard to us; and although our outside friends, who still continued to feel an interest in us, paid no heed to these ridiculous inventions, there were thousands who looked upon us as little less than heathens who had returned to a state of semi-barbarism. Even many who understood us and our lives felt timid when it was a question of the education of their children; I do not mean it should be understood they were afraid of any influence we might have over them; and although they knew that our teachers were not only highly educated but had made their mark as learned men, they chose rather to give their children inferior teaching than to trust them to the wild theories of Brook Farm. There were some who rose superior to these prejudices, and I have never heard that they regretted it.

We who were living so quietly within ourselves did not realize all this, or understand how much evil was attributed to us. In the mean time, if we were to keep together, we must live, and how to do so became a very serious question. Many plans were thought of, but were not found to be practical. At last it was decided to increase the association by admitting members who should brinan industry with them. It was also agreed that workshops should be erected, and mechanics who had applied for admission, but for whom at the time there had been no place, should be recalled and should thus try to do for us what farming alone had not effected. I have not ventured to speak of the capabilities of the place with respect to cultivation, for being a woman I am not supposed to know much about its working details; but having lived for the greater part of my life in the country I think I know somewhat of the quality of land when I see it, and I do not think much of that possessed by Brook Farm was suited to purposes. It is not for me to criticise the knowledge of those so infinitely my superiors, but I cannot say that gravel and sand, interspersed with picturesque rocks, produce very rich grass.

I here was much natural beauty surrounding the place. The pine woods adjoining, though not belonging to it, were an endless source of enjoyment to its inmates, and became almost a place of worship to them. I remember we several times held divine service in one of its open glades. Our officiating clergyman was the Rev. W. H. Channing, then fora time making his home with us.

At last our experiment commenced, and we were to decide upon the efficiency of our mechanical labor, I was not one of the financial committe and cannot give the details of its working, and must wait until I have arrived at the proper epoch to state its results. Our new inmates were quite a respectable class of persons, and generally inclined to fulfill their duties; though I suspect YOU might have picked out one or two who thought they would lead an easier life with us than battling with the world. Among those who joined us at this time was a florist, a Dane by birth, and one who understood his business well. How really lucrative he made it for us I never knew, but he certainly added much to the beauty of the place. Greenhouses were erected for him, and everything which could insure success within reasonable bounds was placed at his command. Before his advent some of us had endeavored to cultivate flowers, but not prosperously, the soil being too sterile to insure their growth; but with the power which was given to him as an experienced person, our small beginnings became a beautiful reality. He was æsthetic in his ideas, and perhaps studied beauty a little more than profit. He felt so superior to the rest of us in the knowledge of his own art that he was impatient of the least control, and not willing to understand the necessity of economy in the exercise of his vocation. His wife and daughter came with him. The latter improved much, both mentally and personally, whilst with us, and became much endeared to her young companions, who sincerely mourned her early death. This did not take place while with us, but not many years after our final dissolution. The father and mother were both extremely fond of dancing, a knowledge of which they had brought from Denmark, but in outward appearance it seemed in them a most solemn affair. The German did not exist in those days. All dances were welcome to us, and no one thought it a bore to join in a square dance. The waltz was not universally known, and when danced was not so affectionate as our young people now make it.

With the spring our hopes revived; our workshops were in operation, and many looked forward to a brilliant future; but there were those who did not take so cheerful a view of our situation, and I am afraid they were those who best understood its real condition; still no one was utterly despondent, and the cheerfulness of the place was not disturbed. Our amusements went on as usual, mingled with our graver avocations, and outsiders generally believed in our prosperity. As the pleasant weather came on, our visitors increased, some drawn towards us merely from curiosity, but. I am happy to say, many more from friendly feelings cherished for us. It was at the time when the Hutchinson family were at the height of their popularity. As they had shown some interest in our undertaking we invited them to visit us, which invitation they accepted, and passed a night with us. One great charm of their singing was the perfect accord of their voices. There was but little of the art of high training, but I think in listening to them you never felt its want.

During the summer months we received as an inmate a songstress of far different type, — Frances or Eliza Ostinelli, perhaps better known to the public as Signora Biscaccianti. She was then quite young, not more than seventeen, or even younger. She was given in charge to us by her father; and it was thought best by those in authority to place her under the immediate care of one of our staid members. She was very pretty, ami her musical talent made her doubly fascinating, so that I am afraid some of our pupils were not as attentive to their studies as it was proper for them to be. It was rather au arduous task for her chaperon, and she sometimes had to call assistance in sending to their homes these young admirers at the stipulated hour. It was a rule that all should be in their several houses by ten o’clock. I remember a ludicrous adventure resulting to myself from this rule. A party of us were playing whist at the Cottage; we all belonged there excepting the youngest, who was a pupil, and lived at the Hive. Being interested in our game we had not noticed the hour, when we were startled by the appearance of one whom we always recognized as chief, and on whose countenance we observed a menacing expression. He himself was somewhat disturbed when he saw who were the party at the table, and we could not help smiling at his evident annoyance. Our poor young friend was, however, immediately seized upon and very austerely questioned as to his being at that hour, a quarter past, ten, absent from his dwelling place. The young man did not seem in the least discomposed, but answered quietly. We did not interfere, being much amused at the effort with which our worthy chief maintained his gravity. At, last he asked, “ And how do you expect, sir, to enter the house, when you know the doors are locked at ten? ” Oh,” said our undaunted youth, “I always get in at the pantry window.” I need not say that bursts of laughter greeted this answer, in which none joined more heartily than the questioner himself. This was all well enough for once, but we thought it better either to limit our whist parties to the residents of the Cottage, or to be more careful about hours, feeling that rules should be observed.

But to return to Biscaccianti. Her music was a great delight to us, although her voice at that time had been little cultivated. It had great power and sweetness combined, and it must have possessed some peculiar quality, for our friends on Spring Street told us they could distinctly hear her when singing in the open air in the evening, though the distance was at least three quarters of a mile in a straight line. I have since thought this could not have been very beneficial to her voice, but it was very pleasant to us. I think probably the happiest part of her life was whilst with us at Brook Farm, and perhaps it would have been better for her if she had remained longer with us. She was at Brook Farm but a few months, and then went with her father to Europe to complete her musical education. During her stay with us we had a small fancy party in the woods, principally for her gratification. The costumes were confined almost wholly to the younger residents, although the elders lent their countenance to it by their presence. It was a merry scene, and ended with sunset. One group represented gypsies, and their encampment was really picturesque; there seemed almost a reality in it, and we could not refrain from holding out our hands to have our fortunes told. It was a bright afternoon, not too warm, and all the children on the place contributed to its gaycty.

Among the many visitors of this summer was Margaret Fuller, and as may be supposed, much interest was excited by her visit. She was looked upon by her admirers as the most wonderful woman of the age, and, in many respects, she was so. So many men of acknowledged intellectual power did homage to her mind that every one must grant to her uncommon talent. I never so fully appreciated her as many of my friends did, and when listening to her wonderful conversations,— which, by the way, were limited to one person, herself,—and straining my mind to comprehend her meaning, I must own I have sometimes wished her English was rather plainer. Her sad fate has shrouded her in a romance which perhaps will be remembered longer than the impress of her mind will be felt, for she has left no writings of sufficient weight to insure her the fame she hoped to attain. In connection with her I must here mention a young member of the association. His reverence for her was heartfelt, and he dwelt upon every word from her lips as something sacred. If you had asked him of her personal appearance I am sure his description of her would never have brought her before you as she was. The ideal which was impressed on his mind was all beauty, and he would hardly have understood you If you had dared to assert the contrary. When she left this country for Europe, had it been possible, he would have accompanied her, but his extreme youth made his friends oppose, for the time, such a project. He often talked to me of his great desire to see Europe, and what most fascinated his imagination was the wonderful cathedrals be had read of. After a few years his desire was gratified; he joined Miss Fuller, then the Marchesa d’Ossoli, in Italy. He returned with her in the fated vessel, and ended his life with hers.

In passing the laundry one day, the merry voices of its occupants, mingled with laughter, made me feel it must be a very pleasant place, and I had a strong desire to enter and offer myself as an assistant. They greeted me joyfully, as more assistance was needed, and I immediately began my work. It was something new to me to stand over a washtub, and from its novelty rather exciting, so I worked with all my power and complimented myself upon being so useful. Alas for poor human pride or vanity! I was not destined to long rejoicing, and when most exalted I iguominiously fell on being declared inefficient and of no use. I would not have it supposed this was any harsh decision, for it. was both given and received in the pleasantest and merriest manner; and when I left the workers I laughingly told them that the time might, come when they would be glad to have me, but I would never come to them again. My threat was doomed to be fulfilled, for not a great while afterwards I was sent for in great need, but I wisely held to my determination, being myself fully convinced of my total incapacity for usefulness in that line.