"I don't know her," I said, "but I've seen her; a charming looking woman, about forty-five, with a gloomy-faced husband--a fellow who might be rather a Tartar to live with.
Elcho, never look so gloomy-- What avails a saddened brow?
And yet a solace soothes my brow, Making my air a shade less gloomy:-- Six shillings in the pound is now The figure out of which they do me; But, were we man and wife to-day (So close the Treasury loves to link 'em), A grievous super-tax they'd lay On our coagulated income.
To her children my mother was never gloomy,--it was not her way.
The religious duties of monks were still dreary, monotonous, and gloomy,--long and protracted singing in the choir, incessant vigils, an unnatural silence at the table, solitary walks in the cloister, the absence of social pleasures, confinement to the precincts of their convents; but their convents became bee-hives of industry, and their lands were highly cultivated.
And yet, oh my friend, life is sweet!--and my little day has been so dark and gloomy!--may I not have one hour's sunshine, ere youth and vigour are gone, and my swift-vanishing Southern womanhood wrinkles itself up into despised old age?
CHAPTER XXXVII SEPTEMBER 3, 1858--SEPTEMBER 21, 1863 Visits Europe again with a large family party.--Regrets this.--Sails for Porto Rico with wife and two children.--First impressions of the tropics.--Hospitalities.--His son-in-law's plantation.--Death of Alfred Vail.--Smithsonian exonerates Henry.--European honors to Morse.--First line of telegraph in Porto Rico.--Banquet.--Returns home.--Reception at Poughkeepsie.--Refuses to become candidate for the Presidency.--Purchases New York house.--F.O.J. Smith claims part of European gratuity.--Succeeds through legal technicality.--Visit of Prince of Wales.--Duke of Newcastle.--War clouds.--Letters on slavery, etc.--Matthew Vassar.-- Efforts as peacemaker.--Foresees Northern victory.--Gloomy forebodings.-- Monument to his father.--Divides part of European gratuity with widow of Vail.--Continued efforts in behalf of peace.--Bible arguments in favor of slavery.