My Dear Parents: Here I am in Boston at last, and take the very first quiet opportunity to write to you. Hiel Jones said he would call and tell you immediately about how we got through the first day. He was very kind and attentive to us all day, taking care at every stopping-place to get the bricks heated, so that our feet were kept quite warm, and in everything he was so thoughtful and obliging that Aunt Deborah in time quite forgave him for presuming on his rights as a human being to keep up a free conversation with us at intervals, which he did with his usual cheerful goodwill.

It amuses me all the time to talk with Aunty. All her thoughts are of a century back, and she is so unconscious and positive about them that it is really entertaining. All this talk about the "lower classes," and the dangers to be apprehended from them; of "first families" and their ways and laws and opinions; and of the impropriety of being too familiar with common people, amuses me. She seems to me like a woman in a book—one of the old-world people one reads of in Scott's novels. She is very kind to me; no mother could be kinder—but all in a sort of taking-possession way. She tells me where to sit, and what to do, and what to wear, and seems to feel a comfortable sense that she has me now all to herself. It amuses me to think how little she knows of what I really am inside.

We stopped the first night at a gloomy little tavern, and our room was so cold that Aunty and I puffed at each other like two goblins, a cloud coming out of our mouths every time we opened them. They made a fire in the chimney, but the chimney had swallows' nests in it and smoked; so we had to open our windows to let out the smoke, which did not improve matters.

The next night we slept at Worcester, and thought we would try not having a fire in our room; so it grew colder and colder all night, and in the morning we had to break the ice in our pitchers. My fingers felt like so many icicles, and my hair snapped with the electricity. But Aunty kept up good cheer and made me laugh through it all with her odd sayings. She is very droll and has most original ways of taking things, and is so active and courageous nothing comes amiss to her.

Our third and last day was in a driving snow-storm, and the stage was upon runners. I could see nothing all day but white drifts and eddies of snow-feathers filling the air; but at sunset all cleared away and the sun came out just as we were coming into Boston. My heart beat quite fast when I saw the dome of the State House and thought of all the noble, good men that had lived and died for our country in that brave old city. My eyes were full of tears, but I didn't say a word to Aunty, for she doesn't feel about any of these things as I do. I daresay she thinks it a great pity that the old Church and King times cannot come round again.

It was quite dark when we got home to Grandmamma's, and a lovely, real home it seems to me. Dear Grandmamma was so glad to see me, and she held me in her arms and cried and said I was just my mother over again; and that pleased me, for I like to hear that I look like Mother. Mamma knows just how the old parlor looks, with Grandmamma's rocking-chair by the fire and her table of books by her side. The house and everything about it is like a story-book, the furniture is old and dark and quaint, and the pictures on the wall are all of old-time people—aunts and cousins and uncles and grandfathers—looking down sociably at us in the flickering fire-light.

It was all nice and sweet and good. By and by Uncle Israel came in and I was introduced to him, and our new English cousin, Alfred Dunbar. They both seemed glad to see me, and we had a very cheerful, pleasant evening. Uncle Israel is a charming old gentleman, full of talk and stories of by-gone times, and Cousin Alfred is not stiff and critical as Englishmen often are when they come to our country. He likes America, and says he comes here to make it his country, and so far he is delighted with all he has seen. He seems to be one of those who have the gift of seeing the best side of everything. I think it is as great a gift as any we read of in fairy stories.

Well, altogether we had a very pleasant evening, and at nine o'clock the servants came in, and Grandmamma read prayers out of the great prayer-book by her side. It was very sweet to hear her trembling voice commending us all to God's care before we lay down to rest. Grandmamma is really altogether lovely. I feel as if it was a blessing to be in the house with her. I am so sleepy that I must leave this letter to be finished to-morrow.

December 24th.

I have not written a word to-day, because Aunty said that we had come home so late that it would be all we could do to get the house trimmed for Christmas; and the minute breakfast was done there was a whole cart-load of greens discharged into the hall, and we set to work to adorn everything. I made garlands and wreaths and crosses, and all sorts of pretty things, and Cousin Alfred put them up, and Aunty said that really, "for a blue Presbyterian girl," I showed wonderful skill and insight in the matter.

Cousin Alfred seemed puzzled, and asked me privately if our family were "Dissenters." I explained to him how in our country the tables were turned and it is the Episcopalians that are the dissenters; and he was quite interested and wanted to know all about it. So I told him that you could tell much better than I could, and he said he was coming some day to see his relations in the country, and inquire all about these things. He seems to be studying the facts in our country philosophically, and when I told him how I meant to visit the Copp's Hill Cemetery and the other graveyards where our fathers are buried, he said he should like to go with me. He is not at all trifling and worldly, like a great many young men, but seems to think a great deal and to want to know everything about the country, and I know Papa would be interested to talk with him.

Between us, you've no idea how like a bower we have made the old house look. Aunty prides herself on keeping the old English customs, and had the Yule log brought in and laid with all ceremony, and we had all the old Christmas dishes for supper in the evening, and grew very merry indeed. And indeed we have made it so late that, if I am to sleep at all to-night, I must close this letter which I want to have ready to be posted to-morrow morning.

Dear parents, I know you will be glad that I am happy and enjoying everything, but I never forget you, and think of you every moment.

Your affectionate


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