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Letter to Malcolm Duncan Wright from F. I. Stevens
transcribed by Janis Gostlin, February 21, 2006
Walton, August 23, 1876
I set myself tonight according to agreement to write to you on this the second anniversary of our separation. It hardly seems possible that two long years have passed since last I saw you. Two years! The time just passed has been fraught with much of joy and very few sorrows. I sometimes think that my life is about as quiet and uneventful as any ones could be. But I must admit that I sometimes get very tired of the hum drum life, and wish for the wings of a bird that I might fly away to some quiet place and take a long rest with no companion save my books and my own thoughts. This pleasure is denied me and I must labor on from day to day. Striving to obtain the jewel contentment with as good a grace as possible.
As I sit here writing I hear the sound of music. The old band is playing tonight, I suppose at the Hall, as there is to be a grand political spectacle there this evening. You said in your last letter that you would have been pleased to escort me through that grand old building. I wish you had been in Walton to enjoy with me the pleasure of the past two weeks. The Episcopal Society gave an entertainment three evenings in succession. The final evening they enacted a pantomime in six scenes. You have read the poem called Mistletoe Bough on ? Bride, haven't you? Well it was acted out. All the actors were dressed in ancient costumes and they looked grand and beautiful. I would tell you the names of the principle actors, but I have so much more to tell you about that I must hasten on. The second evening I did not attend. (The production netted $160)
On Friday last week I went to an SS picnic. Not a ??? one like we attended two years ago, but one held by the M. E. Sunday School. They held it at the sugar camp now owned by George Robinson. Went with Marvin and had rather a dull time.
My younger sister took me quite by surprise last Wednesday morning. She is living in New York City, so was pretty surprised to see her. On Thursday Pa came for us with a train and we (pa, Fred, Katie, and I) all went up to see Jamie Rogers where my sister Ella lives. I do not remember ever having seen them all together before since Mother died.. It was a day highly enjoyed by all and not soon to be forgotten by any of us. I hope that we will be able to enjoy many more such reunions, but time makes many things change.
You say your brother is in Delaware. I have not seen him, but hope to have the pleasure of meeting him before he returns to Cal. I suppose your time to make a visit home will come before another anniversary rolls around and we could sit and have a quiet talk of all hours. Still it is a pleasure to know that though there are many miles between us, we are engaged for one short hour in a sort or conversation greatly enjoyed for I know what you are writing will be worth reading. While this is, well, a rather prozy affair I hope you will excuse all blunders. I know you will excuse all when I tell you that I have a severe head ache so severe in fact that I can scarcely write at all. Your letters are good if they are short and you will do very well if you will write often. I will now close with the wish that before another year has rolled around I may have the pleasure of seeing you.
Love as ever. F. I. Stevens, Walton
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