[Philadelphia—Sunday, 7 February 1864]

Sunday Feb. 7. Passed the day with Rebecca and her husband in Girard Avenue. She gave me to read

 

The Jolly Old Pedagogue

by George Arnold

I

T’was a jolly old pedagogue, long ago,

Tall, and slender, and sallow, and dry;

His form was bent and his gait was slow,

His long thin hair was as white as snow,

But a wonderful twinkle shone in his eye;

And he sang every night as he went to bed,

“Let us be happy, down here below;

The living should live, though the dead be dead,”

Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

II

He taught his scholars the rule of three

Writing and reading and history too,

He took the little ones up on his knee,

For a kind old heart in his breast had he,

And the wants of the littlest child he knew;

“Learn while you’re young” he often said

“There’s much to enjoy, down here below;

Life for the living, and rest for the dead,”

Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

There are eight stanzas all of exquisite beauty.

According to the French writer who declared every woman to become a saint before she became a mother, Rebecca is a saint now. Indeed they are both rare characters; brave in self-denial and self-discipline.

We went to see them at eleven o’clock in the morning and stayed until 9 at night talking busily all the time. She has written a story and has some sketches planned all of which she will lay aside for the present. Their little room was still a bower of Christmas green. What a sanctification such a marriage is!

On our way to New York I obtained two practical hints—one for keeping the feet warm in travelling to scatter ground pepper inside the boots—the other for taking off a tight ring. Slip a silk threaded into a flat eyed needle under the ring and wind the long end of the silk round the finger from the nail to the ring the[n] unwind by the short end and the ring must come off.


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