W1106 SCHOOL ESSAY BY MARGARETTE BARKER LERNED [MCQUESTEN]
Nov 3 1824
From: [Adams Female Academy] 1 Londonderry, New Hampshire
A WALK TO A COTTAGE
I have just returned from a walk, about two miles distant from my boarding house. After following a limpid rivulet, I was accosted by an elderly gentleman, and his little daughter. Her appearance was truly interesting. She had fine features, and her auburn hair flowed profusely around her shoulders, decorated with a wreath entwined with roses, and flowers of various kinds, and by their appearance were lately culled. She came to me with great freedom, and invited me to join them in a walk to a neighboring cottage.
Her father was much pleased with this proposal, and having no previous engagement, I consented to accompany them. The sun displayed his lucid beams on the meandering stream, and the miscellaneous flowers were just rearing their little heads, which were spontaneously scattered amongst the verdure. We then left that spot of exquisite beauty and hastened towards the cottage. Clara (as that was the name of the child) entertained me with her garrulity until we reached the peasants cot. The cottagers received us with a cordial welcome. All seemed placid and serene, the lovely children ran to greet us, and to welcome us again to the abodes of peace and innocence. I was delighted with the neat appearance of their simple furniture, and the regularity of the family; for instead of professing the habits of indolence, they appeared to be filling their minds with inexhaustible stores of knowledge.
Not seeing the mother of these blooming youths, Clara injudiciously enquired if she was within, tears of grief fell from each of their eyes in spontaneous flows, until the aged father broke the silence, by informing us, that his beloved wife was afflicted with a disease which would probably terminate in death. We were invited in an adjoining apartment, where lay the pale, emaciated sufferer. We tried to mitigate her sufferings by offering assistance, but she was luxuriously supplied with whatever necessaries were useful. After persuading the children to annihilate their grief, Clara, filled with tender pity, gave them a token of remembrance as they were meritorious. Promising to call the next morning, we parted with them with deep regret, as the weather was rather dubious, we were obliged to quicken our pace.
I separated from C. and her Father at the rivulet where we met, and proceeded homewards, the path was rather obscure but we reached Mrs. B.'s in safety.
Margarette B. Lerned
Londonderry, New Hampshire
November 3, 1824
1 For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.