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child all the feminine accomplishments within reach. In 1802, the family went to England, and remained a year and a half, visiting relatives and friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Pickard. Mary, though she was at the time but three years old, never forgot the enjoyment or instruction of that sojourn in the grand old fatherland. At the age of thirteen, she was sent to a boarding school, but soon recalled by the illness of her mother, who died after a protracted illness, during which Mary was her constant attendant. School again, and the same staid, ever correct and exemplary character throughout, — indeed, so correct and exemplary, that we are apt to fancy that there could be but little interest in watching her course. But at sixteen, she began to long for a more decidedly religious life, and, after due deliberation, united herself with the church. The usual guarded coolness of her expressions of sentiment may be judged from the fact, that her biographer thinks it necessary almost to apologize for her warmth in describing this period to a son many years after.
Speaking of the lack of interest in the ministrations to which she was accustomed, she says,
“ The final effect upon me was, by throwing me more upon myself, to open a new source of instruction to my mind; and I can now remember with great pleasure, and a longing desire for the same vivid enjoyment, the hours I passed in my little room, in striving by reading, meditation, and prayer, to find that knowledge and stimulus to virtue which I failed to find in the ministrations of the Sabbath.”
How would Dr. Hall have relished the office of father confessor to our Catholic saint, who, on the same topic, — the efficacy of preaching, - thus bursts forth:
“ It seems to me that those who have light and grace already might be trusted to keep them; and I would not stop, night or day, till I reached the dry and dark wilderness where neither can be found, where such horrid crimes go on for the want of them, and where there is such a glorious death to be gained by carrying them. O Gabriel, if I was light and life, as you are, I would shout like a madman alone to my God, and roar and groan and sigh and be silent, all together, till I had baptized a thousand, and snatched those poor victims from hell. And pray, madam, say you, why does not your zeal wave its flame
through its own little hemisphere? True ; but rules, prudence, subjection, opinions, etc., are dreadful walls to a burning soul, wild as mine. For me, I am like a fiery horse I had when a girl, whom they tried to break by making him drag a heavy cart, and the poor beast was so humbled that he could never more be inspired by whips or caresses, and wasted to a skeleton till he died.”
It were curious to compare the religious experience, emo. tions, and progress of these two remarkable American women, if there were room here to run the parallel fully. Perhaps the two passages we have just quoted may be taken as sug. gesting all. Certain it is, that we have every reason to believe Mrs. Ware's feelings were as deep and practical as Mrs. Seton's, and Mrs. Seton's as sincere and operative as Mrs. Ware's. Strange difference to be produced by temperament and association! Various domestic troubles helped to teach the young disciple of Channing - for such had Mary Pickard become, while all her family continued attached to the Episcopal Church — the necessity of something more stable than this world can give as a foundation for happiness. Through all trials she passed nobly, calmly, and with deep humility; fulfilling each duty as it presented itself, yet caring always for the lamp kept burning at the secret shrine, which no hurry of business, such as often fell to her lot, no seductions of pleasure, which seem to have been but little in the way, ever led her to forget. Her father evidently did not quite relish her religious predilections, and he often rallies her on her " fondness for the clergy," – a point of no unusual jealousy among gentlemen not clerical. When she is to return from Baltimore, he writes, “ I am afraid you will wait till the end of the inonth for the parson; your being so fond of parsons is rather ominous; and you had better be almost any man's wife than a parson's.”
At twenty-five, Mary lost her father, and felt herself alone in the world. So entirely had she been devoted to one after another of her relatives through long illness and decline, that when this last one was laid at rest, she says, “ I seem to hang so loosely on the world, that it is of little importance where I am.” But now opened upon her that new scene, which was to render her name a “household word” wherever the Eng.
lish language is spoken. Her only relatives on the father's side were in England, and she had known them only as a child, twenty years before. But to them she was resolved to go, not because they were prosperous and happy, but because some of them, at least, were far otherwise, and her strong feeling of family affection, as well as her sense of religious duty, prompted her to see what was to be done among them. She says, “ I go with very moderate hopes about seeing the wonders and beauties. I must be satisfied with seeing people, not things. I shall have no right to travel much, and no advantages not common to the most insignificant; neverthe. less, if I can attain my principal object, all the rest will be unexpected gain.” A friend describes her at this time as “worn to the bone” by care and trial, and concludes a eulogium upon her by saying, “ I am afraid of adoring her, so I may as well hold my peace.”
In England, she began by sacrificing all the time and attention that the ill health of the American friend with whom she travelled required, and seeing almost nothing, as a tourist, for the first two or three months. Afterwards, we find her among her relatives at Burcombe House, near Salisbury, where she remained nearly a year. That she found few pleasures in this sojourn, which, though among worthy people, was in a lonely region, where, she says, “except a call from Lord and Lady Pembroke, when they are in the neighborhood, or a visit from some travelling acquaintance, scarcely any one enters the house except the family," we may judge from the following passage in one of her letters :
“ I would not return without seeing and doing all that may be in my power; but that I do look forward with a feeling of desire such as I never knew before, to the period when I shall find myself at home, it would be folly to deny. ... The greatest evil I find in this state of constant preparation for enduring is that I am getting into a quiescent state of inaction, not being quite enough at ease to exert my own powers freely. I am losing that activity of mind which I rather hoped to increase.... I am fated to find trouble wherever I go, and ought to be truly grateful when it is such as I can relieve.”
In July, when she was longing to be at home, an opportunity offered for her to visit her father's relatives in the north of VOL. LXXVII. NO. 160.
England, and she felt it her duty to go. Her father's only sister, who had been left a widow in very destitute circumstances, was still living, in a distant and obscure village of Yorkshire. This village, called Osmotherly, became the scene of those labors of our heroine which have made her so well known as the “ Good Lady of Bleaburn." She went thither for three weeks, and remained three months, writing to her friends at home full accounts of the condition of things, though one would have thought her hands full enough without the pen. The prospects which opened upon her at Osmotherly are well summed up thus:
“I find that I could not have come at a better time for doing good, or a worse for gaining spirits. My aunt's two daughters are married, and live in this village; one of them, with three children, has a husband at the point of death with a fever; his brother died yesterday of the small pox, and two of her children have the whooping cough; added to this, their whole dependence is upon their own exertions, which are entirely stopped now. ... But, worse than all, one of her (the aunt's) sons has come home in a very gloomy state of mind, and all her efforts have failed to rouse him to exertion. I hope to be more successful, for he seems willing to listen to me.”
The inhabitants in general were poor and ignorant, and Mary says, “ If they had a parson to write the ‘Annals of the Parish,' I really think the arrival of the American lady' would stand as the most remarkable event in the year 1825.” And well it might. Mary Pickard was nurse, pecuniary aid, and general comforter to the village during some three months of almost universal illness; watching with the sick; prescribing for them; performing the last offices for the dead; supplying the wants of the poor; directing sanitary measures which perhaps saved the total depopulation of the place through ignorance, prejudice, superstition, and poverty; and, withal, caring for the melancholy cousin beforementioned, who harassed his mother and friends by continual insanity and a disposition to self-murder. To the affectionate remonstrances of distant friends she replies, “ Don't fear for me. I do not think I am going to be sick, and if I am, it will be for some good purpose. I could not regret what I have done. I could almost say, as Mr. Thacher once said, 'I had better live a
shorter life and a useful one.?” Typhus and spotted fever were the appalling diseases thus heroically and calmly faced ; and of one of the sufferers, a little cousin, she says, “I lay with him after the spots came out, not knowing what it meant." Near the end of November, after she had closed the eyes of five of her relatives in Osmotherly, some friends came for her from Penrith, and carried her home with them to recruit her exhausted energies. But in less than a month, a letter from Osmotherly, informing her that her aunt was apparently dying of typhus fever, took her back once more to the scene of her labors. From thence she writes, “ We two are the only beings in this little cottage; for I have sent her two sons out to sleep, as a precaution against the fever, and put a bed in the corner of the room for myself. .. I have no recollection of ever having had the same degree of good spirits as I have been blessed with for the last six months, – 1 may say nine ; and, save my longing for home, I have had no cause to wish any one thing different from what it has been. God grant I may not be tempted to great presumption. I hope my wishes are humble, though my confidence may be great.” Shortly after, she was taken ill, and reduced to the last degree of weakness, but with cheerfulness wholly unimpaired. In a month, she returned once more to Penrith. Meanwhile, it is evident that what she had been doing excited no surprise among her friends at home. One of them writes, “With all these desires for your return, nobody murmurs; everybody says it is much better for you to stay. And Mrs. Bond says, when she expressed her sorrow about it to Dr. Channing, he gave her, for the first time in his life, almost an
angry look ! »
In June, 1827, about a year after her return home, Miss Pickard was married to the Rev. Henry Ware, Jr., then a widower, with two children. The disposition of mind in which she entered upon her new duties seems to have savored less of earth than heaven. She was one who habitually spoke of the blessings of responsibility," instead of its burdens. She was indeed a helper to her excellent husband, whose biographer speaks of the year that followed this marriage as one of the most active and useful of his ministry. They both, in