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Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/109

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"I'll tell you what she did, for it was rather remarkable at that day, when girls had little schooling, and picked up accomplishments as they could. The first winter she read and studied at home, and wrote much to Mr. Lyman. I have their letters now, and very fine ones they are, though they would seem old-fashioned to you young things. Curious love letters,—full of advice, the discussion of hooks, report of progress, glad praise, modest gratitude, happy plans, and a faithful affection that never wavered, though Lucretia was beautiful and much admired, and the dear fellow a great favorite among the brilliant Southern women.

"The second spring, Lucretia, anxious to waste no time, and ambitious to surprise Lyman, decided to go and study with old Dr. Gardener at Portland. He fitted young men for college, was a friend of our father's, and had a daughter who was a very wise and accomplished woman. That was a very happy summer, and Lu got on so well that she begged to stay all winter. It was a rare chance, for there were no colleges for girls then, and very few advantages to be had, and the dear creature burned to improve every faculty, that she might be more worthy of her lover. She fitted herself for college with the youths there, and did wonders; for love sharpened her wits, and the thought of that happy meeting spurred her on to untiring exertion. Lyman was expected in May, and the wedding was to be in June; but, alas for the poor girl! the yellow-fever came, and he was one of the first victims. They never met again, and nothing was left her of all