Sunday, 16th December, 1866

Found the ground covered in snow this morning, but moderated very much. Was all gone nearly by 1 o’clk though it was some four or five inches deep. – – Had a fire made in the parlor, where they remained all day cozily seated, Bill, Liv, Hardie, Pigeo, Nan and little Mollie. When I found time to be seated, I retired to the chamber from the dining room about 12 o’clk. I went out between 1 and 2 and gave out dinner to Tom, with instructions to call Patsy. As soon as the rain slacked, fed my fowls and turned them all out, some 80 odd in number. Bill and Hardie came out while I was having them fed. – – Sent in nuts and candy to the children by Mollie. They all came in the chamber when lamp was lighted and while I laid down to take a little nap. Sung a good many hymns. – – No one wanted supper, but after Pigeo and Nan retired, the rest of us sat up quite late and I went with the boys down to get a souse foot. – – Pigeo had a severe chill this evening. She and Nan are so very delicate. I don’t know what is to become of them in these precarious times. If they were like some children, they might be some help to me in the numerous duties developing upon me, but I scarcely ever call on them to do the slightest thing, particularly the former. How often to the dear images of my departed children present themselves to my mind and like Ossian I may say, “Often like the evening sun, comes the memory of former times to my mind, pleasant, but mournful to the soul.”1 Mary, Rose and Bake were so different from Pigeo and Nan. I don’t know what cause to attribute it to, unless it has been from my too great indulgence to the latter. I hope a little more time and experience will make some change in them for the better, and they will yet repay me for the many sad hours occasioned by their indifference to my wishes, in many respects.

  1. Caroline’s adaptation of lines from Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Gaelic or Erse language (1790), by James MacPhereson: “Often does the memory of former times come, like the evening sun, on my soul.” (CONLATH and CUTHONA: A POEM.  (back)