Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1863 January 21 "Hopedale," Albemarle county, Va.

[from the diary of Mary S. Boyden, daughter of the Rev. Ebenzer Boyden, Rector of Walker's church (later Grace Episcopal) Cismont, Va.]

Wednesday 18th  [Boyden is still off in her dating]  Raleigh did not return this morn
=ing as soon as common, & I felt I know not
what of apprehension.  I feel that God must
soon bring some terrible punishment upon him
for hardening his heart as he does - Either a
spell of illness, an accident, or something to
make him remember His law.  The words
"He that often being reproved hardeneth his
neck, shall soon be cut off & that without
remedy occurred to me again. Even
father seemed uneasy - til at last he appeared
after we had done breakfast & prayers - I thought
I noticed something peculiar about his manner
when I first saw him but believed it was only
ill humor - He was busy telling us that the
boys at Mr N-'s had lost $36 the night before-
But that they meant to find it yet; for they
suspected who had taken it - during the
day he was ostentatiously displayed a quantity
of money he had about him - & spoke of what
he should buy with it - I told him it was
wrong to spend it foolishly &c - & presently he
came to me with $5, saying "Here, you may
have that to give to the soldiers, or buy any
thing you want" - On my declining to take it
he took it to father, urging him to buya resent
for himself - as he had intending doing so at
Christmas, but could not - Father took it under
those circumstances, & there was an end of it -
As he was going to Mr Nelson's in the evening
he brought the rest to me to keep for him -
While we were sitting at dinner,Mr Nelson
himself rode up & after dinner was over , said
he wished to have some private conversation
with father.  Somehow, I at once began to think
it was connected with R - in some way - He stayed
only a short time, & father said nothing of
the subject of his visit.  After the children
were in bed, however, he said to us that R
was suspected of having stolen the lost money
What a pang shot through my heart! - But
a hope remained.  Father said the notes were
marked, & so I showed the money the boy
had given me to take care of - After a close
examination nothing was found that might
identify the notes, & we all hoped he was
innocent - But if he proved guilty, it may
be just the thing he needs to check his down
=ward progress - Oh God, my heart is like lead
Have mercy! have mercy!
Last Sunday Sarah was taken sick with typhoid
fever, but the Dr says it is a very slight case

MSS 4288

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