« 上一頁繼續 »
ideal, and yet so practical, her affectionate interest in all around her was so apparent, her hospitality so generous. Her relation to her servants was so truly Christian, her continual habit of reading to them so unusual and evidently so appreciated. A rare combination was found in her, - an indescribable calmness, serenity, sweetness, a strength of principle, hatred of wrong, especially the wrong of keeping the Word of God from the masses. One could not spend a day with her without feeling how deep was her pity for the ignorant, and how indignant was she against the system that keeps the Bible from the people.
“ To me Mrs. Cheever's conversation was very entertaining, and never did I more realize it than during her visit in my home. She was full of anecdote of people whom she had met in this and in other lands, - of reminiscences of distinguished people and places. In telling stories she always delighted in dwelling upon the best side of character. She had a vein of humor too, and appreciated it in others when it was kindly. When native character is so transparent and true, it might be thought hard to discriminate between it and Christian traits ; but I never met a person who seemed more simply and truly Christian. It seemed painful to her if she was so situ. ated that she could not speak on what was dearest to her soul. Her looks, her words, her actions, all said, ' I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.'
“Such are some of the memories I have of her, my sweet friend.
“And her passing away, — how was it in keeping with
all her life, and how lovely was she in death! When I looked upon her beautiful face, it seemed to me as though at the last blissful moment, above the songs of the welcoming angels, above the voice of the harpers harping with their harps as the voice of many waters, she had heard that of her beloved Master saying, “Behold, I come quickly!' And she had replied with confiding love and joy, 'Even so, come, Lord Jesus !'"
To the preceding letter we add the following tribute of many years' acquaintance and friendship from Miss Annette L. Noble, one of our dearest circle of faithful, long-tried, and loving friends :
“ No one could know Mrs. Cheever at all well without remarking a certain characteristic of hers, peculiar to the loveliest and most lovable of natures: she invariably found some sympathetic point of contact with the people next to her, no matter what their class or condition. Her own place was of course with the most cultivated, the most truly refined ; and in discussing the gravest questions, she was always ready with her clearcut opinions and her wise simplicity of thought. But if the next moment brought into her presence the humblest person, she would meet him so 'humanly,' as Carlyle would say, that he must leave her feeling warmer at heart and raised in his own self-respect. All this made her so charming a companion ! I shall never forget the last visit I made to Englewood one winter, a few years ago. She was an ideal hostess in an ideal home; and I well understood the meaning of a friend's words, in speaking of the exquisite taste of all her household arrangements : “Mrs. Cheever's rooms remind me of a bride's apartments, they are always so daintily adorned and so pleasant.' It was during this visit of a few days that I was struck by her large-heartedness and the wide reach of her sympathies.
“She read me a number of exceedingly interesting letters from friends abroad ; falling later into a detailed story of her own travels through classic scenes. She told me of distinguished people she had met, whose friendship had long been retained, and all in a most frank, delightful way. She showed utter indifference for the honor, titles, and wealth the world values irrespective of moral worth ; while everything she said revealed
A marvellous gift to know and cull,
and the still rarer trait of giving
•Gentle words where such were few,
“Some children had been visiting her, and she had entered into their enjoyments most keenly, treasuring up all their quaint and comical sayings, to repeat afterwards in her own way, half merry, half tender. But the thing that I recall most clearly now, was not her enjoyment of her flowers, blooming luxuriantly when all outdoors was under the snow, — not the lovely views which she con
stantly called me to the windows to see, — not the beautiful, boundless hospitality that was instinctive, -- but the long talk with her about a course of reading which she was pursuing with her servants.
“ The evening before, there had met in her parlor a literary club, and I had seen her taking eager share in a conversation on Coleridge and Wordsworth. But the next morning, she was even more interested in telling how for a long time she had daily read, to those in her service, such books as she thought might give them an uplift, and open to them broader views of life and Christian truth. My first thought was that some of the books she mentioned were beyond their mental grasp ; but she soon showed me her wisdom in seeing that the simplest need the highest truth. What this noble woman was to every servant who ever lived with her, and forever after loved her, I have heard many times. She never visited us in New York, that she had not, among her other errands, something to do, or cause to have done, for the welfare of an old dependant, or somebody poor, ill, or in trouble whom ‘I used to know.'”
The following brief memorial is added from a Christian lady who was at intervals for many years a beloved and invaluable assistant and friend to Mrs. Cheever in her government and teaching of the dear children committed to her charge.
“It is difficult for pen to do justice to the Christian character of the late Mrs. E. H. Cheever, the dear saint and friend of a lifetime, to whose beloved memory these few lines are inscribed.
“A number of years ago, the writer had the privilege of living in her family for some time, and of being closely connected with her in the education of two interesting children of a near and dear relative of hers, who by the blessing of Providence were placed in her care for a season. One of them, who became a lovely Christian, has already passed away to her eternal rest, in the full assurance of a glorious immortality, and of what God hath prepared for them that love him. She was instrumental in bringing this dear child to the knowledge and love of her Saviour.
“ Her Bible teachings and prayers were peculiarly sweet and impressive, and those dear children would, even in their play-hours, introduce scenes from the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress.
"When in the city some years ago, she was continually doing good, exerting herself in every way to benefit her fellow-beings and to promote their spiritual welfare. She would go, with other good ladies, to visit the Tombs Prison, read and pray with the poor, despised, and forsaken prisoners, administering to their temporal as well as to their spiritual wants, and causing them in many instances to seek pardon for their sins at a throne of grace. Many of them, no doubt, live now to bless her memory.
“She was very active and energetic in getting up a home for the friendless, collected large sums of money from her friends for the purpose, and was the leading