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during their continuance we cannot comprehend the nature. I never felt more perfectly resigned to God's will, or more disposed to justify all his dealings, be it life or death, or disability. This is my strong permanent feeling. Nevertheless, with this, and perhaps from physical depression, all things seem sad. The chords are unstrung, and the instrument relaxed. Give my love to all yours, and to inquisitive friends."
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, June 23, 1859. By a dispensation very merciful to me, the summer heats have been held off thus far. The harvest is in full blast-what a cheering sight! I presume I saw during a drive this morning several wheat-fields, of 300 acres each, under the process. McCormick's reaper is largely used. The improvements here are great, and still going on. To the Rotunda they have added a great projection with a new Corinthian prostyle on the North front. Their great room is very noble, and has a full-size copy of Raphael's School of Athens. At great expense they are now working to convey water from a neighbouring mount to every part of the precincts. A charming parsonage has been built for their chaplain, on a green hillside, among trees. One of the best-placed and finest buildings is an Infirmary for sick students. It is supplied with every convenience, aired throughout by Emerson's ventilator, hot and cold baths, English water-closets, &c. They have a professional teacher of gymnastics, and two gymnasiums, one for summer and one for winter. · Russian vapourbaths are on the grounds, which Dr. C. takes every few days, leaping from the sweating one into a very cold plunge. Their “public day” is the 29th, when every thing breaks up. Dr. Gessner Harrison, now their oldest professor, has resigned. The demand for schools is truly surprising. I suppose there are a dozen country-grammar boarding schools in this county. Gentlemen's sons are very glad to take such places.
If they did not keep saying so, I should not know that I was any better than a month ago. I lie awake most of the night with slight fever, and seldom fail of a chill during the twenty four hours. A slight dinner is the only meal for which I have any appetite. Quinine in large doses makes me for days as deaf as the late excellent “K. H.” I They begin to let me have raspberries and ice-cream.”
1 On the 9th June Dr. Alexander wrote to his intimate friend, James M. Halsted, Esq., of New York—“Since our arrival here, I have on the whole been a gainer. While I cannot say that my cough is gone, it is wonderfully lessened, and quite suspended for long periods. My nights are bad, and I suffer from a dyspeptic colic, which makes very strict diet necessary. My appetite is good, and I am riding on horseback every day. My friends think I shall recover, against the fall. That is as God pleases, unto whom I desire to submit myself.”
The newspaper signature of the Rev. Richard Webster, of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania.
2 The last letter but one, ever written by this faithful hand, so far as I have been able to discover, is the one I subjoin, from the Warm Springs, addressed to his brother Addison, in Princeton. Like the preceding letters from Virginia to myself, it was written with a pencil, but with no signs of debility.
“ BATH COURT HOUSE, July 13, 1859. “Writing costs me so much, that this must go for an answer to A.'s and J.'s letters. We arrived here on the 13th, perhaps the hottest day of the season. Though feeling the heat, we are all benefited by the marked change to mountain air. The bath agrees with me; it is 38 feet diameter, 5 feet deep, and 98° Fahrenheit; being moreover clear as crystal. The waters are also drunk, being weak Epsom salts, and a dash of sulphur. The hotel is well kept, the mutton is delicious, and venison is on the table twice a day. The guests do not number more than forty. This place is in danger of being left out of the fashionable range ; it is no longer on the way to the White Sulphur and Sweet Springs, and is accessible only by very heavy mountain staging. It is nevertheless, for picturesque scenery, abo above all the others.
“Since coming here I have felt better in several respects; better sleep, excellent appetite, and a slight 'accession of strength. I am taking no physic, except Dr. Delafield's tonic prescription of Citr. Ferri cum Cinchona; it comes mixed chemically. My absolute strength is small: I was in error about my weight; it is 142 lbs.
I think the heat inust be very great in the plains. Drought prevails here; there has been no shower for three weeks.
“If my aunt and cousins are still with you, remember me to them kindly. I was so utterly unfit for visiting, that I did not fulfil my purpose of going to Staunton and Lexington.
“This is a very wild country; venison, however, rises in price; it is now six cents a pound. A buck is brought in, on an average, once a day. Partridges and pheasants abound. A fox crossed right before our horses' heads on the Warm Spring mountain. We shall probably remain a week, and then go for more permanent quarters to the Red Sweet Springs. I neglected to say, that I feel quite free of my intermittent, neither have I any regular cough."
The final effort of his letter-writing was to address some lines to a young nephew in New York, who was suffering with a broken arm.
With the letter of June 23, this long, regular, and most affectionate correspondence terminated on the part of my faithful friend. I wrote to him on the 7th and 21st of July, informing him in the latter, that I should leave home on the 27th for a journey of some weeks, and begging him to send me word to certain points on the 5th and 10th of August, of the state of his health. I had been desponding of his recovery from the time of our last personal interview, May 2; but was not prepared to receive the tidings of his departure so early as it came; for before the first date I had fixed for his writing to me he was in his grave.
Nothing, therefore, remains of my present undertaking, but to furnish a narrative of the events of these last few weeks ; which I am able to do in the language of those who had the privilege, providentially denied to myself, of being with him in the closing scenes.
At the University of Virginia he had his home with his wife's brother, Dr. James L. Cabell, Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, whose sympathies and attentions as a companion, friend, and physician, supplied every thing that either his domestic or religious wants could require.
During the first few days after his arrival at my house,” (I quote the words of Dr. Cabell in letters to myself and others,) “he allowed himself to be distressingly exercised on the subject of his relations to the congregation, but letters received almost simultaneously from two of the Elders, in which they requested him to dismiss that subject from his mind until his health should be fully restored, had the desired result; and from that time forward I had no reason to think that the subject ever disturbed him again. The remainder of his days was spent in tranquil enjoyment, evidently at peace with God through faith in Christ, and in love and charity with all men.
Leaving the University at noon of July 12, we reached Millboro’ station at four, and there took a chartered coach for the Warm Springs. The afternoon was exceedingly sultry, and when we reached the Bath Alum Springs, nine" or ten miles from the station, and five from the end of our journey, it was found necessary to stop for the night. We made a fresh start at daybreak, (July 13,) and crossed the Warm Spring Mountain before breakfast. It was a fine bracing morning. He had enjoyed good rest during the night, and was in excellent spirits. When we drove up to the Warm Springs Hotel, he got out of the coach with a more elastic step than he had shown for months, and averred that he felt like a new man. After a day or two this feeling of buoyancy deserted him, and was succeeded by an expression of tranquil resignation which puzzled me.
On the one hand, the absence of a painful expression was gratifying, in contrast with the previously frequent indications of bodily and mental distress ; but, on the other hand, the ordinary signs of convalescence in improved appetite and buoyant spirits, were lacking.
“ The suspension of some of his most distressing symptoms soon after his arrival in Virginia, gave me for a time pretty sanguine hopes of his ultimate restoration; but my mind gradually received the impression that despite the abeyance of such symptoms, no ground previously lost was ever recovered. The flesh and strength he had lost were never regained ; and more than this, his weakness and emaciation increased progressively, though slowly. By insensible degrees my hopes were lessening and my fears were increasing. He himself never wavered in his conviction that he was not only hopelessly disabled, but that his end was much nearer at hand than others thought. He left New York early in June, six weeks later my house, in the firm conviction that he would see neither place again. Still he was impatient to get into the mountains. You know the force of his æsthetic susceptibilities. In his daily drives, his enjoyment of our mountain scenery, which is unsurpassed for its varied beauty and grandeur, was almost rapturous. It had never before, he said, been half so great. He would repeatedly say that he had no language of his own adequate to the expression of his feelings, and could only exclaim with the Psalmist: 'Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.' Similar exercises were manifested on our journey to the Warm Springs, and especially at that spot of exquisite beauty, where we lingered a week. It must have been the effect of such mental exercises that produced so marked a change in the expression of his countenance, by removing the traces of suffering, as to cause both ourselves and strangers to mark the change, and to imagine that he was much better. But I recall the fact that he several times said to me: 'I have a strange feeling of increasing debility. On learning from my sister that he slept better than he had done for months, that he was entirely free from pain at night, and that his appetite and enjoyment of food were keen, I could not attach much significance to a feeling, which is temporarily experienced by most persons who take a warm bath daily. He was impatient to go on to the Red Sweet Springs, (Alleghany county,) his favourite resort in these mountains. Waiting for a rain to lay the dust and cool the air, we left the Warm Springs on the 20th July, the day after a heavy shower had produced this twofold change, on a bright and beautiful morning. But we had not gone many miles before we found, to our great regret, that the clouds of the preceding day had not extended far in the direction of our road, and we were greatly oppressed by the heat and dust. Towards noon he requested me to stop the coach at the nearest house as he was suffering extreme pain. In about a quarter of an hour we reached an obscure country tavern, where we remained four or five hours, and then proceeded eight miles further to a more comfortable house, where well-ventilated rooms and good bedding could be obtained. Here, during the night, symptoms of dysentery appeared, but were relieved by prompt remedies to such an extent as to admit of his travelling the next morning over the