Rained part of the day. Took a hasty trip to the city and called on Anna. We arranged to go on the excursion tomorrow. We had first intended to spend the holiday together, alone, but changed our plans owing to pressure exerted by friends who wanted us along. Spent a delightful hour at her house.
Day looked a trifle gloomy but cleared up fine. Went with many friends on the excursion of the N.M.E. Church to River View Grove on the Hudson. Had a good time the water was nice. Most to be enjoyed by far, though, was the time (a few hours ) spent in the Grove. The first thing undertaken after landing there was a general scramble up the 300 ft. high mountain to reach the summit. This accomplished, we had a most superb view of the Hudson and adjacent country. My sweet friend and I soon found means whereby we, unobserved, slipped out of the crowd and took a quiet stroll through the woods. We found some pretty places where we rested awhile. In the serene atmosphere of the forest, with only the birds and trees as living things about, we felt our souls lifted into a higher realm of beauty and peace. God seems nearer the human heart in the quiet woods than in any other place. The soul can undisturbed commune with him.
Had an awful thunderstorm today. There were many "washouts” on the road bed of the Brooklyn trolley cars, thus delaying the cars sometimes for hours. I had quite a time getting to the city, and had to walk the greater part of the way. To Lees’, later, to give lesson and stayed in the evening..
The Mixed Chorus now enjoys a vacation until September.. Anna and I have decided to use Saturday nights in Prospect Park. This was to have been our first one but unfortunately rain set in very heavily, thus upsetting our plans. Anna and I became confused and lost one another — I going to her house and she, braving the rain, going to the park to meet me. Later in the evening we finally met on Henry Street and as she insisted, I went with her home. I then spent an hour or more here, in this cozy, "not-too-brightly-lit-up-back—parlor”. Had a charming time. Her dear mother brought up coffee and cake for us, which tasted good after our earlier gloomy and wet experience.
Our relations have so far been kept secret, for what we consider prudent reasons. Her mother in her own good way, knowing too well the feelings we harbored for one another, suspected that there was an “understanding” between us — suspected a secret engagement. Anna and I have spoken lately of admitting her into our little secret. Of course we felt we owed that to such a good, generous and loving mother. We decided to do so. It was my intention to speak privately with her, and tell her all, also praying her to forgive our secrecy, but Anna hsd already broken it, I learned tonight. Will perhaps soon, when an opportunity presents itself, invoke from Mr. Lee the hand of his daughter. The only thing that deters action is her youth. It is her only fault and she will outgrow it.
Met Anna on 3rd St., walked from the station to meet her. Her eye is swollen, from the same cause as in May last. To the Park. Visited and spent the evening on our hill.
Were to have taken our second ride today, but not feeling well, I went down to Lees’ on the trolley. After taking a ride to the Island, Anna and I went to the park. We took a meal in a restaurant. Good time.
Waited long for my love on 16th St. “L” station without seeing her appear. Not being able to surmise the reason, I went down to her house, to be shocked by the bad news of Mrs.
Called down to Lees’ late in afternoon. Delighted to learn that Mrs. Lee was better. Opened my heart for my friend, Mr. Lee, and asked for his daughter’s hand. ‘Twas no little surprise for the “old man”, but on learning that I had “come to terms” with his daughter, be expressed himself as much pleased and granted my request for his consent. As Anna came up, he gave us both his fatherly blessing, and expressed his best wishes for our future good. He hoped he would live to see us happy. Owing to the care exercised by Anna and me, Mr. L. had suspected nothing, and hence the “surprise” I sprang on him. It was fortunate for me to have known him for so many years, although I am only 23 now, and thus commanded his faith and confidence.
Anna and I walked up to the park and spent the evening there quietly and “poetically” on our hill. It seemed indeed tonight that there was “music in the air”. The stars tonight shone brighter than ever before. On “our hill”, we have had many a charming time. When there, we seem to be lifted above all things petty and lowly, into a higher world of unselfish love and adoration.
What mysterious spirit seems here to take hold of the heart and mind? What is it that here tends to enkindle the Love for the beautiful, the noble and the elevated? What is it that here present! more forcefu1ly than ever the worthiness of the striving for purity of heart and loftiness of mind? Why do the ideals, which so often seem clouded in distant mist and unattainable, here gleam forth more vivid and clear, like the beckoning light to a seaman, firing the soul to resolve on more earnest endeavor and more sincere striving?
At such moments, we bow our heads in humble sighs and whispers which we believe ascend to the Throne of Grace, and invoke God's Grace, Blessing, Power, Protection and Guidance.
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him”, Psalm 25:14
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