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THE GALAXY, September 1870




An unknown friend in Cleveland sends me a printed paragraph, signed "Lucretia," and says: "I venture to forward to you the enclosed article taken from a news correspondence in a New Haven paper, feeling confident that for gushing tenderness it has never been equalled. Even that touching Western production which you printed in the June GALAXY by way of illustrating what Californian journalists term 'hogwash,' is thin when compared with the unctuous ooze of 'Lucretia.'" The Clevelander has a correct judgment, as "Lucretia's" paragraph, hereunto appended, will show:

One lovely morning last week, the pearly gates of heaven were ]left ajar, and white-robed angels earthward came, bearing on their snowy pinions a lovely babe. Silently, to a quiet home nest, where love and peace abide, the angels came and placed the infant softly on a young mother's arm, saying in sweet musical strains, "Lady, the Saviour bids you take this child and nurse it for him." The low-toned music died away as the angels passed upward to their bright home; but the baby girl sleeps quietly in her new found home. We wish thee joy, young parents, in thy happiness.

This, if I have been rightly informed, is not the customary method of acquiring offspring, and for all its seeming plausibility it does not look to me to be above suspicion. I have lived many years in this world, and I never knew of an infant being brought to a party by angels, or other unauthorized agents, but it made more or less talk in the neighborhood. It may be, Miss Lucretia, that the angels consider New Haven a more eligible place to raise children in than the realms of eternal day, and are capable of deliberately transferring infants from the one locality to the other; but I shall have to get you to excuse me. I look at it differently. It would be hard to get me to believe such a thing. And I will tell you why. However, never mind. You know, yourself, that the thing does not stand to reason. Still, if you were present when the babe was brought so silently to that quiet home nest, and placed in that soft manner on the young mother's arm, and if you heard the sweet musical strains which the messengers made, and could not recognize the tune, and feel justified in believing that it and likewise the messengers them selves were of super-sublunary origin, I pass. And so I leave the question open. But I will say, and do say, that I have not read anything sweeter than that paragraph for seventy or eighty years.

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