Society at Amherst - Folder 2 - page 12

Search form




violations of the then-strictly-observed Puritan Sabbath. What force and genius
must there be in another sermon of his from the text -- "Whoso drinketh of the water that I
shall give him, shall never thirst" -- that it has lingered with a compelling power
in the mind and soul of one past the prescribed physical boundary, -- whose life too has
been rich and diverting, crowded with associations of European color? This same nature of Professor Tyler's yielded, as years went by, to human timid-
ity and modified distrust of some of the old finalities, for he told me once, in
an informal call of sympathy -- "When I find myself getting dusky in doubt and de-
pression I get to work to help somebody".

Even in those far off days stolen pleasures were sweet. Emily Fowler, whose over-
flowing nature was ever diffusing itself, used to bid us to her home, (now the Psi)
Upsilon house) for an evening of imptromptu [sic] dancing. If our floundering attempts
to get through a plain quadrille and Virginia Reel, to the sharp voice of a super-
annuated piano, could be called dancing. It was great fun and seemed real, -- beside
it was contraband. The lines of right and wrong, how queerly they ran and do run,
and perhaps always will! Just across the river good people danced and played
cards, and loved God and tried to obey his will, innocent as children of any
wrong in their soul's service, or violation of the humanities. While this side
that same river, such harmless recreations were as wicked as idols or juggernaut!
For secrecy's sake, these occasions were always alluded to between times as
"P.O.M. Meetings." Poetry of Motion, to be sure!

Once only were we invited to surreptitiously gather at the home of a dignified
pair who were to be away for the night, and would therefore remain in blest ig-
norance of this departure, on the part of their young people, from the stern & fossil moral code
of those days. All went merry as a marriage bell. We danced late, with some-
thing not unlike abandon. But trifles light as air are time-proven betrayers: --
attest, the slight scarlet thread of Jezabel, Newton's apple, Fulton's tea kettle!