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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - Bravery Of Mrs. Garfield
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Peck's Sunshine - Bravery Of Mrs. Garfield Post by :Javier Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :1047

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Peck's Sunshine - Bravery Of Mrs. Garfield

The newspaper correspondents about the White House, echoing the remarks made by the doctors, are continually talking of Mrs. Garfield's bravery, and we frequently see the statement made that she is "the bravest woman in the world," and all that. While expressing great admiration for the gifted lady, in the trying ordeal through which she has passed, and admitting that she is brave as an American woman ought to be, and that by her conduct she greatly braced up her beloved husband when his liver was knocked around into the small of his back by the assassin's bullet, and he didn't know whether he was going to live till morning, we must say that Mrs. Garfield is no braver than thousands of other good women.

She simply took the chances on his dying, as thousands of other wives do every day, and for his good she put on the best face possible, and kept her tears back. But how many obscure women have done the same thing, as they sat by the side of their dying husbands, and made the patient believe that he was getting better, and smiled while their hearts were breaking? Was Mrs. Garfield braver than the sister of charity, God bless her, who goes from the North to nurse total strangers in a stricken southern city, when she knows that within a week the deadly fever will kill her?

Compare the President's wife for a moment with the wife of a drunken husband, who points a revolver at her heart, and his nervous finger on the trigger, while he announces that he will kill her. The wife looks him in the eye and says, "Kill me, John, but kiss me first," and the drunken brute breaks down and cries, and she takes the revolver from him, puts him to bed, soaks his feet and brings him a good supper. That is bravery.

Think of a frail little woman whose life has been one bed of thorns, and whose happy hours have been so few that if an hour seems to open to her with happiness she dare not enjoy it for fear there is a mistake, and it is not hers to enjoy. In the wreck of her life's ambitions and hopes she has saved only a dear little girl and her heart is so bound up in her that it ceases to beat when she thinks that God may forget that the little one is all she has, and call her home.

One day the little one comes home with fever, takes to her bed, and for weeks is just on the line between earth and heaven. The little mother, hardly able to be upon her feet, believes as firmly as she believes that she lives, that her darling will die, and that two hearts will be buried in the coffin, and yet she watches beside her night and day with smiles on her face, sings to her as though her heart were filled with happiness, and occasionally gives expression to a jolly laugh, just to brace up her little darling, and make her believe there is no danger, and when the doctor says "she will live," the brave little mother goes to her room and cries for the first time, and faints away.

Ah, gentlemen correspondents, you do well to speak of the bravery of the President's wife, but you know that these incidents we have related, and incidents you have seen in your own experiences, show as great, if not greater bravery and heroism than that of the first woman of the land. O, the country is full of women who are braver than the bravest man that ever walked.

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