The velvet cloak had come to grief. Somebody had put 충주오피 the handsome books President Pierce had given me into this box, for special safe-keeping; and all these years the cloak had cushioned the books so that they made no inroads upon the other articles, and had given up its own life in their protection. Not an inch of the garment was ever fit for use. It was generously printed all over with the large cords and tassels of its own trimming.

These were my materials. I must make them serve for the support of my family.

I ripped all the lace from the evening gowns, and made it into collars and undersleeves. John found an extinct dry-goods store where clean paper boxes could be had.

My first instalment of lace collars was sent to Price's store in Richmond and promptly sold. Mr. Price wrote me that all of my articles would find purchasers. There were ladies in Richmond who could afford to buy, and the Confederate court offered opportunities for display.

Admiral Porter records the capture of a blockade-runner whose valuable goods included many commissions for "ladies at court. In the cabin of the vessel," says the admiral, "was a pile of bandboxes in which were charming little bonnets marked with the owners' names. It would have given me much pleasure to have forwarded them to their destination" (the admiral had ever a weakness for Southern ladies) "but the laws forbade our giving aid and comfort to the enemy, so all the French bonnets, cloaks, shoes, and other feminine bric-à-brac 314 had to go to New York for condemnation by the Admiralty Court, and were sold at public auction.

"These bonnets, laces, and other vanities rather clashed with the idea I had formed of the Southern ladies, as I heard that all they owned went to the hospitals, and that they never spent a cent on their personal adornment; but human nature," sagely opines the admiral, "is the same the world over, and ladies will indulge in their little vanities in spite of war and desolation."[20] To these vanities I now found myself indebted.

The zeal with which I worked knew no pause. I needed no rest. General Wilcox, who was in the saddle until a late hour every night, said to me, "Your candle is the last light I see at night—the first in the morning."

"I should never sleep," I told him.

One day I consulted Eliza about the manufacture of a 경산오피 Confederate candle. We knew how to make it—by drawing a cotton rope many times through melted wax, and then winding it around a bottle. We could get wax, but our position was an exposed one. Soldiers' tents were close around us, and we scrupulously avoided any revelation of our needs, lest they should deny themselves for our sakes. Eliza thought we might avail ourselves of the absence of the officers, and finish our work before they returned. We made our candle; but that night, as I sat sewing beside its dim, glow-worm light, I heard a step in the hall, and a hand, hastily thrust out, placed a brown paper parcel on the 315 piano near the door. It was a soldier's ration of candles!

After I had converted all my laces into collars, cuffs, and sleeves, and had sold my silk gowns, opera cloak, and point lace handkerchiefs, I devoted myself to trimming the edges of the artificial flowers, and separating the long wreaths and garlands into clusters for hats and bouquets de corsage.

Eliza and the children delighted in this phase of my work, and begged to assist,—all except Aunt Jinny.

"Honey," she said, "don't you think, in these times of trouble, you 경주오피 might do better than tempt them po' young lambs in Richmond to worship the golden calf and bow down to mammon? We prays not to be led into temptation, and you sho'ly is leadin' 'em into vanity."

"Maybe so, Aunt Jinny, but I must sell all I can. We have to be clothed, you know, war or no war."

"Yes, my chile, that's so; but we're told to consider the lilies. Gawd Almighty tells us we must clothe ourselves in the garment of righteousness, and He—"

"You always 'pear to be mighty intimate with God A'mighty," interrupted Eliza, in great wrath. "Now you just go 'long home an' leave my mistis to her work. How would you look with nothin' on but a garment of righteousness?"

When I had stripped the pretty muslin gowns of their trimmings, what could be done with the gowns themselves? Finally I resolved to embroider them 316 with the blue zephyr. I rolled the edges of the flounces, and edged them delicately with a spiral line of blue. I traced with blue a dainty vine of forget-me-nots on bodice and sleeves, with a result that was simply ravishing!

My first purchase was a barrel of flour, for which I paid thirteen hundred dollars. John made hot biscuits three times a day thereafter. As the winter wore on, and the starvation became stern in the army, a soldier would occasionally bring to the kitchen his ration of a small square of beef to be cooked, or eight grains of coffee to trade with John for a few biscuits. I sternly forbade the trade, and ordered John to grind the coffee in the owner's presence, mix it with our toasted corn, and give him the biscuits, with a good, strengthening drink. Often a brown hand would place a tiny bundle on the piano, as the donor passed through the hall, and my heart would ache to find it contained a soldier's ration of coffee. My dear father had friends among his old parishioners who never allowed him to do without his coffee—a necessity for a man who never, under any circumstances, fortified his strength with ardent spirits. He was almost fanatical on the total abstinence subject.

Of course I could not command shoes for my boys. I made them of carpet lined with flannel for my baby. I could in one day make a pair which she wore out in three! A piece of bronze morocco fell into my hands, of which I made a pair of boots for my little daughter, Mary, and out of an old leather pocket-book and two or three leather bags which Alick found in his prowling over the fields, a 317 soldier-shoemaker contrived shoes for each of the boys.