The Old Peabody Pew by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Old Peabody Pew, by Kate Douglas Wiggin

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Old Peabody Pew
A Christmas Romance of a Country Church

Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin

Release Date: March 22, 2005 [eBook #1902]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1907 Archibald Constable & Co. edition by David
Price, email

The Old Peabody Pew: A Christmas Romance of a Country Church


To a certain handful of dear New England women of names unknown to the
world, dwelling in a certain quiet village, alike unknown:--

We have worked together to make our little corner of the great universe a
pleasanter place in which to live, and so we know, not only one another's
names, but something of one another's joys and sorrows, cares and
burdens, economies, hopes, and anxieties.

We all remember the dusty uphill road that leads to the green church
common. We remember the white spire pointing upward against a background
of blue sky and feathery elms. We remember the sound of the bell that
falls on the Sabbath morning stillness, calling us across the
daisy-sprinkled meadows of June, the golden hayfields of July, or the
dazzling whiteness and deep snowdrifts of December days. The little
cabinet-organ that plays the doxology, the hymn-books from which we sing
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow," the sweet freshness of the old
meeting-house, within and without--how we have toiled to secure and
preserve these humble mercies for ourselves and our children!

There really _is_ a Dorcas Society, as you and I well know, and one not
unlike that in these pages; and you and I have lived through many
discouraging, laughable, and beautiful experiences while we emulated the
Bible Dorcas, that woman "full of good works and alms deeds."

There never was a Peabody Pew in the Tory Hill Meeting-House, and Nancy's
love story and Justin's never happened within its century-old walls; but
I have imagined only one of the many romances that have had their birth
under the shadow of that steeple, did we but realize it.

As you have sat there on open-windowed Sundays, looking across purple
clover-fields to blue distant mountains, watching the palm-leaf fans
swaying to and fro in the warm stillness before sermon time, did not the
place seem full of memories, for has not the life of two villages ebbed
and flowed beneath that ancient roof? You heard the hum of droning bees
and followed the airy wings of butterflies fluttering over the
gravestones in the old churchyard, and underneath almost every moss-grown
tablet some humble romance lies buried and all but forgotten.

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