5. The Merry Laugh of the Village School, November 29, 1869

Rules of Etiquette When You Write
In Chester’s letter to Friend Emma on November 29, 1869, we learn that Chester is teaching in Walton. Emma has given him rules of Etiquette when he writes to her. Are they sweethearts, even though she apparently said she had “not a particle of love” for him?

View of Halfway Brook (Eldred), looking East, 1910.
View of Halfway Brook (Eldred), looking East, 1910.

Friend Emma,
Your ever welcome letter was rec’d in due time and read with pleasure. But what to write is a query in my mind and is like to remain there at least till this letter is finished.

Then I must proceed according to the rules of Etiquette, what a task. Etiquette is something that I know nothing about. Suppose it consists in a pair of black boots, black coat, black eyes, black hair (curled a little) waterfalls—Grecian? bends, and telling a person that you have not a particle of love for him in your heart.

Emma's cousin Addie Austin with long curls. Are these Grecian curls?
Emma’s cousin Addie Austin with long curls. Are these Grecian curls?

While I own my weakness on this point,
I cannot refrain from reminding you of a higher law and not of man, which says love all even your enemies bless them that curse you and do good to those who despitefully use you.

Etiquette is something that I do not understand. I suppose it is classed with the fine arts and dandies and of course is invisible to those who spend their lives in making afternoon calls and attending sewing societies, etc.

As he often does, Chester lapses into a description of the time of year.

Again the earth is mantled o’er in snow, and the cold wind of the north tells us that winter is near. The foliage of summer is gone, the last leaf fluttered in the wind and has fallen to the ground.

Chester Remembers November 29, 1868
I well remember where I was one year ago today also those eyes that saw me for the first (while at church) and hearing the oft repeated question “is that our teacher?” The scenery of Lumberland is ever fresh in my mind and the merry laugh of the village school I can never forget.

But I must close for fear of breaking the rules of Etiquette.

But where are you teaching? Where is Billy Barker nowadays? Where is Hina also? What is she doing? Give all the news.

At present I am teaching in Walton. I have a pleasant school and would like you to write compositions for me.

That picture I will send the first opportunity. Write soon. Good bye.

Yours with much love, Chester Beers

Previous Posts
1. Is that the New Teacher?
2. The Math Tutor
3. Chester Beers to Friend Emma, Correspondence Continues
4. What is the News? October 29, 1869

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