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2018年05月15日
I further remarked


Our conversation drifted along as to my personal comforts until I told her that I had heard 14 that I was to be called upon to deliver a written account of my recollections of the past, especially in reference to the Negro question.

“I suppose Dr. Newell is at the bottom of that,” she remarked, “he is so intensely interested in the Negro question that he would be the first one to make the suggestion. I really believe that he refused to allow you to be taken to the City Hospital when you were found on his lawn because he almost divined that you might have a message from another age for him on that subject. The city authorities yielded to his wishes and assigned me to assist in caring for you at his residence, instead of at the hospital.

“I found very little to do, however, but would like to recall to you the beneficial effects of the violet room, which I see had the desired results. It always does, and many people who can afford it, especially physicians, are now installing these rooms in their houses for the benefit of neurotic patients, on whom the violet rays of electricity, coupled with neurium, a newly discovered chemical preparation, similar to radium, has a most remarkable effect.”

I remarked that I had taken no medicine and really felt better than ever in either of my lives. 15 “Well,” said she, laughing, “I trust you may be able to recall all about the past and give a most excellent account of it in your paper for the Bureau of Public Utility—and don’t fail to send me a copy!”

“Are you at all interested in the question,” I asked.

“All Southerners are interested in that question. I am a teacher in a Sunday School for Negro children and a member of a Young Ladies’ Guild which was organized expressly for reaching Negro children that may need help. We visit the families and talk with the parents, impress on them ideas of economy, direct them in caring for the sick, and instruct them in the most scientific methods of sanitation. I am really fond of these people and the happiest moments of my life are spent with them—they are of a different temperament from us, so mild and good natured,—so complacent and happy in their religious worship and their music is simply enchanting!—Don’t you like to hear them sing, Mr. Twitchell?”

I remarked that I was very fond of their singing, and that I had been delighted with a visit I had recently made to the Dvorak Conservatory, 16 where the Negro’s musical talent seemed to have been miraculously developed.

, to myself, “How congenial in tastes and sympathy we seem to be, and how beautiful you are!” She moved me strangely as she stood there with her black hair, rosy cheeks, large good-natured black eyes, her Venus-like poise of neck and shoulders, and a mouth neither large nor small but full of expression, and showing a wealth of pearls when she laughed—and all this coupled with such noble aspirations, and such deep womanly sympathy.

I said to her, “Miss Davis, I am certainly glad to learn that our sentiments on the Negro question coincide so thoroughly and if any encouragement were needed, I should certainly feel like offering it, as a stimulus in your efforts.”

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