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  • "I have acted the fool to perfection"
  • "I have acted the fool to perfection"
  • "I have acted the fool to perfection"
In this letter dated February 18, 1860, Mary Adams described her visit to the family of her friend Callie Anthony and her embarrassment at not having acted in a dignified manner.
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My Dear Callie

"I have acted the fool to perfection"

Mary S. Adams to Callie Anthony, February 18, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My friend Mary Adams wrote me while I was at school at Hollins after having visited my parents at our house, Walnut Hill. I'm so sad I missed her visit. Mary was embarrassed by her behavior, but I imagine I would have been just as silly as she was! I'm glad she got to travel around a bit and visit my brother Ben and his family too. I hope that I will get to see her when I'm at home next time.

Mary S. Adams to Callie Anthony, February 18, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Oak-Grove Feb 18th, 60
Having just returned from Walnut Hill I flatter myself that a line from me will be read with pleasure by Miss Callie. So you hear from the dear ones it is of little importance through what channel the information reaches you. In a general way my stock of vanity is large enough to make me believe that my name at the bottom of a sheet will enable those to whom I write to read with patience (if not pleasure) my thoughts but on this occasion I am stript of every thing that is calculated to produce other feelings than those of the deepest humility. Do you enquire what has wrought these feelings? How much ashamed I am to answer, bad behavior.
Mr. Mathews preached at Shilo last Sunday evening, from there Shack and Moosy and I went to your Father's, or better expressed, they went and carried me as their jester. For most assuredly I have filled that place all the week. Seriously Callie I have acted the fool to perfection, I write this that you may not be too much astonished when you are told of the many absurd things I said and did during our stay. We spent Sunday night and until Tuesday with your parents. I have never been there before when you were from home and but for my unbounded stock of fun and foolery we would have missed you wofully. but I did not give them time to think seriously of any thing. Nor have I ever seen your place look so lovely. I stood in the back porch and gazed Oh! how admiringly on all I saw, save the slope ammediately back of the yard. I planed a beautiful garden there, all covered with grass and flowers, near the center was a vine-clad bower in which Callie and her favourite Lover is to spend most of their evenings
How blessed you are in such parents, such a beautiful home, and all and every thing. God grant you appreciation of his rich gifts. From your home we went to Dr. Hewett where at the time we spent a delightful day. from there we went to Mr. Edmond Earley's: then and there I tryed my-self, Oh! how much ashamed of my self I am, for an old woman to behave so much like a child of 14 summers. We went to see Amelia in the evening Wednesday; she returned to Mr. Earley's with us Thursday. we went back to Walnut-Hill and on to your brother's and spent the day. we had a delightful day there, for I was so unwell that I did not do or say much to regret. then back by Col Goodman's and to Col Arnold's at night, then to Mr Merratt's and so on here last evening. We found and left all well exceptions at your brother's. Charley and your sister were complaining. To say that I have spent a delightful week is nothing but truth if I could blot from my memory all that I said and did unbecoming one of my advanced years. Well I am through with this visit, What else shall I say? I can not hope to interest you, so perhaps I will do well to close. Will you let me hear from you, or is the correspondence to end here. I hope to see you while you are at home Mr. Blinco (one of your brothers friends) preaches for us this year, I hope you will come with cousin Ben to hear him, and then you will go with me home.
Yours fondly