Letter from Hattie to Em, April 1, 1886

noyes_c_cor_385.pdf

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from Hattie to Em, April 1, 1886

Subject

Drowning; Letter writing; Rivers

Description

Harriet writes to Emily about how she's having a hard time getting letters written, and a tea party she went to at Mrs. White's. She then tells the story of how she fell into the river recently and Mr. Wisner saved her from drowning until they were rescued by a boat. She expresses continued gratitude for Mr. Wisner's help and describes him both as fat, young, strong, tall, and handsome.

Creator

Noyes, Harriet Newell

Source

The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection, Box #3

Publisher

Unpublished

Date

1886-04-01

Contributor

Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant

Format

PDF

Language

eng (English)

Type

Text

Identifier

noyes_c_cor_385

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Canton China
My dear Em, April 1st 1886
I am getting worse
and worse about writing letters.
I am afraid if I do not
go home pretty soon I will
give up writing altogether.
Before I forget to do so I
think I must tell you in
detail about my falling into
the river on the 26th day of
Last February. As you may
suppose we were on our way
home from a [u] tea [/u] [u] party [/u] at
Mrs White's. It was a very
dark rainy evening so that
we hardly liked to go out on
the river but we knew Mrs White
had been trying to arrange to
have us come for some time
and we feared that she
would be disappointed if
none of us went. Miss Butler
did not go as she had sick
headache. We had a very

pleasant evening. Only the
Consul and Mr Wisner
were there beside ourselves.
When we started to come
home Mr Wisner came
with us to the boat I was
walking before and he and
Martha following. He had
just cautioned me about
going too near the edge. We
were walking towards the
canal on one of the cross streets.
I thought I saw the edge
about five or six feet before me
and was just about turning
when to my astonishment
I stepped off and found myself
in the water. It was so sudden
and unexpected that I hardly
realized that I was falling
until I felt the chill of the
water. My clothing supported
me so that I did not at once
go under the water. I felt
that it would be of no use to

make any attempt to do
anything for myself and I
knew if Mr Wisner could
not rescue me that I should
probably drown. I called
out Oh! Mr Wisner but not
loud enough for him to
hear, but he did not wait to
be called but instantly sprang
into the water and caught
me without difficulty.
The water was over my head
I suppose but he is so much
[?fatter?] and he did not go
as far out into the canal
as I did but only far enough
to reach me I asked him
at once if he could touch the
bottom and he said he could
so I knew there would be no
danger but that he could easily
save me, but you may imagine
that it was rather chilly for
us both. He drew me back
towards the wall at the side

of the canal and there I too
could stand on the bottom
so we wailed for a boat to
come to the rescue. Our own
boat was at the steps a little
farther down and Martha tried
to hurry them up and we
called to the boats across
the river. A large boat that
was anchored just across the
canal after what seemed rather
a long time poled over to us.
Two of the men took hold of my
hands and pulled me up
some distance and then I
think they were rather astonished
at my length and halted.
But Mr Wisner put his hand
under my foot and seemed
to push me up easily. I
felt as though my clothing
weighed about a thousand
pounds and I sank down
in a heap in the boat I
do not think I could possibly

have raised my foot to step
into the boat. I had so
many clothes on it was such
a cold evening. As soon as I
was safely on the boat they
helped Mr Wisner up and
were still were more surprised at
his height. He is as tall as
Edward the tallest missionary
we have here in Canton.
When he got on he helped
me up on my feet and
then our own boat came
up and we transferred
ourselves to that. While we
were waiting for the boat
Mr Wisner suggested that
we should go across the
canal, but I was sure the
water was over my head
and I felt much safer to
stand on the ground
Although I would not have
been afraid that he could

not take me across.
We went back to Mrs White
and then Mr Wisner went
to his own home not far
away I changed my
garments for some
dry ones which Mrs White gave
me and then we again
started for home with
better success. I felt afraid
Mr Wisner would take cold
as the boatman said he
seemed to be very chilly when
crossing the river on his way
home. But to my great
relief I found the next
day that he was all right.
I had on my best
gown cashmere and satin
and thought very likely
it would be ruined but after
being thoroughly dried it
is as good as ever.
My watch however took the

matter so much to heart
that it would not run at all
until after it was cleaned.
The water run into it but I
dried it carefully. Mr Wisner
got wet but it did not seem
to hurt it any. I have
often thought and said
that if I should ever fall
into the river I would expect
to drown and I am sure
that I should if Mr Wisner
had not been at hand,
so I feel that I am
indebted to him for the
rest of my life. If it had
been Dr Graves and Dr Kerr
with me I do not believe
they could have helped
me out, and it would
have made them sick
very likely if they had
tried the Consul said

he did not think he could.
So I was very thankful that
my preserver happened to be
Mr Wisner who is young,
and strong, and tall,
and [u] handsome [/u]. It was
very good of him to plunge in
instantly as he did for he did
not know how deep the water was.
The tide was in at the time.
When I first realized that I was in
the water I felt that my [u] only [/u] chance
of being saved was if he could do it,
& instantly almost I heard him
plunge in and then I felt sure
that he would rescue me.
I seemed at the time to feel resigned
to whatever fate was in store for
me but after I was safely out and
began to think of the world going on
without me and missing my visit
home &c. &c. I concluded that I
was very glad to live a little longer
and very grateful to Mr
Wisner . I think the experience
will help me to prize my life
more. Now I have made a long
story, but hope you will have found it
interesting.

[Continued vertically on the last page]
With love ever Your aff Hattie



中国广州
我亲爱的 Em,
1886 年 4 月 1 日 我写信越来越差了。
我怕如果我不尽快回家,
我会完全放弃写作。
在我忘记这样做之前,
我想我必须详细告诉你我去年二月二十六日掉进河里的事。
正如你可能认为的那样,
我们正在从怀特夫人的茶话会回家的路上。
那是一个非常黑暗的雨夜,
所以我们几乎不喜欢在河上出去,
但我们知道怀特夫人一直试图安排我们来一段时间,
我们担心如果我们都不去,
她会感到失望。
巴特勒小姐因为头痛而没有去。
我们度过了一个非常愉快的夜晚。
只有领事和威斯纳先生在我们旁边。
当我们开始回家时,
威斯纳先生和我们一起来到我之前走的船,
他和玛莎跟在后面。
他刚刚警告我不要太靠近边缘。
我们在其中一条十字路口走向运河。
我以为我看到了前方五六英尺的边缘,
正要转身时,
我惊讶地走了下来,
发现自己在水中。
它来得如此突然和出乎意料,
直到我感觉到水的冰凉,
我才意识到自己正在坠落。
我的衣服支撑着我,
所以我没有立即下水。
我觉得试图为自己做任何事情都没有用,
我知道如果维斯纳先生不能救我,
我可能会淹死。
我叫了一声哦!威斯纳先生,
但声音不足以让他听到,
但他没有等待被叫,
而是立即跳入水中,
毫不费力地抓住了我。
我想水在我头顶,
但他胖了很多,
他没有像我那样深入运河,
但只够够到我,
我马上问他是否可以触及底部,
他说他所以我知道不会有危险,
但他可以轻松地救我,
但你可以想象,
这对我们俩来说都是相当寒冷的。
他把我拉回运河边的墙上,
我也可以站在水底,
所以我们哭着要一艘船来救援。
我们自己的船在更远一点的台阶上,
玛莎试图让他们快点,
我们叫了对岸的船。
一艘大船停泊在运河对岸,
似乎过了很长时间才停泊在我们面前。
其中两个男人抓住我的手,
把我拉了一段距离,
然后我想他们对我的长度感到很惊讶,
停了下来。
但威斯纳先生把手放在我的脚下,
似乎很容易把我推了起来。
我觉得我的衣服好像重达一千磅,
我像一堆堆一样沉在船上,
我想我不可能抬起脚踏进船里。
这么冷的晚上,
我穿了这么多衣服。
我一安全上船,
他们就帮 Wisner 先生站了起来,
但对他的身高仍然感到更加惊讶。
他和我们在广州最高的传教士爱德华一样高。
当他上船时,
他帮助我站起来,
然后我们自己的船过来了,
我们把自己转移到了那里。
我们在等船的时候,
威斯纳先生建议我们应该过运河,
但我确信水已经过头了,
我觉得站在地上更安全虽然我不会害怕他不能带走我对面。
我们回到怀特夫人那里,
然后威斯纳先生去了不远的他自己的家。
我把衣服换成了怀特夫人给我的一些干衣服,
然后我们又开始回家了,
取得了更大的成功。
我担心威斯纳先生会着凉,
因为船夫说他在回家的路上过河时似乎很冷。
但是第二天我发现他没事。
我穿着我最好的羊绒和缎子长袍,
以为它很可能会被毁掉,
但在彻底干燥后,
它和以前一样好。
然而,
我的手表把这件事放在心上,
以至于在它被清洁之前它根本不会运行。
水进去了,
但我小心地把它擦干。
威斯纳先生被淋湿了,
但似乎并没有造成任何伤害。
我经常想并说,
如果我掉进河里,
我可能会淹死,
如果 Wisner 先生不在身边,
我肯定会淹死,
所以我觉得我在余下的时间里都亏欠他。
生活。
如果是格雷夫斯医生和克尔医生和我在一起,
我不相信他们能帮助我,
如果他们尝试过的话,
他们很可能会生病,
领事说他认为他不能。
所以我非常感谢我的保护者恰好是年轻、强壮、高大、英俊的维斯纳先生。
他不知道水有多深,
能像他那样立即跳入水中,
真是太好了。
潮水在当时。
当我第一次意识到我在水里时,
我觉得我唯一的得救机会就是他能做到,
而且我立刻几乎听到他跳入水中的声音,
然后我确信他会救我。
我当时似乎觉得听天由命命运就在我身上,
但在我安全离开后,
我开始思考没有我的世界还在继续,
想念我的回家之旅等。
我得出结论,
我很高兴能活得久一点,
非常感谢威斯纳先生。
我认为这次经历将帮助我更加珍惜我的生活。
现在我做了一个很长的故事,
但希望你会觉得它很有趣。
[最后一页垂直续]
永远的爱,
海蒂

Original Format

Letter

Citation

Noyes, Harriet Newell, “Letter from Hattie to Em, April 1, 1886,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed July 13, 2024, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/443.

Output Formats