Wat vooraf ging]
Sunday morning 19 August 1860
‘Hearing mention of an Episcopal meeting at six o’clock in the evening I decided to attend it. After having finished a letter I went to Sunday School and finally to the girl’s, taking her a music book. I talked with her for an hour or two, and she entertained me wonderfully - when I returned and got something to eat, I went to church.
Mr Douglas, the minister, after having gone through all the ceremonies which belong to this church (which were, incidentally, very interesting to me), preached a very practical and profound sermon. The girl was there, and as I passed her on the stairs which lead to the gallery I saw her standing on the steps. It was a very awkward manoeuver to approach her and ask for her company to another service.
But I accomplished it casually, and she could not refuse. We went at once to another church, chatting and enjoying ourselves marvellously. She fascinated me. I remembered my previous love. What a charming girl. If I could once more press my lips on hers and draw from them my soul’s satisfaction! We returned in the evening talking all the time but more gravely than before. We arrived at the door, I entered with her, she lit a lamp and we sat down together talking, but I could not keep myself from feasting my eyes ardently and with intensity on the object of beauty and attraction at my side. Girl, I thought, if you were true to me what a happy man I should be! I took the hand which I loved, and looked at it. We spoke little more from that moment, while I looked steadily at her face and was conquered.
I could no longer keep my place. Leaning forward I received her sweet and tender form in my arms and in an instant her face was covered with kisses. What a sublime scene! Who could have words to express my emotions?
And there we bathed ourselves in the passion of love until the crowing of cocks announced it was day.’
Lester F. Ward (1841–1913) was an Amerikaanse plantkundige, paleontoloog en socioloog. Meer over hem en zijn dagboek bij The Diary Junction.