The Story of My Life

Part II. Letters (1887–1901)

TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY


...I think I have improved a little in lip-reading, though I still find it very difficult to read rapid speech; but I am sure I shall succeed some day if I only persevere. Dr. Humason is still trying to improve my speech. Oh, Carrie, how I should like to speak like other people! I should be willing to work night and day if it could only be accomplished. Think what a joy it would be to all of my friends to hear me speak naturally!! I wonder why it is so difficult and perplexing for a deaf child to learn to speak when it is so easy for other people; but I am sure I shall speak perfectly some time if I am only patient....

Although I have been so busy, I have found time to read a good deal.... I have lately read "Wilhelm Tell" by Schiller, and "The Lost Vestal."... Now I am reading "Nathan the Wise" by Lessing and "King Arthur" by Miss Mulock.

...You know our kind teachers take us to see everything which they think will interest us, and we learn a great deal in that delightful way. On George Washington's birthday we all went to the Dog Show, and although there was a great crowd in the Madison Square Garden, and despite the bewilderment caused by the variety of sounds made by the dog-orchestra, which was very confusing to those who could hear them, we enjoyed the afternoon very much. Among the dogs which received the most attention were the bulldogs. They permitted themselves startling liberties when any one caressed them, crowding themselves almost into one's arms and helping themselves without ceremony to kisses, apparently unconscious of the impropriety of their conduct. Dear me, what unbeautiful little beasts they are! But they are so good natured and friendly, one cannot help liking them.

Dr. Humason, Teacher, and I left the others at the Dog Show and went to a reception given by the "Metropolitan Club."... It is sometimes called the "Millionaires' Club." The building is magnificent, being built of white marble; the rooms are large and splendidly furnished; but I must confess, so much splendor is rather oppressive to me; and I didn't envy the millionaires in the least all the happiness their gorgeous surroundings are supposed to bring them....

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