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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 258

              [newspaper clipping]
  A correspondent writes: A beautiful city, truly,
was destroyed on the night of the 8th on the Gulf
of Mexico.  Galveston, with its oleanders and
roses, clear skies and mild air, was an ideal home in
the winter.  There was only one other beach in the
world that could compare to it, and that a short one
in Japan.  For thirty miles it was the most per-
fect drive, and the sands being firm and smooth as
a floor, and the bathing�how can I describe its
pleasures?  You could go out in perfect security
any distance.  Most of the bathing was done at
night by the light of the moon or electricity.  The
phosphorus on the water at times was simply mag-
nificent.  How my soul longs to-night for that
beautiful gulf!  I can see the beach, with its waves,
crowned with phosphorus, and hear the laughter of
merry voices, and feel the warm waves, too; and,
best of all, see a bungalow, built on the very water�s
edge, held to the sands by pilings driven into the
quicksands for thirty feet or more.  Oh! that
home, built and arranged with its broad verandahs,
awnings, and hammocks to suit the taste of one who
could not live without beautiful and luxurious
things, and who had the taste to make so simple a
home a paradise, for it was perfect, with its dainty
coloring, and filled always with the choicest
flowers that the island produced.  Oh! the roses;
their perfume is with me now, and will be while there
is life in my body.  Even a strain of music I heard
last summer had something in it that drove me
wild in memories of Galveston.  It was only a little
thing called �Love in Idleness,� by Macbeth, but
it sent me far away to Galveston and the bungalow,
with everything that makes life sweet.  How often
I have prayed for strength to go back and have a
look at my beautiful beach the last two years and
a-half�but I could not do it alone, so I have been
killing myself while I thought I was killing the
memories.  It is too late to go now, for my Galves-
ton is gone, and I would not hear merry voices in
the water to-night, if I could reach the sands.  I
have a letter of introduction, lying by me now, to
Mason Bey, of the Khedive�s Staff, Cairo, written in
Galveston by the engineer officer who finished the
jetties for the Government.  The building of these
wonderful jetties, marvels of engineering
work, made the port of Galveston ac-
cessible to the largest vessels, and in a short time,
I believe, the commerce of the world would have
altered its course for Galveston and shortened the dis-
tance from here to the Orient very materially.  One-
half of the cotton crop of America was produced in
Texas alone, a State as large as New York State
and all the New England States combined.  The
sugar industry of Texas is enormous.  This, as will
as the cotton crop, is crippled by the hurricane;
but does it not seem cruel, with all the agony being
endured by those who are saved in Galveston (for
they are the ones to grieve for, and not the dead), to
allow ourselves to think of the commercial loss.  I 
cannot picture beautiful Galveston, with its palatial
homes, a wreck and strewn with its dead; no, I
must cling to my bright, radiant memories of
homes strewn with roses!               
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