Autobiography: Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway - Vol. 2

By Moncure Daniel Conway | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER II.

Our Homestead "Inglewood"--School--Conway House, Falmouth--Our Mulatto Hero--Falmouth and its Millionaire--Party Contests-- Family Legends--My Conway Grandparents--"Erleslie"--Methodism.

IN my second year my father purchased a large farm and homestead two miles out of Falmouth, called "Inglewood," and it is there that my remembrance begins. Through life it has remained with me as a "Lost Bower," and the only house I ever built (Bedford Park, London) bore that name. "Inglewood," Virginia, was a two-storied frame house, with a long veranda, opening on two acres of sward and flowers enclosed by an evergreen hedge. Beyond the hedge on one side was an orchard of white heath peaches, on the other many varieties of apples. In our fields grew melons, in the woods huckleberries, chinquapins, hickory nuts; and indeed I can think of no charm wanting to our little Avalon. My brother Peyton, two years my senior, and myself had the freedom of the adjacent farms--"Sherbourne," residence of a spinster cousin, Sarah Daniel; and "Glencairn," home of a beloved uncle and aunt ( Richard Moncure, whose wife was my father's sister), their many children being our constant playmates.

But before all the playmates I remember the comely coffee- coloured face of my nurse, Maria Humstead, nearly always laughing, as if I were a joke. Her affection was boundless, and her notions of discipline undeveloped. "Come, Monc, 'fess your faults," and an outbreak of laughter, were all that met my infant mischief.

My father and uncle Richard Moncure united in providing a teacher for us--Miss Elizabeth Gaskins (originally Gascoigne), a niece of grandfather Conway. To this gracious lady, who instructed me five years, I owe much. Her school was held for a time in my father's office in our garden. The earliest incident in my memory is of my father and uncle Richard visiting the

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