June 6.WENT over to the religious services (Episcopal) main Insane asylum, held in a lofty, good-sized hall, third story. Plain boards, whitewash, plenty of cheap chairs, no ornament or color, yet all scrupulously clean and sweet. Some three hundred persons present, mostly patients. Everything, the prayers, a short sermon, the firm, orotund voice of the minister, and most of all, beyond any portraying or suggesting, that audience, deeply impressd me. I was furnishd with an arm-chair near the pulpit, and sat facing the motley, yet perfectly well-behaved and orderly congregation. The quaint dresses and bonnets of some of the women, several very old and gray, here and there like the heads in old pictures. O the looks that came from those faces! There were two or three I shall probably never forget. Nothing at all markedly repulsive or hideousstrange enough I did not see one such. Our common humanity, mine and yours, everywhere:
The same old bloodthe same red, running blood;
yet behind most, an inferrd arriere of such storms, such wrecks, such mysteries, fires, love, wrong, greed for wealth, religious problems, crossesmirrord from those crazed faces (yet now temporarily so calm, like still waters,) all the woes and sad happenings of life and deathnow from every one the devotional element radiatingwas it not, indeed, the peace of God that passeth all understanding, strange as it may sound? I can only say that I took long and searching eye-sweeps as I sat there, and it seemd so, rousing unprecedented thoughts, problems unanswerable. A very fair choir, and melodeon accompaniment. They sang Lead, kindly light, after the sermon. Many joind in the beautiful hymn, to which the minister read the introductory text, In the daytime also He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. Then the words:
A couple of days after, I went to the Refractory building, under special charge of Dr. Beemer, and through the wards pretty thoroughly, both the mens and womens. I have since made many other visits of the kind through the asylum, and around among the detachd cottages. As far as I could see, this is among the most advanced, perfected, and kindly and rationally carried on, of all its kind in America. It is a town in itself, with many buildings and a thousand inhabitants.