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dencies of himself and wife. She was stirring, aggressive, persistent, ambitious. She was sanguine, mentally strong, slow to abandon a purpose, tactful, diplomatic. He was conscious of his ability, but was the most indolent of men. He was well-nigh devoid of ambition, the little he had aspiring to nothing beyond a sufficient maintenance,- the object of all his early political activity in Kansas. He was impractical, but not visionary, and all his early efforts, successful or not, were followed by periods of inactivity, torpor, apathy. While the lessee of a newspaper in Atchison one of his diversions was the study of the specimen-books issued by type-foundries. These he would pore over by the hour, seemingly wholly engrossed with their jingling paragraphs.
It was the ambition of Mrs. Ingalls that her husband should become noted as an orator. To this one purpose she bent every circumstance. By the Republican convention at Lawrence soon after his marriage, Ingalls was offered a nomination for Representative in Congress. He refused the place at the instance of his wife. She did not believe the House held adequate opportunity for the development of his latent powers. When to others there appeared little possibility that he could ever attain the place in a state having the fierce and warring factions existing in Kansas, Mrs. Ingalls set her heart on the Senatorship for her husband and refused to consider anything else. That he attained that exalted place was due to her judgment and discretion, by which he was ever guided and controlled. He reposed perfect faith in her ability and rarely acted outside of her direction. She did not so much care for the reputation he might make as a statesman, which accounts for the absence of great effort in that direction. Her ideal was that he become the foremost orator of the Nation.
So much has been said in order to show the complete acquiescence of Ingalls to the ascendency voluntarily accorded his wife. For, as his career was political, subserviency there carried to all inferior matters. It had nothing of the nature of the compelling mastery of a superior mind, but was founded in unlimited confidence, complete devotion to his wife. She contributed othing to his intellect. The funeral of Senator
Sumner moved him to a sense of his loneliness in her absence, and he wrote:
How full of mournful tragedies, of incompleteness, of fragmentary ambitions and successes this existence is! And yet how sweet and dear it is made by love. That alone never fails to satisfy and fill the soul. Wealth satiates, and ambition ceases to allure: we weary of eating and drinking, of going up and down the earth, of looking at its mountains and seas, at the sky that arches it, of the moon and stars that shine upon it, but never of the soul that we love and that loves us, of the face that watches for us and grows brighter when we come.
You seem so precious and delightful to me, that I can hardly restrain my impatience to be with you and feel at rest.
In sending her some violets from the mass of flowers sent to the Senate Chamber for the services in honor of Senator Sumner held there, he wrote:
I woke at half past two this morning after bad dreams, feverish and restless, and longing for you and for Baby Constance, who has grown so tenderly in my heart. Much of our united lives came back to me, incidents forgotten, songs you sung to Ruth in winter midnights in the little back room up-stairs so long ago; looks, caresses ; painful, sad regrets for the injuries inflicted upon your love by my indifference and coldness and unkindness; wonder that your love had not ebbed away from me and left me stranded in misery forever; hopes that we might not either be left long upon this desolate earth to mourn the other's loss. Oh, my darling! my heart cries out for you and will not be comforted. You must never forsake me, here or hereafter. If you go before me to the undiscovered country, guard me, and wait for me. If I precede you, search for me till you find me, with entreaties and importunities that will permit no denial, but will rescue me, though ages intervene, from the profoundest abyss.
Ingalls wrote his wife full descriptions of his journeys, detailing the most minute and unimportant incidents. It gave him pleasure to be intrusted with shopping commissions, his discriminating taste enabling him to execute them to her satisfaction. An example of these traits is shown in the following letter:
Gov. Harvey met me at the depot, wanting to see me on some matters of business, and ostensibly bound to visit some friends in “Trenton, Mo.", but on my suggestion that he had better go to Washington, he said he would deliberate till we reached Kansas City, where he informed me he had concluded to go. I have no doubt he intended to go all the time, and that he started out with that purpose, but thought he would conceal it from me and make it appear like an extemporaneous hasty movement made on my suggestion. I did not attempt to undeceive him. Nothing keeps a man so well satisfied with himself as the belief that all his little games succeed without being detected by anyone. He went down on the “North Missouri”, while we continued on the Missouri Pacific, reaching St. Louis without adventure Thursday morning. Tough was with me, and after breakfast at the “Planters" we crossed the river in the early sunrise and were soon rolling over the prairies of Illinois at the rate of twenty-five miles per hour. The day was cold and cloudy with occasional showers. The season is fully as backward through the whole country as in Kansas. Many fields were unploughed, and in others the grain was yellow, sparse and starved, as though it had passed a troublesome winter. The trees had hardly budded, and the forest looked as gloomy and black as in January. Thursday night at nine we were in Cincinnati. The train did not move till 11:10, and we walked up to the new "Grand Hotel", and looked through its marble corridors. A sudden shower drove me to the depot; and as soon as the sleeper was on the track, I went to bed and slept well till we reached Parkersburg the