THE SUN SETS ON DUBLIN LAKE, illuminating the eastern shore. The boathouse is now quiet, just the lapping of the water can be heard, the buzzing of mosquitoes, and the occasional sound of the loon.
It is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last day in Dublin. Down in the village, Hiram Carey, livery stable man, has had a prosperous three weeks. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave him a hundred dollar bill for the many horse and buggy teams he rented during his stay.
Elize Cabot carefully stores the photographic plate she took today of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Persians on the Parsons’ lawn. The Reverend Josiah Seward’s church is now quiet; it was packed to the rafters to hear ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speak last Sunday.
This afternoon Agnes hosted the musical interlude for Miss Stickney, before ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talk. It rained, and few came to hear Mr. Whitney’s concert, but by the time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rose to speak the Parsons’ home was full to bursting. He stood next to the piano this time, not in the bay window as he usually did. “I have answered every question for you, delivered to you the message of God”, he said. “Expounded the mysteries of the Divine Books for you, proved the immortality of the spirit, and the oneness of truth and expounded for you economic questions and divine teachings.”
The Thayer family will light their lamps to make their way to the huts to sleep. George de Forest Brush will settle himself beside the fire ready for an evening chat, and Amy Lowell may find her pen and scribble a new idea as she settles down to write.
Charles MacVeagh remembers ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sitting in the garden this morning, having lemonade, under their old maple tree. Charles will be appointed US Ambassador to Japan in 1925. When he is offered a pamphlet by a visiting American Bahá’í teacher, he will tell her about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to his house in Dublin. She will be invited to meet his wife and have tea.
Agnes and some friends, and all the Persians have been at the Pumpelly’s home, called “On the Heights,” having dinner and telling stories. “Now let me tell you an Arabian story,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says, “It isn’t going to be a sermon.”
“This he did, to the accompaniment of peals of laughter, repeated again and again,” Agnes Parsons writes. “Needless to say ‘Abdu’l-Bahá brought out every subtle point in the brilliant story, and the mental picture of this beautiful Oriental telling the story with all the enthusiasm of the storytellers of old, is one never to be forgotten.”
Soon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rises; the Cabot children cling to him as he leaves. They do not let go until he is in the motor. On the way home Agnes thanks him for making the evening so special. He looks at her and asks, “Now are you all pleased with me?”
* Thanks again to Fraser Whitbread, a Calgary-born naturalist, botanist, photographer, now transplanted to New Hampshire, for permission to use his beautiful image of the sunset over Mount Monadnock. We used another one of his photographs on our first day in Dublin. You can see more of Fraser’s astounding work here or read his Flickr profile.