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-Baha’s last day in Dublin. Down in the village, Hiram Carey, livery stable man, has had a prosperous three weeks. Abdu’l-Baha 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-Baha 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-Baha speak last Sunday.
This afternoon Agnes hosted the musical interlude for Miss Stickney, before Abdu’l-Baha’s talk. It rained, and few came to hear Mr. Whitney’s concert, but by the time Abdu’l-Baha 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-Baha 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 Baha’i teacher, he will tell her about Abdu’l-Baha’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-Baha 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-Baha 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-Baha 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?”
Read the next 239 Days in America article: Five Hundred Welcome Abdu’l-Baha at Green Acre
Read the previous 239 Days in America article: Listening to Abdu’l-Baha at the Unitarian Church
This article was originally published on August 15, 2012 at 239Days.com, a social media documentary following Abdu’l-Baha’s 1912 journey through North America. © Morella Menon, 2012. This article may not be republished without prior written permission. Contact info@239Days.com.