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The Jewish South. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1893-1899, June 02, 1899, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn94051168/1899-06-02/ed-1/seq-3/

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BY JENNIE C. SPIVAK.
T was a gloomy afternoon. The December sun
, was hidden under a thick cover of black clouds,
and a heavy rain was monotonously beating against
the window-pane. My desk presented afair example
of chaos; books lay open, in which I had searched in
vain for enlightenment on my eclampia case. The
fireplace, with its flickering embers, was the only
thing that spread a warm cheerfulness in the room.
Dizzy from loss of sleep, and exhausted from anxiety.
I yielded to the desire of stretching my weary bones
on the couch near the hearth. I closed my eyes and
began to merge into a doze, but the woman with her
I pupils and distorted face like an evil shadow
vering near me.
his semi-conscious sleep I became suddenly
of some one knocking at my door. "Is she
1 yelled, and jumped up. But Mr. Dubinsky,
s everlasting suspicious grin and melancholy
lance, was eyeing me from head to foot. I re
to my sofa, for I know Dubinsky will come in
t an invitation, and it will take him some
efore he makes up his mind to say what
t him to me. I was lying on my couch, star
:he ceiling and gaping for at least a quarter of
r, while my guest, with his hat on, sat still
statue. All at once he stirred, cleaied his
i and said slowly, as if he coined each word he
: "Could you let me have ten dollars for an
ite time?" I at once handed him the sum he
d, for I know well when Dubinsky asks for
he is sorely in need of it. He took the money,
his hat low on his forehead, and, mumbling a
-bye" between his teeth, wanted to go. "You
go now; wait until the rain is over," said I.
ho is wet fears not the rain," he answered, in
Russian proverb. In order to detain him I
'How many of you Russian fellows are to
ite from old Jeff this year?" "Five," said Dv
, with a grin,
id how do they manage to bear the college ex
?" I put in again to keep up the conversation,
tsha and Alexis work in Foster's shirt factory,
a is a cigar-maker, Susha is a druggist, and
ertni is paying his way through college from
dges to which he belongs." "Bezsmertni —"
ered myself of the horrid name —"is not the fcl
ho looks as if he walked around to save funeral
>es?" But Dubinsky did not seem to notice my
tnd continued:
have a lot to make up in my studies, and my
, ill of late, so I gave up my work entirely."
don't see how you poor devils manage to study
ork for a living at the same time. It must be
ard," said I, with a yawn,
ard! I should think," said he, with another
THE JEWISH SOUTH.
fearful grin; and giving his hat a severe pull, said :
"I must go," and left the room.
Dubinsky's wife was a Russian midwife. She had
learned of medicine just enough to create in her a
great love for that science, and she longed to become
a physician. This was ten years ago, while she yet
lived in Russia. At the time when her ambition was
at its height the Medical Institute for Women at St.
Petersburg was closed. Her income from assisting
the young into this world did not allow her to go to
France or Switzerland, and she had to give up the
idea of studying medicine for a time at least. At
that time she met Dubinsky and fell in love with him.
They soon married, and it was understood between
them that she was to take up the study of medicine
as soon as their means would permit. After two
years of married life she began to fear that her fond
est dream would never be realized.
One day she received a letter from a school-mate
who migrated to the United States, in which her
friend gave a glowing description of the country and
the facilities offered there for a higher education, and
also informed her that she had graduated from a
medical college. Her hope was rekindled. She com
menced to urge Dubinsky to leave Russia. Dubinsky
loved her dearly, and her will was law to him. They
soon sailed for the land of the free. Since they came
to America, which was eight years ago, they had
suffered much. Two girls were born to them. Not
withstanding their wretched condition, the idea of
studying medicine had still remained the beacon light
of her distant haven. However, the difficulties be
came more numerous and less surmountable as time
went on, and the realization of her idea receded into
the infinite. She grew sad and dispirited. One day,
while she was brooding over her vanished ideals, a
thought settled in her mind which brought the glow
of her old enthusiasm back to her pale cheeks. "I
cannot study medicine myself. Why should not Du
binsky take it up in my stead ? He is able and ener
getic. I shall realize my dream through him. A day
may come when I, at his side, will also embrace the
beloved science."
Dubinsky was then 33 years old, and to become a
schoolboy at such an age and under such material
disadvantages, was not an easy thing to do. But
love made the course seem smooth, and he was soon
as enthusiastic about the matter as herself. All ob
stacles were overcome at last, and he matriculated.
What joy she experienced in watching Dubinsky
every morning go to college, meeting him when he
came home laden with knowledge, which he shared
with her as much as time and circumstances permit
ted. "Another year and we will graduate," she used
to say to Dubinsky. " When we settle for practice I
will make for you all the chemical analyses, the mi
croscopical work; in fact, will be your able assist-
As time wore on, however, she wore out under
the yoke of physical labor, for she had been the sole

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