Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Agnes: April 21 – Visiting the Library of Congress

Agnes Parsons' Diary
April 21, 1912
Washington, DC

During our dinner at 7:30 ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’ sat and talked with us. Mr. Parsons[Agnes Parsons’ husband] suggested going one evening to the Library of Congress to see it lighted, but never dreamed that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would wish to add another activity to this already full day. But ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said “Let us go tonight.”

We first went up on the elevator to the rotunda looking down on the reading room. Two of the bronze figures were examined, when Mr. Parsons turned to conduct the party to another part of the Library. When it was told to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that Mr. Parsons would like to show Him over some other part of the building, He replied, “When one undertakes to see a thing one should see it,” and continued around the rotunda until He had looked carefully at and asked the name of each bronze figure. After doing this part of the Library, we went with Mr. Parsons to his Division and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá began to see it as thoroughly as He had examined the figures.

Mr. Parsons turned to me and said: If we go over this Division so thoroughly the lights will be turned off before we shall have finished. Just at this moment, Mr. [Bernard R.] Greene, the Superintendent of the building appeared, met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and gave the order that the lights were to be left on and no doors were to be locked for the present. Thus there was time to show ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the stacks, some of the machinery for moving books and also some Turkish books. And so ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had the opportunity of giving us a lesson in thoroughness.

On our return home ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had His evening meal and He soon went to His room, but who knows the hour this night when He ceased to pray for His children and allowed himself the so much needed rest!