[Boston—Sunday, 4 October 1863]

October 4. Passed the evening with Mrs Howe, at her house, where were Prof. Henry of Washington, his daughter, Mr Alger, ourselves and the Misses Dewey. We had an interesting talk, Mrs Howe witty as usual. She spoke of the beauty of character shown by Mrs George Greene who still young and with three little children is so cheerful living in the house of her husband’s brother who is not over kind to them and with only the memory left of a pretty fortune which Mr G. has been unfortunate enough to lose together with all his own money. Mrs H. provoked and sustained a philosophic-scientific talk with the gentlemen which showed her cleverness and her knowledge of Comte, Spinoza, Kant, Hegal and other writers of their class. She said if shut up with 12 books Spinoza should be one of them. Homer stood first.

Mary Dewey made a keen remark. “Ha,” said our hostess, “Sheffield cutlery”!

She is evidently studying at present and writing. The talk grew deep and after it was over she recalled the saying of Mrs Bell after a like evening when she called for “a fat idiot”.

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