[Boston—Saturday, 9 January 1864]

Saturday. J.T.F. passed yesterday in Concord. He went first to see Hawthorne who was sitting alone gazing into the fire his grey dressing-gown which became him like a Roman toga wrapped around his figure. He said he had done nothing for three weeks. Yet we feel his romance must be maturing in his mind.

Genl Barlow and Mrs Howe had sent word they were coming to call so Mrs Hawthorne had gone out to walk (been thrown out on picket-duty Mrs Stowe said) and had left word at home that Mr Hawthorne was ill and could see no one.

After his visit there, full of affectionate kindness, J.T.F. proceeded to dinner with the Emersons. Here too the reception was most hearty, but he fancied there were no servants to speak of at either house. Mrs E. looked deadly pale, but her wit coruscated marvellously, even Mr Emerson grew silent to listen. She said a committee of three of which she was one had been formed to pronounce upon certain essays (unpublished) of Mr Emerson which they thought should be printed now. She thought some of them finer than any of his published essays. He laughed a great deal at the fun she poked at the earlier efforts.

From there J.T.F. proceeded to see the Thoreau’s. The mother and sister live well but lonely it should seem there without Henry. They produced 32 volumes of journal and a few letters. The idea was to print the letters. We hope it may be done. Their house was like a conservatory it was so filled with plants in beautiful condition. Henry liked to have the doors thrown open that he might look at these during his illness. He was an excellent son and even when living in his retirement at Walden Pond would come home every day. He supported himself too from a very early age.

At eight o’clock Mr & Mrs Waterston & Mr Putnam came to see us. Love letters were read from the Freed people.

Today Mrs Stowe sat with me over the fire, deep in talk, until one o’clock. She talked of Spiritualism, of it as manifested in Christ in the prophets, in men of our time. Her husband has been a seer from his early youth.

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