[Boston—Wednesday, 29 January 1868]

Wednesday morning. Last night, Professor Holmes, Mrs Stowe, her daughter Georgie, & the Howells, took tea here. The Professor came early and was in good talking trim,—presently in came Mrs Stowe & they fell shortly into talk upon Homeopathy & Allopathy. He grew very warm, declared that cases cited, of cures proved nothing, and we were all “incompetent” to judge! We could not but be amused at his heat for we were more or less believers in homeopathy against his one argument for Allopathy. In vain Mrs Stowe & I tried to turn and stem the fiery tide, Georgie or Mrs Howells would be sure to sweep us back into it again. However there were many brilliant things said, & sweet & good and interesting things too. The professor told us one curious fact, that, chemists had in vain analized the poison of rattlesnakes and could not discover the elements of distruction [sic] it undoubtedly possesses. Also that when Indians poison their arrows with it they hang up the liver of a white wolf and make one snake after another bite it until the liver is entirely impregnated, they then leave it to dry until disintegrated when they moisten & apply round the necks of the arrows—not on the point. He had a long quiet chat with Mrs Stowe before the evening ended. They compared their early Calvinistic education and the effect produced upon their characters by such training.


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