[Boston—Wednesday, 28 October 1868]

October 28. Yesterday Jamie had a terrible day—for five mortal hours confronting a man found in adultery—the cause of ruin to two women besides the wreck of his wife’s happiness & that of his mother. The vanity and shallowness of the man’s character came out startlingly & after the long solemn session—his last remark was “Mr Fields, if you had taken me by the hand and introduced me to your social circle perhaps this would not have happened, for I was always counted a clever young man in society!!!” I could not hear this remark and think of all the vanity & shallowness it evinced without a shudder. To have the heart to make such a speech when he had been dealing with the life & death of his own soul was beyond belief! I could never have imagined anything so terrible as this fact. I always knew our quiet life & quiet circle had nothing to give or gain to or from such a shallow character as his and though I knew nothing wrong I could not bring myself to invite him, and never did but once. But I think of all the experiences yesterday, the calmness of the young girl who called God to witness her innocence when she was most guilty, and heard my love’s kind voice questioning her & telling her that because she was an orphan he would overlook her sin and she should retain her position, to think of her denying everything, unmoved and without even a tremulous movement of her pen’s point which she held poised over the paper where she was about to write when he addressed her, this was the hardest blow of all to her questioner and one of the most terrible exhibitions of human nature he had ever known. He left her saying as he passed to me waiting outside, “if I know anything of human nature this girl is perfectly pure” and went immediately to her seducer who confessed the girl had been his victim for two years!!

It was not wonderful J. could not sleep last night. Such days thank heaven! come to few of us at all in our lives. I hope they may never come but once to anybody.

In the meantime a whirl of people were in search of him. Dr. Bellows, Hale, our exminister Fay, and a torrent of which he was unconscious.

In the evening one of the greatest torch-light processions ever seen in Boston took place in honor of Grant. They did not pass our house till 12 o’clock although we lighted up at 7.


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